Article Text

Influence of a 10-day stay at high altitude on athletes
  1. J Suchy
  1. Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Abstract

A number of studies have been recently published describing the positive effect of a traditional 3-week stay at high altitude on athletes' performance and biochemical parameters. During our studies with top trainers the authors found that many of them now use 10- to 12-day stays and training at altitude. For those reasons the authors focused our research on assessing the influence of 10 days at altitude on selected biochemical and physiological parameters. Participants were 10 athletes (age=19 years) regularly competing in the Cross-Country Skiing Cup. According to the fact the experiment took place during a training period, subjects went mostly through an aerobic training load. The main part of the data collection took place in the training camp in Livigno (IT, 1850 m above the sea). Subjects were tested for selected figures in the blood count three times - before their departure, right after their return and 10 days after the return. The tested figures were: haemoglobin (g/l), red blood cell distribution width (%), haematocrit. The data collection of morning pulse rate began 22 days before and ended 27 days after the return. The authors confirmed a significant (p<0.03) positive effect for a 10-day stay at altitude on biochemical and physiological parameters. Data clearly show an average elevation of all selected figures in the blood count after the return from the altitude compared with data before. Mean (SD) morning pulse rate for 22 lowland days was 55 (3) beats/min: this increased to 62 (6) at altitude and returned to 50 (3) after the return. The changes in selected biochemical and physiological parameters of monitored sportsmen confirm the positive effects of a 10-day stay and training in areas 1850 m above sea. The study was supported by MSM0021620864.

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