Monday, August 11, 2008

Altitude Tent - is it Ethical?

This past week Cody A. called me on the my phone. He was really excited about buying an altitude tent. If you are not familar with altitude tents, it is a way to similute living at 10,000 feet. Basically, each night you crawl into this tent that limits the amount of available oxygen.

The thought process being that if you limit the oxygen, the body will adjust. It has been well documented that runners living at high altitude preform better.

However, Cody's delimia was not in the use of it but whether it was ethical.

I hadn't given it much thought up to this point in my life. It was not something that I was looking to try and they are still quite pricing for the average person. However, Cody's Ethics question did start me thinking.

I wrestled with the question for the better part of a week and then posed the question to the guys that I was running with on Sunday.

I am not going to go into all of the pro and cons of using an altitude tent. This would be a rather lengthy discussion and could only be done by exploring each of the pros and cons in detail.

But rather, I am going to briefly summarize my thoughts on this topic.

At this point and time, there are no known health issue of using an altitude tent. It has not been banded by any agency policing sports athletes at least to my knowledge.

Therefore, I have no issue with seeing someone use one. In fact to my knowledge, I see very little difference between using an altitude tent and actually living at altitude.

In my opinion, if you can afford it and want to try, I think you should go for it.

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