Practice breath holds to simulate high-altitude training


  1. This exercise is only recommended for those in excellent health and physical condition with a BOLT score greater than 30 seconds. 
  2. Practice on an empty stomach, at least 3 hours after eating.
  3. Use a high-quality pulse oximeter while performing this exercise to ensure your oxygen saturation reduces below 94% but does not go below 80%.
  4. Begin to walk around. Then exhale gently and hold your breath for 40-60 paces, or until you feel a medium to strong air shortage.
  5. Take a small ‘sip’ of air in and out through your nose—about 10% of a normal breath. 
  6. Hold your breath again for 5-10 paces.
  7. Repeat steps 5-7 for 1-2 minutes. 
  8. Relax into the breath hold as much as you can. The aim is to challenge but not stress yourself. 
    Your diaphragm may contract repeatedly as you continue. 
  9. Monitor your oxygen saturation to be sure it does not drop below 80% at any point.
  10. If the air shortage becomes too great, take a slightly larger breath and continue to relax, or stop the exercise entirely. 
    Always listen to your body.


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