Olympic canoeing medallist Bridgitte Hartley is fine tuning her return to form ahead of the current international World Cup season after a debilitating bout of chicken pox, using the altitude chamber at Prime Human Performance Institute in Durban to help her return to competitive conditioning.
Hartley, who won a bronze medal in the women’s 500m K1 final at the London Olympic Games, had been preparing for the World Cup season that started in Hungary this past weekend, until she fell ill with chicken pox.
Working her way back to racing form, she has been a regular visitor to the Prime HPI at the Moses Mabhida stadium, where she has been doing key functional exercises in the gym, and paddling on a canoeing ergonometer in the simulated altitude training centre.
High altitude training has been shown to significantly improve athletic performance by stimulating physical and physiological adaptations in an athlete. Positive results have been shown for both speed and endurance athletes.
“I have really enjoyed training in the altitude room,” said Hartley, who will miss the first two World Cups of the current season before rejoining the elite international field that has started focusing planning on medals in Rio in 2014.
“I gained some motivation again by coming to train at Prime HPI since getting chicken pox,” she said. “I always look forward to each session,” she added.