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MEDICINA DELLO SPORT

A Journal on Sports Medicine


Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2002 March;55(1):51-9

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Sports medicine applied to skyrunning

Roi G. S.

Federazione Sport d’Altitudine e Centro Studi Isokinetic, Bologna


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Sky­run­ning is an ­emerging com­pet­i­tive ­activity per­formed at ­high alti­tude (­between 2,000 and 5,200 m ­with ­race ­time ­between 34 min and 10 hrs), ­that ­must be ­known by the ­sports phy­si­cians. The ­papers pub­lished in the inter­na­tional sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture ­show ­that ­during the ­races ­only 1% of the ath­letes with­draw for ­minor ­traumas hap­pened in down­hill. ­Blood anal­ysis ­showed ­that tran­sient hor­monal ­changes ­from ­normal ref­er­ence ­values ­were ­restored ­within 24 hrs. Eryth­roc­ytes, hemo­globin and ­packed ­cell ­volume are ­always ­within ­normal ­ranges and did not ­show sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences ­between pre- and ­postrace ­values. The hemat­o­log­ical param­e­ters are mod­i­fied by ­more ­than 10 ­days of accli­mat­iza­tion at alti­tude ­higher ­than 5,000 m. ­These ­data sug­gest ­that ­racing at alti­tudes up to 5,200 m ­leads to ­some phys­io­log­ical ­effects sim­ilar to ­those ­observed at low alti­tude. In con­clu­sion: com­pet­i­tive run­ning at ­high alti­tude ­does not ­present a sub­stan­tial ­increase in ­health ­risk ­more ­than ­those encoun­tered at low alti­tude pro­vided ­that the ath­letes are ­well-­trained, alti­tude accli­ma­tized and med­i­cally con­trolled.

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