Altitude training Bernina Pass – Ideal training conditions for IAM Cycling
THE ALTITUDE TRAINING: Members of IAM Cycling team have spent the last two weeks living at 2309 meters above sea level at the Albergo Ospizio Bernina at the Bernina Pass. During the days, they were training with team coach Marcello Albasini, using the “Live High, Train High” (LHTH) method. By living at this elevation, the riders have been working to increase the capacity of their bodies to optimize oxygen intake, with a view to increasing performance.
THE ASSESSMENT: “We have been able to put in some very good training days,” Marcello Albasini explained. “The weather has been very good and we were often enjoying 24 ° C and 25 ° C, which is an unusually high temperature. Even on Thursday when we had a little snow in the morning, we were able to complete our final five hour training ride in warm weather.”
THE LOCATION: “The Bernina Pass is a very effective place for us to train,” Albasini continued. “We can find much longer climbs, and the geographical differences between the northern and the southern areas give us multiple opportunities to choose where to train according to where we’ll have the better weather. If the weather in the north is supposed to be a bit fickle, then we can plan our training route in the south, or visa versa.”
THE PROFESSIONAL: Marcel Wyss is one of the riders who was using this opportunity to pile in some altitude training miles. “I have been coming here for years in the summer in order to prepare for the second half of the season. Currently, I am focusing on the Vuelta. This will be the first time that I will be competing in two grand tours in one season,” the 30 year old Wyss, who comes from the Bern area, explained. “The advantage of taking part in altitude training is that you will teach your body to be more efficient in its processing of oxygen, and this way I can be very concentrated and focused on my work. Here at Bernina, I can be more focused on myself, and the distractions are certainly much fewer than what I’d have at home.”