High altitude training, a viable option on Teide.
Teide National Park is ideal for high altitude training, although it must be remembered that this practice requires a certain level of physical fitness. Great athletes from around the world have travelled here to train in these spectacular natural surroundings.
Sports that continually push human limits are the essence of many of the popular competitions that have been held in the Canaries in recent times, such as races like Tenerife Blue Trail or the Transvulcania in La Palma. However, in order to compete in them athletes must be constantly training in proper conditions for a long time under the supervision of experts.
Sometimes athletes search for new challenges and high altitude training has become a valid option because at high altitudes atmospheric pressure drops and our organism receives 40% less oxygen than at sea level. In this way, in order to compensate for this deficit the body “produces” more red blood cells, which improves performance when the athlete returns to sea level. However, experts warn that training with an oxygen deficit is an extreme situation and they recommend that only very fit athletes should try it because it puts the cardiovascular and nervous systems at risk.
Teide National Park provides the necessary conditions to practice this kind of training since it located at a high altitude and also has facilities nearby for the athletes to rest. Athletes who have trained there say that it is a fascinating experience because the spectacular landscape provides extraordinary tranquillity, especially early in the morning or in late afternoon. Some athletes use Teide National Park’s trail network for their training sessions.
Teide has been chosen by famous athletes such as Jordi Llopart, silver medalist in race walking in the Moscow Olympics, who trained on Teide on various occasions during his career. Recently the cyclists Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali have stayed at the Cañadas del Teide Parador Hotel while preparing for the Tour de France.