Altitude Training and Your Lungs

Spring is on the way.  Outdoor rides, runs, hikes are booked in your calendar.  From a coaches perspective, it is interesting how the majority of training over the winter focuses on predominantly your legs.  We do spin classes, run intervals and lift weights repeatedly every week.

Why?  Here are the main adaptations:

  • Increased Leg Power and Speed
  • Increased Strength
  • Increased Lactate Tolerance
  • Injury Prevention

BUT, these are all “peripheral changes” meaning the legs/arms only.  What about your lungs?  Besides a few hard breathes at the end of a interval set, what did you do to improve your breathing capacity?  What about your recovery rate?  As your legs have become strong, have your lungs also improved?  
Altitude Chamber operates between 10,000-14,000 ft.   This equates to a oxygen percentage of 16 to 14%.  Normal atmosphere oxygen is 20.9%.  This is substantially less (only 2/3) of the normal oxygen content.  By exercising at this lower O2 content, the lungs are required to work a lot harder than normal.  People breathe harder at lower work outputs.  What does that mean?  Normally, you need hard efforts and a lot of lactate in your legs in order to breathe hard.  At Altitude, we can create the faster breathing without your legs burning.   Therefore, your lungs get more work than traditional workouts.   We refer to our altitude chamber as a place where your lungs and breathing rate will improve.  This means faster recovery and a more balanced body.   Your lung fitness will then match your leg fitness.
Testimonial by Adrian Marcano, 2019
“I have been training in TCR’s Altitude Lab for the past three months. I am passionate about endurance sports. But in the past, my asthma meant I suffered no matter how much I trained. Now that I’m regularly running in the Altitude Lab, I am no longer experiencing burning and tightness in my chest.  My asthma doesn’t limit my performance anymore, allowing me to achieve personal bests that I never thought possible.”