Elite Trainer, Andy Vincent, has watched keenly as London’s fittest influencers have pitted themselves against Soho’s chamber. Follow his advice and post a winning score in peak time.
Preparation Is Key
As with any training session, good nutrition in the hours prior is important. However, if you are not used to training at altitude then its a little tricky to know how your body will respond.
A common issue has been the feeling of sickness. So I would suggest giving yourself a good 2-3 hours after eating before trying it, or if it’s in the morning you might be better off completing the challenge fasted.
Drink some water 30mins prior to training and then just sip fluids leading up to the challenge and during. You’ll be more concerned about drinking down oxygen than water once you’ve started.
Plan Your Splits
On paper it probably doesn’t look that hard: 800ft Versa climber, 1.5k Watt bike, 50m push on Skillmill & 1k on Woodway. But the simplicity of the challenge has been catching a lot of people out. Managing recovery in a chamber set to 3000m is what’s causing the issue.
If you’re a seasoned cardiohead and know your split times on these pieces of kit in a normal gym setting then be mindful that the transition from each piece of kit will be harder at altitude and alter your splits according. Cut yourself some slack and you’ll go faster in the long run.
Pace And Identify Your Weakness
For most people their weakness seems to be the Versa climber or Woodway. If you find it hard normally, just wait until you’re in the chamber and the oxygen that usually fuels your muscles is restricted to a painfully slow drip feed.I recommend taking the Versa climber a little easy for the first 200ft, up it for the middle 400ft, and then make a judgement call your on pace for the final 200ft.
I’d suggest using the bike as the best place for active recovery. It’s the least taxing piece of kit, which allows you to maintain a decent pace (don’t slack off entirely) while still allowing yourself to feel remotely human again before the brutal Skillmill push.
Shake Out Lactic Acid
Training at altitude will make it a lot harder to get oxygen in to help flush out the lactic acid, which makes your muscles fatigue and seize up. Use the first 30 seconds on the bike and treadmill to manage your legs. If you go to hard too soon and then hit the proverbial wall, its game over for posting a good time.
Manage Your Breathing
I’ve mentioned it already, but the lack of oxygen can catch you out. The treadmill is where everyone starts to really notice difficulties breathing. Your legs are burning after the Skill Mill and you’re trying to get enough air in to recover but you can’t. Which can cause you to panic and resort to rapid, shallow breathing. Try to stay calm on all pieces of kit and be mindful of how you are breathing. The slower and deeper the better.
Master The Skill Mill
It’s only 50m but if you have not used the kit before be warned, it’s nasty. Avoid a sprint finish on the bike and climb on with energy in the tank. Jelly legs will not only struggle to get the Skill Mill moving, but if you have to stop then the kit will reset your distance to zero! No matter what – Keep moving!