Last annual conference of the ECSS was held in Prague. Great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and meet new ones. One of the conference highlight was the ECSS Environmental Physiology Special interest group meeting.
I was lucky enough to lead engaged discussion with five World experts with large practical experience around the burning question: “From the beach to the mountains: Should we train in hot or thin air for Tokyo 2020?”
The below questions formed the basis on our discussion:
A - CURRENT TRENDS AND PRACTICE
For which Olympic athletes might heat and/or altitude training be useful?
What type of heat exposure should be used? (exposure during and/or after the session)?
Altitude residence and/or training under hypoxic stress?
B - HOT TOPICS / DEBATES
Responders vs non responders?
How to define the “heat or hypoxic dose”?
Would a combination of methods be the most optimal? Proposed strategies?
C - BEST PRACTICE / IMPLEMENTATION
The majority of training benefits at sea level are accrued with adequate attention given to consistent training, suitable recovery/nutrition and skill development. How is this taken into account when training with heat stress / at altitude?
Periodization - What is the best timing of heat/altitude training (pre-competition, in-season) ?
Could heat/hypoxic training be implemented for rehabilitation purposes? To improve training responsiveness?