T Nation

Oxygen Deprivation

Hey all, I’m looking for info on training that might benefit people who plan on a mountaineering trip next year and will be pretty high (above 5 miles) and will likely suffer from the rarity of oxygen in heights. My question is what can they do to counter that? I already know of special tents that simulate an environment poor in O2, but they’re out of price and not an option here. I thought of whole-body circuit training to augment capillar density, but I’ve no idea aside from that. Nutritionnal factor to raise red blood cells? Mitochondria in greater number?
Any idea what they could do to help with O2 deprivation? Anything will help

Im not sure if Ive ever heard of a way to increase red blood cells short of doping. Of course this is why we have the U.S. Olympic Training Center here in Colorado Springs Co at an elevation of about 6,500 feet.
I have heard from runners around here of participants from other states performing better than locals in high altitude races due to “heat training”.

Search on that.

Good Luck.

I’m guessing cardio based adaptions. Specifically, high intensity interval training to the point that you are ready to puke.

If you could find someplace of reasonable altitude and exercise there, that would probably be helpful.

Differential reactions to high altitude oxygen deprivation is highly genetic. There is actually a predictor test that can tell if someone is likely to become dangerously ill from high altitudes, however the oxygen level at five miles with exertion would be potentially fatal for a percentage of the population.

The only think I can think of is to get your body used to high fat food like cheese. My understanding is carbs don’t work as well at high altitude.

Crap - I thought this was a thread discussing the possible causes of Al Shades personality disorders.

Thanks guys, not the definite answers or info I was looking for, but interesting leads nonetheless. You’ve given me things to orient my investigation.

But come on, no hikers/mountaineerers(or whatever they’re called) on this forum?

Get acclimated, stay hydrated.

I have hiked/climbed some 14ers (mountains above 14k feet). As far as i can see it, hydration and acclimation are key. There is nothing a little time sleeping at the trail head can’t help.

However, as far as flatland training one could do…

Hills of all sorts and a weighted pack (hopefully the pack you will be hiking with)

Long hikes, preferably in rough terrain.

Sorry for the unorganized post. It might be better to base it on what you are hiking and what the altitude change will be. If the maximum elevation is less than 10k feet, i wouldn’t worry about the altitude. What are you planning to hike? Most of my climbs are in Colorado.

If this is a technical climb this gets more fishy…

Come to Colorado and practice jogging up in Vail or Breckenridge. That will get you ready real quick!