No matter what endurance sport is preferred - altitude training in St. Moritz will improve your performance. There are a few basic rules to be considered. These apply both for individual athletes as well as for training groups.
The first rule of altitude training is: start gently! By training shortly after arriving, limitations will quickly be reached as the body needs time to adapt to the new conditions. The so-called "gasping" - for example, when carrying suitcase - on arrival day is already the first effect of the altitude and quite normal. After all you most likely just encountered a 1,850 metres change in altitude.
Air pressure decreases with increasing altitude. As a result of the reduced oxygen content in the air, your breathing frequency and tidal volume increase, both during exercise and recovery phase. Thus, the body seeks ways and means to get more oxygen. Medical specialists say that the ideal altitude for training under these conditions is at 1800 metres.
Dehydration / dryness
Another important factor with increasing altitude is the cooler and drier air. The result is pleasant weather conditions with an average of 322 days of sunshine per year. Anybody training here benefits from the dry and bracing climate. However, the mucous membranes and the increased respiratory rate require more fluids. Your cells use more minerals and electrolytes. Therefore drinking a lot of fluids is essential.
The organism adapts gradually to the high altitude exposure. The acclimatisation phase in St. Moritz at approximately 1800m takes about two to four days, then sleep should be as restful as at sea level. In this situation it is recommended to allow your body to adapt to this change. Treat yourself with the necessary relaxation and recovery. Do little and mainly light sports activities.
Preparation for competition
The right timing is crucial: a planned competition has to be timed properly with altitude training. Either during the first two days after returning to the lowlands or after a waiting period of up to 20 days. During the days four to nine, the body re-adjusts again. Do not participate in any competition during this critical time period. The optimal time slot is the third week after the return. Consulting an expert coach is the best advice for optimal performance results.
More Information (German only):
Broschure "1856 m Altitude Training" (PDF, 8.5 MB)