Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Elevation Training Mask

While both running and using the bike on the rollers, I have been using the Training Mask. So what is it you ask. There are numerous studies out there on how athletes train at higher elevations to increase their performance. The area I primarily live and train in, is about 1000 feet above sea level. The mask covers both your nose and mouth and creates an effect as if I were in a higher altitude.  The mask is said to reduce training time by 1/3 by improving the efficiency of my workouts.  It conditions the lungs creating pulmonary resistance and strengthens my diaphragm.  Wearing it forces you to focus on your breathing. The best way this mask will help my body is by teaching it to use oxygen more efficient forcing me to take deeper more full breathes.  I can tell just after using it for over a month how my breathing is being helped by wearing it. 
Once again the mask fits over your nose and mouth attaching at the back of the head with a Velcro strip. There is Velcro strap it comes with also that can be used to cross over your head, joining the two ear holes on either side.  I have to admit the first time I put the mask on, I was very relaxed, yet then was forced to start focusing on my breathing right away. As without the mask, breathing is very easy and not really something the human body needs to think about doing  There are a few sets of valves that come with the mask and instructions on how to set the mask up to mimic different levels of elevation.  Of course very interested in knowing how the maximum degree of elevation with the mask of 18,000 feet would feel I set the mask up and jumped on my bike trainer.  It seriously was not long before I was having to really focus on getting my next breath.

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