Nick Willis Trying Out Altitude Training

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 14, 2010

A trip to America convinced the New Zeeland runner to give thin-air training a shot.

One of New Zeeland’s top middle distance runners, Nick Willis, is doing something he’s never done before: altitude training. According to an article posted on Stuff.Co.Nz, the Olympic silver medalist in the 1500m event has just begun a five-week program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is at 2000 meters above sea level.

“In the past I’ve had success without it, so it was a ‘I don’t need it’ sort of deal. I’m a big believer in having balance in life and it never seemed to be the right time to do it,” Willis said.

While undergoing hip and knee operations in Vail, Colorado, doctors told Willis about the benefits he would receive by training at high elevation. And then physiologists at the U.S. Olympic Training Center told Willis he was going against the grain by not running at altitude.

“They said I was the only athlete in the last two Olympics, in a distance event, to win a medal without training at altitude,” he recalled.

For More: Stuff.Co.Nz

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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