Nine months and counting until I go to Antarctica for my sixth summit. Training is one of the biggest factors in having a successful climb. I am in the gym almost every day for my normal routine to stay healthy and fit, but I have incorporated the use of an Elevation Mask to enhance training and mimic the various altitudes of the mountain…as high as 18,000 ft.
Whether I am on the elliptical, stretching, weight training, or running stairs, this mask helps me to regulate my breathing, increase lung capacity by taking deeper breaths, and use oxygen more efficiently. Proper breathing techniques are vital for any endurance athlete.
For high altitude climbers, pressure breathing is one of the most important techniques used. This, however, requires a lot of work from the muscles of the lungs. It involves inhaling as fully as possible, and then exhaling with force…think of this as blowing out a series of birthday candles.
The Elevation Mask is allowing me to tone and train these muscles now. For the past month, I have been training at the 3,000 ft. level of altitude resistance with the mask, and I am moving up to 6,000 ft. This is proving to be an essential part of my training.