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Medicina dello Sport 2019 December;72(4):498-512

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.19.03400-8

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Responses to altitude training in terms of hematological parameters and performance in elite endurance runners

Roohollah MOHAMMADI MIRZAEI 1 , Mahtab MOHAMMADI MIRZAEI 2

1 Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran; 2 Master of Virology Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


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BACKGROUND: The present study aims to investigate the effect of living and training at altitude on the serum levels of HIF-1α, PGC-1α and EPO on the one hand and the performance of 3000-meter long-distance (endurance) runners of Iran’s national team on the other.
METHODS: After four weeks of training and assessment at sea level, 32 long-distance male runners were divided randomly into four equal groups for living and training at altitude (1500-meter, 2000-meter, 2350-meter, and 2500-meter). All the runners performed the same training programs. Blood samples were taken at sea level in order to assess the changes of HIF-1α, PGC-1α and EPO serum levels and 3000-meter running performance before and after the altitude training period. Repeated measures variance analysis method at the significance level P≤0.05 was utilized to assess the data.
RESULTS: The 3000-meter run showed a significant improvement (P≤0.05) from before and to after training at altitudes (1500-meter, 2000-meter and 2350-meter); however, the given changes were not significant at altitude 2500 m (P≥0.05). In addition, significant changes in HIF-1α level were not observed (P≥0.05). It should be noted that significant changes occurred in PGC-1α and EPO levels from before and to after life and training at altitude (P≤0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Generally, it seems that specific training programs at altitude bring about changes in cellular metabolism and increase the level of PGC-1α and EPO through HIF-1α-independent mechanisms at the time of training. Accordingly, 3000-meter running time can be decreased at lower altitudes.


KEY WORDS: Altitude; Hematologic tests; Human HIF1A protein; Athletic performance; Running; Endurance training

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