Haemoglobin mass responses and performance outcomes among high-performance swimmers following a three-week Live-High, Train-High camp at 2,320m

Daniel J. Astridge*, Michael McKenna, Adrian Campbell, Anthony P. Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Greater quantification and characterisation of training load (TL) throughout Live-High, Train-High (LHTH) altitude (ALT) training is required to identify periodisation strategies that may lead to physiological and performance improvements in swimmers.
Purpose: This study aimed to examine the physiological responses and performance outcomes of fourteen high-performance swimmers (FINA points: 836.0 ± 35.1) following three-weeks of LHTH at 2,320m, while characterising the training load periodisation strategy adopted during the intervention.
Methods: Haemoglobin (Hb) mass was measured pre-, seven- and fourteen-days post-ALT via CO rebreathing. Performance in each athlete’s primary event at national standard meets were converted to FINA points and compared from pre-to-post ALT. TL was quantified at sea level (SL) and ALT through session rating of perceived exertion (RPE), where duration of each session was multiplied by its RPE for each athlete, with all sessions totalled to give a weekly TL. Pre-to-post ALT changes were evaluated using repeated-measures ANOVA.
Results: Hb mass increased significantly from 798±182g pre-ALT, to 828±187g at seven-days post (p=0.013) and 833±205g 14-days post-ALT (p=0.026). Weekly TL increased from SL (3179±638 au) during week one (4797±1349 au, p<0.001) and week two (4373±967 au, p<0.001), but not week three (3511±730 au, p=0.149). No evidence of improved SL swimming performance was identified.
Conclusion: A periodisation strategy characterised by a sharp spike in TL followed by a slight de-load towards the end of a LHTH intervention led to improved physiological characteristics but no change in the competitive performance of high-performance swimmers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Early online date25 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • altitude
  • hypoxia
  • terrestrial
  • training load
  • athletes

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