"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out." -Mae Jemison, astronaut

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Run on a Treadmill... it's Patriotic

I've blogged before about altitude houses and altitude tents - a normobaric (normal pressure) environment but reduced with oxygen (hypoxic). It's a method that tries to simulate the effects to blood (and the oxygen carrying capacity of blood) that comes from really being at altitude. These effects can be beneficial to athletes. However, research isn't all that positive towards hypoxic as a replacement for hypobaric conditions.

There's currently a study happening in Perth where they are looking at what happens to iron levels in athletes who train in hypoxic conditions. This is important for our Aussie athletes, particularly, who can't go train at 3,000 metres within this relatively low-lying country. The Australian Institute of Sport puts top Aussie athletes in a hypoxic setting that reduces their oxygen to try to simulate what you get at 3,000 metres.

So, you, dear "endurance runner" can quite possibly help our Australian athletes and maybe even yourself, by participating if you're in Perth. The research study is investigating short bouts of hypoxic exercise on iron levels in the blood. You must be a runner (not cyclist-only), and can be in track, tri, trail and/or ultra. You must be 18-40 years old. You can possibly have a history of iron deficiency - talk to the researcher about this. You must be training at least 6x/wk and do interval-type work as part of your training. It involves 4 sessions at UWA with blood drawn (time to be tough!). You'll get your VO2max out of it and your iron levels. And the glory of helping advance science. Maybe that next Olympic athlete will be thanking you for what you helped discover ;) I'll warn you now, though, VO2max testing is NOT sexy! You will foam at the mouth, sweat more than any interval session you've ever done, and will feel like a beaten dog by the time you're done. After that, every time you do an interval session, you'll be grateful that you don't have to do it with a nose plug and a tube shoved in your mouth! In short, it's an experience not to be missed! :)

You can reach the researcher, Andrew Govus, at a.govus@ecu.edu.au.

Spread the word.

And tell him to let me come and play. I'm apparently too old :)

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