At the beginning of the year I decided to spend August in Europe preparing for an Olympic season. I planned with team mate Jasper Mackenzie (and old coach iLmar Heinicke) to spend three weeks in Switzerland at high altitude with an additional 4 weeks in Altenberg, Germany. I just rounded the 11 day mid point to the altitude camp and everything is running smooth and looking positive.
Easy running/hike up at Furka Pass, Switzerland to +2500m
The goals in the first week of altitude training is to adapt to the altitude while monitoring recovery. This means paying close attention to resting heart rate, eating and sleeping well, and insuring training does not exceed more than 70% of maximum capacity. The next few weeks will include increased intensity and really taking advantage of the altitude benefits.
Altitude training, in theory, allows an athlete to push their boundaries which would normally not be possible at sea level. An athlete can push their body to 100% with reduced oxygen quicker and test the limits to which their body can go. For this reason, I did not hesitate to take advantage of this altitude opportunity when it arose. I invested in this relatively expensive endeavour in anticipation to be in top form come Olympic trials at the end of December. Time will tell if it pays off towards my goals this season, but at the moment all I can do is take control of every little detail to be best prepared for one of the biggest seasons of my career! All this said, it is most definetely my dream to compete in Sochi 2014.