Tri Alliance recently caught up with athlete Dan Brueckner who is using altitude training to improve his training and racing performance and prepare his his first Ironman in December.

TA: What are your racing goals for the 2011/2012 season?
DB: Busselton Ironman and now Melbourne Ironman!

TA: What made you start using altitude in your training?
DB: Falls Creek Training Camp in January 2011. I had the experience of having a go with the altitude machine and training in altitude, and seeing the positive effects a couple of weeks later going back to the hills around Melbourne in preparation for the Busselton 70.3.

TA: How did you find training at altitude to begin with?
DB: It was tough! The effects of the altitude kicked in quickly even though I was only completing sessions in passive (easy) mode. There was shortness of breath and feeling of not being able to breathe properly – it was tough just changing into harder gear on bike or increasing cadence. But the more sessions I did, the more efficient my body became and it came easier and easier.

TA: How have you found it has assisted in your training? / What results or  changes have you seen in your training/racing?
DB: Ability to complete an entire windtrainer session including all efforts as prescribed at altitude. Ability to increase altitude – initially I trained at 2,000m and now I can train fully at 3,500m. I have also completed a passive session at 4000m altitude. During racing I feel that I can run out races a lot stronger.

TA: How do you feel altitude training has assisted in your performance?
DB: It has definitely helped me improve my performance, main evidence is the result in Busselton 70.3 where I had a PB in 4h51 including a Half Marathon PB, first time under 1h40 in 1h39.30 and the Run Melbourne Half Marathon where I ran a Half Marathon PB in 1h36.50 with a negative race split a day after completing a 140km bike ride in the Dandenong’s with 4 climbs!

TA: Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of incorporating altitude into their training?
DB: Do a baseline test to see how you will benefit from altitude training, then plan your main race and work out a program that will work for you with your other training schedule – I am doing one additional altitude session on top of my normal training and one session as part of a normal Tri Alliance training session which works well for me.

Find out more about how Altitude Training can assist your training and race performance. Tri Alliance currently have 5 athletes training under our mask based altitde training system with excellent results.

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