When the Engadin transforms from a winter sports paradise to a dream destination for summer sports, many top athletes use the power of the mountains to improve their performance. Amateurs, too, appreciate the Engadin as an “open-air gym with fountain-of-youth effect”.
Those who set their sights high must head high – to at least 1,800 m above sea level. The lower atmospheric pressure and reduced oxygen levels at this altitude present a challenge to the whole body, with the result that sports enthusiasts can take advantage of a natural performance boost. The dry and stimulating alpine climate of the Upper Engadin, with an exceptionally high number of sunny days every year, ensures that anyone who plans to train in this magnificent high-altitude valley can look forward to perfect training conditions.
The Swiss Olympic Training Base in St. Moritz enjoys an optimal location at an altitude of 1,856 m, where top (inter)national athletes in all kinds of sports prepare for competition. The base’s partner, Klinik Gut in St. Moritz, is recognised as a “Sport Medical Base approved by Swiss Olympic”, so that expert sports medical advice and care are guaranteed.
Whether athletes prefer to “sleep high, train low”, “sleep high, train high” or “sleep low, train high”, all different altitude training variants are available thanks to a choice of mountain hotels such as “Muottas Muragl” (2,456 m), “Diavolezza” (2,978 m) and the many accommodation options in the high valleys.
But take note – responsible planning is fundamental to successful altitude training, as the body needs time to adjust to the new conditions. Whoever pursues the goal of “faster, higher, stronger” should acclimatise gently. Whatever training you undertake, take time to admire the glorious mountain scenery, dip your feet in the refreshing water of the many mountain lakes and simply listen to the magical stillness of the forests.
But once the body has become used to its new environment, visitors are spoilt for choice given the vast range of facilities and activities on offer in the Engadin. Options include targeted preparation for various competitions such as the Engadin Ultraks, Swissalpine Irontrail, St. Moritz Triathlon or the Engadiner Sommerlauf; training along a tremendous variety of running trails, on the Vita Parcours or Helsana fitness trails, or the high-altitude Finnenbahn woodchip trail at 2,500 m; or a full range of sports from rowing, sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing to road cycling, mountain biking, tennis, football, swimming, climbing and various indoor sports. Here, the body can show just what it is capable of!