OBJECTIVES: This investigation was designed to monitor altitude acclimatisation in an elite cohort of distance runners and follow the subsequent recovery from infectious mononucleosis which developed in one of these athletes. METHODS: Twenty six national standard distance runners performed treadmill tests 24 days before they travelled to an altitude camp (1500 to 2000 m). One of these athletes was diagnosed as suffering from infectious mononucleosis 14 days after return to sea level. A physician prescribed an individualised training programme which was designed to maximise recovery from the condition, which was monitored on days 16 and 147 after altitude training. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that the athlete was in a state of over-reaching during the altitude sojourn. After return to sea level, the early stages of infectious mononucleosis resulted in a marked impairment in physiological response to endurance exercise, which improved over time. Longitudinal physiological monitoring in conjunction with a carefully prescribed training programme made recovery from this condition possible.
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