The Benefits of Altitude Training with Team GB Athlete Ellie Baker
Written By: SportsShoes
We recently caught up with Nike and Team GB 800m athlete, Ellie Baker during the midst of her altitude training camp in St. Moritz to find out more about her time in camp and the benefits of altitude training.
Ellie, tell us why you’re out here in St Moritz.
We’re out here for an altitude camp. St Moritz is one of the most amazing places to train, the gyms are amazing here. The facilities are so good; it’s just an amazing place to train.
What are the benefits of altitude training?
Essentially, altitude training makes your body produce more red blood cells. In layman’s terms, this is because your body has to work harder as there’s not as much oxygen as there is at sea level. I always come back so fit from here just because it’s so much harder.
How long do you stay out here at altitude?
Usually our altitude camps are about four weeks long but this time we are only here for two weeks because it’s still race season with Doha being in October.
What are the main benefits that you gain from altitude?
When you drop back down from altitude you feel like you can breathe so much easier. So, when you go on your runs, you find it much easier because there is so much more oxygen for your lungs to take in. Definitely endurance wise there’s lots of benefits.
How do you recover out here?
There’s a nearby lake which is freezing, so we have a lot of ice baths in the lake which is great for recovery. We also tend to sleep a lot. Out here we always nap, just to try and get that extra recovery in.
And how do you find recovery in general?
I find recovery more important than your actual training sessions because if you’re not well recovered, you’re not going to be able to train well. We literally emphasise recovery so much, just because you won’t be able to get the quality out of your sessions if you’re not looking after that side of things too.
Out here you’re training a lot so footwear rotation must be key. Can you talk us through the different shoes you’re using for different parts of your training?
I use the Nike Streak for my tempo runs because they’re flat and not as hard as my spikes; then for my steady runs I would use the Nike Zoom Rival Fly or the Nike Pegasus Turbo. I sometimes use the Turbo for my training sessions as well and then I use the Nike Victory spikes for my track sessions.
You’ve talked a little bit about the Zoom series, which one would you take for road racing?
For anyone new to running, what’s a great shoe to get them started?
I’d say go for the Pegasus Turbo. It just gives you a lot of support and is just a generally great starting shoe.
You’ve had a great 2019 so far, what’s coming up this season and beyond?
So, I’ve competed at the European under 23 which was my main aim at the start of the season and that went well, I got the silver there. Then from this point on I’ve just come here to reset, get another block of training and get stronger. My main aim now is for the British Championships. I really want to try and get a medal, especially as the competition is so strong there. It would mean everything.
Tell us about your experience with the Nike Joyride.
The shoes are really good for recovery runs. When I’ve just finished a really hard session, sometimes I’ll cool down in them because they really help the recovery process. They ensure that you’re running on the balls of your feet and you’re not going too hard. So, when you’re winding down, they’re a great shoe.