Hypoxic in running refers to a condition of reduced oxygen availability, which can occur during exercise, especially at high altitudes or in hypoxic training. Exercise-induced hypoxemia (EIH) is well-described in endurance-trained athletes during both maximal and submaximal exercise intensities. It can have consequences for altitude exposure and may impact endurance performance, particularly in athletes who experience EIH. Hypoxic training methods, such as intermittent hypoxia and breath hold exercise, are used to simulate altitude training and increase erythropoietin (EPO) naturally and legally, aiming to improve the oxygen-carrying capacity of the body. While EIH is a well-documented phenomenon in endurance athletes, its full consequences and the impact on performance are still being studied.


  1. What It Is: Hypoxic training means deliberately reducing oxygen intake, often achieved through altitude training or the "live high train low" method. At higher altitudes, the air has less oxygen, which challenges the body in unique ways.
  2. How It Works: In high altitudes, the lower oxygen levels make your heart rate increase and can cause shortness of breath and reduced performance initially. Over time, the body adapts by increasing its capacity to carry oxygen, which can enhance performance when you return to lower altitudes.
  3. Live High Train Low: This approach involves living at high altitudes but training at lower ones. It lets the body adapt to low oxygen levels while maintaining the ability to train hard in more oxygen-rich environments. This method is known for improving endurance by increasing red blood cell production and oxygen transport.
  4. Benefits: Hypoxic training can lead to more red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. This helps in delaying fatigue, improving heart function, increasing lactate threshold (the point at which your body fatigues during intense exercise), enhancing aerobic capacity, and better oxygen use.
  5. Risks: The primary risk is altitude sickness, which includes symptoms like headaches, nausea, and breathlessness. It's important to monitor your health and not overdo it. People with certain health conditions should consult a doctor before starting hypoxic training.

In summary, hypoxic training can significantly improve a distance runner's performance by enhancing the body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently. It's a popular method, especially for athletes preparing for long-distance events, but it's crucial to approach it carefully to balance the benefits with the potential risks.


Hypoxic training can positively affect endurance in running by enhancing various factors related to athletic performance. Research has shown that intermittent hypoxic training can improve athletic performance, hemodynamic function, and oxygen transport capacity, leading to increased efficiency of aerobic energy production and enhanced maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max). This can result in improved time until fatigue and increased exercise performance. Additionally, hypoxic training has been linked to enhancements in endurance exercise performance, including increased oxygen transport, invigoration of the parasympathetic nervous system, and improvements in parameters such as VO2max, anaerobic threshold, and maximal exercise intensity. These findings suggest that hypoxic training can be a valuable method for improving endurance in running.

The use of normobaric hypoxia has also been associated with benefits to sports performance, as it can improve haematological parameters and physical capabilities. However, the effectiveness of hypoxia training may depend on various factors such as the specific training protocol, altitude, and exposure times. While hypoxic training has been shown to have positive effects on endurance performance, it is important to consider individual differences and the potential risks associated with hypoxic conditions.