Ladies and gentlemen – the Altitude Tent!
In a move commonly known as “the reverse Michael Jackson”, England squad members will spend the build up to the World Cup sleeping in strange tents that have less oxygen in them than normal tents. Unlike Jacko’s oxygen chamber, which was absolutely awash with the stuff. He couldn’t get enough of it.
Anyway, the word from the Daily Mail is that Capello will have his players sleeping in Altitude Tents, in a bid to arm themselves against the dizzying head-rush of South Africa’s notoriously thin air.
According to various bits of literature, these gizmos would set a normal person back about £4,000, and they reduce the existing oxygen in the atmosphere from about 20.9 per cent to 12 per cent. This causes the body to boost the production of red blood cells, which means more oxygen, and often a quicker recovery from injury.
In England’s case, it should also prepare them for playing at altitude – even their training camp is 4,920ft above sea level.
Rather interestingly, a few years ago the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) took a long look at these things, concerned that they might fall into the rather murky waters of blood doping, and should be immediately banned from sports. But no action was ever taken.
The recommended dose is ten hours sleep a night for three/four weeks.
Chance would be a fine thing.