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Thread: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Question Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Has anybody had experience using canned oxygen (such as Boost Oxygen) at high-altitude swim meets? I will be competing at the National Senior Games, in Albuquerque, this June and would like to know what I can expect if I use it. How well does it work? Would racing after taking a few hits of oxygen be similar to racing at sea level?

    I have been doing some training with a center-mount snorkel with a air-restricting cap to help prepare. In addition, I will be arriving on a Wednesday evening before my first race on Sunday, so I will have a few days to adjust; however, it's probably not enough. I'm thinking the oxygen could help-- at least it wouldn't hurt! I just don't want to die on my 200 fly, 400 IM, 200 IM, and 200 breaststroke!
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Elaine,

    This product is not going to help you during those races - except to suck on them at the end when you are dying. If you could keep one at each end of the pool and take a hit each length though...

    I suppose there might be a chance of euphoria from too much oxygen that would mask the build up of carbon dioxide - that could lead to fainting if it was severe enough.

    Don't waste the money for this product unless you are climbing Mt Everest.

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    I donít think Iíd waste the money on bottled oxygen either. There are some medical articles in the running community Iíve read that say if you canít spend at least three weeks at your elevated race location that youíre better off getting there the day of, or late the day before the event. The belief is that once your organs begin to acclimate, it negatively impacts your bodyís performance. Getting there just before the event doesnít give your organs time to begin the adjustment, and therefore function more normally as you compete.

    Dan

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    Elaine,

    This product is not going to help you during those races - except to suck on them at the end when you are dying. If you could keep one at each end of the pool and take a hit each length though...

    I suppose there might be a chance of euphoria from too much oxygen that would mask the build up of carbon dioxide - that could lead to fainting if it was severe enough.

    Don't waste the money for this product unless you are climbing Mt Everest.

    Ok, that's good to know. I'll give it a miss!


    Quote Originally Posted by ForceDJ View Post
    I donít think Iíd waste the money on bottled oxygen either. There are some medical articles in the running community Iíve read that say if you canít spend at least three weeks at your elevated race location that youíre better off getting there the day of, or late the day before the event. The belief is that once your organs begin to acclimate, it negatively impacts your bodyís performance. Getting there just before the event doesnít give your organs time to begin the adjustment, and therefore function more normally as you compete.

    Dan
    Darn, I already booked my air! I'm flying Southwest, though, so I will look into what the difference in cost would be flying in on another day. Thanks for the info., Dan.
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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Elaine, we're going to be sucking wind no matter what we do at that altitude. I think we're just going to have to have fun with it. On a side note, I saw that the 2021 games are in Ft Lauderdale! No altitude and a great outdoor pool!
    Kari Kennedy

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms View Post
    Elaine, we're going to be sucking wind no matter what we do at that altitude. I think we're just going to have to have fun with it. On a side note, I saw that the 2021 games are in Ft Lauderdale! No altitude and a great outdoor pool!
    Yeah they (the city) finally agreed to spend the money to completely overhaul the Ft. Lauderdale Aquatic Center. it's a shame it comes too late to keep the Hall of Fame Center there, but I am excited that they will be moving YMCA Masters Nationals (and possibly YMCA Nationals) back to Ft. Lauderdale now!

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms View Post
    Elaine, we're going to be sucking wind no matter what we do at that altitude. I think we're just going to have to have fun with it. On a side note, I saw that the 2021 games are in Ft Lauderdale! No altitude and a great outdoor pool!

    Oh, that's right! I think you had mentioned before that you are going to Albuquerque. I look forward to meeting you! What events are you swimming?
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Elaine,

    FWIW - way back in 1993, the Breadbasket Zone championship was in Denver (CO). I was living in Minnesota at the time and had a business trip to Denver at the same time as the Meet. I combined the meet with the trip.

    I got there a couple of days ahead of the meet and did my first swim at altitude on Friday. I was sucking air big time - due to the altitude. My thought was - this is gonna be bad.

    "Fast forward" one day to Saturday and Sunday. My events were: 50-100-200 Back, 500 Free, 200 IM, and 200 Breast (??). I did really well - in all events and I was doing a hard 3,000-3,500 yard warm-up each day. I just focused on exhaling and inhaling and had no shortness of breath or tightness in my chest in any races - especially the 200 Back and 500 Free.

    So, my recommendation is to accept whatever comes your way, during all of your warm-ups and races focus alot on exhaling and inhaling.

    Albuquerque is a bit lower in altitude than Denver.

    Good luck - you'll do great!

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    "So, my recommendation is to accept whatever comes your way, during all of your warm-ups and races focus alot on exhaling and inhaling. - Good to know, Windrath, thanks! I've been stressing slightly about the altitude as well, but in my head, just going to go with it.

    Elaine, I'm doing just the four free events. I can't do any other stroke with any efficiency. We'll have to plan to connect while there, right?
    Kari Kennedy

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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post

    So, my recommendation is to accept whatever comes your way, during all of your warm-ups and races focus alot on exhaling and inhaling.

    Good luck - you'll do great!

    Thanks, Paul! That's great advice, and that will be my focus. Thanks for your "good luck" wishes!


    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms View Post
    "So, my recommendation is to accept whatever comes your way, during all of your warm-ups and races focus alot on exhaling and inhaling. - Good to know, Windrath, thanks! I've been stressing slightly about the altitude as well, but in my head, just going to go with it.

    Elaine, I'm doing just the four free events. I can't do any other stroke with any efficiency. We'll have to plan to connect while there, right?

    Ok, Flystorms, you heard what Paul said. When we see each other on deck, our mantra will be, "Remember: INHALE, EXHALE!" I sent you a PM, and, yes, I look forward to connecting with you in ABQ!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    WRT my above post, I will say this about elevation, and physical activity. I live at sea level in coastal Rhode Island. My wife and I spent a long weekend in Las Vegas last weekend...Thursday early afternoon thru Monday early afternoon. The elevation of Vegas is around 2000+ feet above sea level. During my time there, I were for six mile runs on two seperate day, and on another day a thirty-eight mile bike ride at 3000+ feet elevation out in Red Rock Canyon. When I got back home to sea level in RI, and went on another bike ride the next day...it was like I had a blast of concentrated oxygen. I rode on a usual bike route, but my Strava account told me that I set PRs on several different segments of that course. Maybe I was breathing easier...it surely felt like it.

    Dan

    P.S. What happens in Vegas...

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    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Elaine, good luck with the competition! Try not to worry too much about the altitude difference and focus on enjoying the meet itself. You'll get there a few days ahead of time so hopefully will be able to get in some pre-meet warmups to get used to the differences. Have fun!

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    Re: Canned oxygen use at high-altitude meets. Experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    Elaine, good luck with the competition! Try not to worry too much about the altitude difference and focus on enjoying the meet itself. You'll get there a few days ahead of time so hopefully will be able to get in some pre-meet warmups to get used to the differences. Have fun!
    Thanks, Julia!

    On my check list:
    1. Have fun!

    2. Repeat mantra: INHALE/EXHALE!
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    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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