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PROTRACK » International Results & News » UK Middle Distance Athletes Sleep in Oxygen Tents

UK Middle Distance Athletes Sleep in Oxygen Tents

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Olympic Brits living in oxygen tents reveals Jenny Meadows

By Alex Spink, Athletics Correspondent
UK Daily Mirror

Jenny Meadows has revealed that many of Britain's top athletes are spending half their lives in oxygen tents in preparation for the London Olympics.

Meadows, the World 800m bronze medallist, is one of 16 middle and long distance runners using the aid for 12 hours a day - and takes it everywhere she goes.

"I'm in the spare room sleeping at 3,000m altitude while Trevor, my husband and coach, is in another room," she laughed.

"He did try it but he said it made him feel a bit breathless. That's his excuse anyway. He doesn't really have a wife at the moment but that's dedication for you."

Meadows says she considered going abroad to train at altitude but opted to 'sleep high, train low' as she gets to stay in her own bed.

"It's like a tent that fits over a double bed," explained the 'pocket rocket', who won her opening 800m of the year at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai on Sunday.

"I make sure I sleep 9-10 hours and then in the middle of the afternoon I get another couple so I spend 12 hours a day in all in there.

"When I then go for a training session I really feel I can breathe so much easier as I have a lot more oxygen that I can use in my body.

"I'm running the same pace with a greater economy - or I can run a lot faster with the same effort."

The initiative has been driven by UK Athletics after seeing the benefits Mo Farah (below) and Chris Thompson gained from them at last year's European Championships.

Meadows added: "If somebody had said to me five years ago that I'd be sleeping alone in a tent every night I'd never have believed it.

"But we're always looking for a competitive edge and, actually, I feel this is just keeping up with technology and doing what everyone else is doing in the sport."

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