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Playing lax at Elevation

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coach jen 2
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Playing lax at Elevation

Postby coach jen 2 Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:04 am

Question:

I played recently at elevation. You know that feeling you get when you're going all out during a game and you start to feel sick to your stomach? My inquiry has to do with the nausea/vomiting that can occur during or after hardcore or strenuous running and playing at high elevations.

I am from the west coast and I train right here at sea level. I run 4-5 miles per day 3 days per week. I feel great when I play at sea level or just above. But, during a game at elevation, I started seeing the black and white spots and everything got louder. I removed my face and mouth and found a nice little dirt clearing away from the sidelines so I could vomit for about 5 minutes. It was a horrible feeling and my lungs were burning. I felt like I hadn't trained and I couldn't catch my breath. I had trained extra hard for this particular tournament!

What's the physiology behind the sick stomach feeling and the reason the elevation has such severe effects on an athlete even if they've trained and prepared for the demand? Why the vomiting? What can I do to prevent this next time?


Answer:

The body’s response is due to a lack of oxygen. The thinner air at elevation means there is not as much oxygen there as there is at sea level. While you might have trained for this, you didn’t train at the elevation of the actual event. The vomiting is the body’s way of saying, “Hey! Stop! I can’t do this!” And it worked, right?

When someone goes up to an elevation, their body will acclimatize by making extra effort to bind more oxygen from the air. This process of accommodation takes between 3 and 7 days. If you were not at that elevation for enough time before your event, you would not have had time to get used to the event.

I recently had an experience with a lacrosse team I coach that might help you. We train them at sea level. We took them to Vale, Colorado to Play in the Vale Shoot Out. Right before we left, I found this stuff at the health food store, and thought I would give it a try. It's Called Aerobic O7, subtitled “Stabilized Oxygen”. The nutritionist at the store told me it worked really well to help Red Blood cells bind more oxygen. I was skeptical. But, I figured it was worth a try.

The day we left, I started using it on most of the players. I put 8 drops of this liquid in each bottle of water they drank- up to 4 bottles per day. (More water is allowed, just not the drops) The first day, 2 kids got elevation sickness- headache, nausea, shortness of breath, burning lungs. They had to discontinue play. Neither of those kids had started the Aerobic O7 stabilized oxygen drops. The other kids were fine. The others played extremely well, and even beat the home team- which no one else in the tournament could keep up with (every visiting team was low-landers). The 2 who had a hard time felt better the next day- but started on the drops right away… so we have no way of knowing how they would have been otherwise.

Further, I get elevation sickness- the headache and stuffy sinuses every time I go up high. I used the stuff in Vale, and felt great.

We left from there, and played in New Jersey. I stopped giving the kids the drops when we landed in Jersey because I figured they didn't need them. I think the effectiveness lasted, though. They ran the east coast teams into the ground. This is unheard of with the east coast heat and humidity that California kids are not used to. Plus- the experience and skill level of east coast kids is usually higher. But, our kids had way more energy. I think it was due to additional red blood cells their bodies had made in Vale. It appeared that they performed better, and had more energy than other teams who had first been in Vale, then went straight to New Jersey. I don’t think those teams had these drops.

Here's the kicker: 3 weeks later, we took them back to the east coast-to Maryland. I didn't take the drops with me. The kids were weak, and tired and slow. The same kids, same team, were run into the ground by the local teams. We had been training and practicing them harder over the past 3 weeks than before the Vale and NJ tourneys. There was no reason for it other than lack of preparedness for the climate…. and no drops… maybe?

So, the morale to the story is: The strangest things will help us.... and thinking outside the box can really beneficial.

Their website is http://www.aerobiclife.com
Try it- it worked for them, and it might just work for you.
I have no affiliation with this web site, or the company that makes or sells this product. I just happen to think it’s great, and wanted to share it with you.

Best wishes


Coach Jen
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Dining Room
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Postby Dining Room Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:02 am

always happens to me at Mellor! As the red and white army also train at such altitudes they work in opposites to us! They can run all day at Timperly or other low-lying clubs.
I was once part of the winning Pop Lacrosse team that defeated Wigan in the 1992 Greater Manchester Youth Games.

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Postby james_512 Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:44 pm

I went running while I was in Crete and have done for the last few years. When I run up in the mountains, despite the cooling breeze, running of 2 miles makes me feel sick, which is comparable to the usual 4 miles that I do over here or by the sea (also in Crete). Whenever it is possible; train at higher altitudes, because it definitely improves your fitness and Stamina.
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Postby Dave254023 Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:51 pm

Last summer I pent 3 months training in the adirondacks in NY state. I was in peak physical fitness, i was running all day and swimming in 105 degree heat. I was fairly conditioned.

I went out to Vail for the last few days in the states at 9500ft, I went for a run about 400m down the road i had effectively collapsed and was nauseous as hell. I basically crawled back to the condo i was staying in. I over estimated my abilities and felt like **** because of it!
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Postby Bme Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:17 pm

Just spent a month working in the andes at just under 4000m and thought I would try jogging everymorning for about 2-3 miles to keep fit and the first week or so it almost killed me and I experienced a similar thing with sickness and dizzy spells. Coming back to sea level is a massive difference and where i struggled massively to keep a slow pace at altitude I slaughtered my personal best in the 10k run on sunday.
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Postby davidmcculloch81 Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:44 pm

Bme wrote:Just spent a month working in the andes at just under 4000m and thought I would try jogging everymorning for about 2-3 miles to keep fit and the first week or so it almost killed me and I experienced a similar thing with sickness and dizzy spells. Coming back to sea level is a massive difference and where i struggled massively to keep a slow pace at altitude I slaughtered my personal best in the 10k run on sunday.


Lucky man working up in the Andes. I love that part of the world. Did you try the coca leaves to stave off altitude sickness? It's hard work getting anywhere fast on foot around there.

Where were you exactly?
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Postby Bme Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:05 pm

I was staying in a vilage called El Chaupi, near a town called Machachi. About an hour and a half south of Quito. We were literally at the base of the Illinizas mountains. Most of the work was done in the Illinizas reserve on the mountains, refitting the fresh water springs with more modern equipment etc,
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