MD Phan wrote:
Your argument is essentially the more EPO the more one needs for the EPO to be effective. Wrong wrong wrong.
If the only effect of altitude training were to increase endogenous EPO production, then my argument would be this simple. As evidence that it's not that simple, I'll reference Renato Canova's numerous posts stating that his brand of high/high training tends to reduce hematocrit, an effect which he attributes to large increases in blood volume. The thesis I'm putting forward in this thread is that in athletes where this happens (plasma volume increases to the point that it actually lowers hematocrit), such athletes should stand to gain more from exogenous EPO than others where this plasma increase hasn't occurred. Note that this is the opposite of Renato Canova's reasoning as he uses the same data to argue that EPO does not help athletes like his. On this point I simply disagree with him.
Early on in this thread SouthernFriedRealist and 800 dude pointed out that training in high heat and humidity is a cleaner example of the effect I'm hypothesising because it elicits the increase in blood plasma without increasing endogenous EPO production. The example of high/high training remains interesting, however, because of how popular high/high training currently is with the world's best distance runners.