The answer to the question- whether you should buy yourself an altitude training mask is: Maybe! But, as with a number of things available in sports and science, there is more to the story as there can be several health benefits to exercise in a hypoxic environment. A high altitude training mask is not just the one that you normally can associate with the altitude training.
But first, here is why you must consider investing in the mask, especially if you are a beginner.
It restricts your breathing and affects your workout
Being an endurance athlete your aim to maximize your ability in order to deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Well, the more amount of oxygen you can inhale, the more your muscular work can perform better. So, when you start restricting your breathing using a mask, you may lose the power and can go a little slower. Here, you are really stressing the ability to breathe, instead concentrating on the ability to work.
In order to improve fitness for endurance sports, all you need to do is accumulate enough workload so as to develop a training stimulus and sadly you cannot work as hard when your breathing is restricted.
It strengthens your breathing muscles but doesn’t enhance athletic performance
Well, breathing against the resistance in training using a high altitude training mask does not result in an increased amount of oxygen that you can inhale per minute, especially when you remove the mask. In other words, the strength of your pulmonary muscles and diaphragm are not the limiting factors in your ability to fill up your lungs.
So, when people or beginners report that they are feeling like they can breathe deeper, it is likely due to the breathing deeply or let’s say forcefully has helped your pulmonary muscles to loosen up and increased the mobility of the ribs.
Even the best athletes at altitude don’t prefer to train at high altitude
Athletes who tend to live at an altitude become accustomed to the process of elevation by developing more red blood cells in their body. This means that they can be trained more effective at that particular altitude, but their power somehow declines when they consider going up into the mountains with higher altitude.