It’s pretty well established that the ideal training model is to live high and train low. That means you’re used to breathing in less air 24hrs a day and you have more red blood cells to make up for it, but you can still do your interval efforts at low altitude and hit the highest possible numbers to create the greatest oxygen uptake/muscular adaptations there. (obviously all in simplistic terms)
I’m fortunate enough to live at 6k feet and am very well adapted to here but I can’t go lower than 5k feet without driving an unreasonable distance. It got me thinking about training with supplemental oxygen for my two hard/inside interval sessions every week. There’s been some training in hyperoxia vs. normoxia studies done, but with inconclusive results. There’s also this study, which unfortunately I can’t find the full text of without spending $40…but seems to do exactly what I’m thinking. Live at moderate altitude and then train in a hyperoxic state and the results in the abstract seem pretty legit…
After 6 weeks of hyperoxic training, exercise parameters were compared with the plateau values obtained during the baseline training period. Total time during maximal cycle testing increased from 19.1 to 19.6 min (p = 0.015), heart rate at 85 percent maximal workload decreased from 168 to 163 bpm (p = 0.047), and endurance time at 85 percent maximal workload increased from 6.2 to 8.2 min (p = 0.012). There was a trend toward improvement of maximal workload. We conclude that hyperoxic training increases work capacity after attainment of “maximal training” at moderate altitude.
Now I’m wondering how I can make myself one of those test subjects but without spending an enormous amount of money. There’s a company called live o2 that has hypoxic and hyperoxic systems, but they’re between 5k and 10k and that’s too much. Upon further research while writing this post I guess this is commonly referred to as EWOT (exercise with oxygen therapy) and there’s a handful of companies that sell similar products but even the cheapest are close to 3k and they mostly seem marketed to old people as an anti-aging miracle.
This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but can’t I buy a scuba diving tank or a medical oxygen tank and get a mask/aerator that is able to mix the oxygen at some certain concentration and use that? I’m probably severely underestimating the amount of oxygen consumption that takes place at threshold+ and how quickly a tank might be depleted. Maybe not.
Or maybe someone knows of a DIY version that doesn’t cost as much as a new bicycle?