Before any major athletics championships, Kenyan Runners go for a get away altitude training camp. The altitude training camp of choice is at Kigari, a camp where kenyan runners share a dorm with college students.
Altitude training is the major factor that explains kenyan runners domination in long distance running.
The training bases are concetrated around Rift Valley and Mt. Kenya. High altitude regions of Kenya
Born In Altitude
Most of the elite Kenyans were born at altitude and thus have long-term physiological adaptations associated with growing up at altitude.
The Science of High Altitude Running
The basic concept behind high altitude is that as you go higher above sea level there is less oxygen in the atmosphere.
This places additional stress on the body because less oxygen is being carried to the muscles and the body has to produce more red blood cells to carry the oxygen.
Altitude does have one positive effect for endurance runners: it builds up the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity. The more the red blood cells in your body the higher the carrying capacity.
Training Programme to Boost Oxygen carrying Capacity
If you dont live in altitude you can still be creative in your training. My personal marathon training strategy is to run early in the morning when the atmosphere is full of vapour and little oxygen.
Some experts call this altitude training “doping the blood naturally”