Exclusive FATV feature on the U20s' World Cup altitude preparation in USA.
By Nicholas Veevers
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
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As England U20s continue their preparations for the World Cup in the USA, the squad’s Fitness Coach Craig Boyd has explained the importance of acclimatising to the high altitude at which they will be playing.
England’s first two games in Colombia are being played in Medellin, which stands at 1500 metres above sea level and is a significant difference to what all of the players are used to in at home.
So the group have been in Denver, Colorado at approximately 1600 metres above sea level, since last Friday before they head to Colombia on Monday to put in the final preparations for the opening game against Korea DPR on 29 July.
"It's important to get to the right altitude to where you're going to compete and in Denver it's 1600 metres or a mile high,” Boyd explained to FATV
"Anything below 1600 or 1500 metres and you fail to see the effects or adaptations to the higher altitude as this is probably the lowest of the 'high altitudes' that you're able to gain any benefit from going to.
"You do find that the players can't do as much work at this altitude to start with, purely because their ability to get more oxygen into the blood stream is more limited.
"So it takes a little more time to get up to the speed with which they would normally do at sea level.
"We've been gradually building up the training over the week as the players become more and more acclimatised we will be able to do more work.”
One man who is already feeling the benefits of the preparation is midfielder Jason Lowe
, who added: "I knew it was going to be tough but I didn't know what to expect.
"When we got here, I didn't really feel it at first, but once you start training and you do the warm-ups, you are gasping for air, but we are starting to get used to it now.”Watch the full feature on FATV right now by clicking here or on the icon to the right.