Altitude training in St. Moritz

Train like a pro

St. Moritz is an official Swiss Olympic Association training site and has been awarded the "Swiss Olympic Training Base Gold" label. At 1,856 metres above sea level, it is ideal for altitude training. 

Altitude training: top athletes all across the world swear by it. Endurance athletes in particular appreciate St. Moritz's ideal altitude of 1,856 metres above sea level. Up here you'll benefit from the dry, bracing Alpine climate and perfect weather conditions, with an average of 322 sunny days each year. In short, St. Moritz is the perfect place to train.

The sporting facilities are used by the countless professional athletes who head to Engadin to prepare for major competitions, and are also open to recreational athletes and non-Olympic squads from Switzerland and abroad. The cutting-edge training infrastructure is updated on an ongoing basis. Fun fact: the first altitude training facilities in St. Moritz were set up way back in 1967/68 in preparation for the Olympic Games in Mexico, which were held at 2,000 metres a.s.l. 

Infrastructure: from A to Z

Everything you need to make your training a success

Triathlon

The Home of Triathlon club offers individual and group training session with a fantastic set-up, expert advice for professionals and novices, as well as attractive discounts.

Mountaineering and rock climbing

Various rock climbing routes, paradise for mountaineers. Guided tours with qualified mountain guides. Three via ferratas and a ropes course with varying levels of difficulty.

Bobsleigh, luge and skeleton

St. Moritz–Celerina Olympic bob run. World's only natural ice bobsleigh run with additional junior starting line. Plus the legendary Cresta Run for skeleton from St. Moritz to Celerina.

Ice hockey, figure skating, ice skating, curling, Bavarian curling

Artificial ice rink from mid-July until mid-April for ice hockey, ice skating (short track) and figure skating training. Additional natural ice rink in winter. Facilities for curling and Bavarian curling also available.

Football

Top quality Alpine football pitch in neighbouring Celerina.

Health spa

Heilbad St. Moritz medical wellness centre: Unites the latest medical findings with the benefits of traditional spa culture.

Rollerblading

Rollerblading routes throughout the region.

Martial arts

Budo room with around 100 square metres of judo mats at Eisarena Ludains (ice skating arena). Perfect for all kinds of oriental martial arts.

Weight training

Weights rooms with the latest equipment, including a special weights room for professional athletes. Weight training equipment, free weights, spinning bikes, cross-trainers and treadmills.

Cross-country skiing

Around 200 km of permanent cross-country skiing tracks, sections of which have been approved for competitions. Highlight: the section of the Engadin Skimarathon across the frozen lakes of Oberengadin.

Running

Countless running and training routes along the Oberengadin lakes, through forests and on mountain paths. There is a Vita fitness trail that starts in St. Moritz Bad, as well as three measured Helsana trails and the popular 4.5-km circuit round the lake. For the ultimate Alpine experience, there's also a high-altitude natural running track (covered with wood chips) at 2,500 metres above sea level.

Athletics

400-metre athletics track with a RUB TAN surface and a grass running track. Facilities for long jump, high jump and pole vaulting. Javelin, discus and shot put. On request: hammer throw.

Medical care

Gut Training Centre. Performance diagnostics, a wide range of tests, the latest technologies, close collaboration with professional athletes. Cutting-edge medical, orthopaedic and traumatological departments, as well as physiotherapy and medical exercise therapy consultations.

Mountain biking

Large selection of mountain bike trails with varying levels of difficulty. Bike transport available on selected mountain railways. Numerous service and rental shops. Guided tours and detailed maps, also available as GPS routes.

Cycling

The stunning Engadin Alpine valley is over 80 km long and features a comprehensive network of roads and trails with numerous options for round trips and riding over mountain passes. The roads are kept in good condition and there is only a modest amount of traffic on most routes.

Rowing and canoes

On Lake Silvaplaner and Lake St. Moritz. Marked routes with varying lengths.

Shooting

Modern shooting range. 300-metre range for air rifles. 25 m and 50 m for pistols.

Swimming

The new OVAVERVA Pool, Spa & Sports Centre in St. Moritz features a 25-metre pool, fun tower, children's pool, diving pool, in-house spa complex, gym and outdoor sports centre.

Sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing

On Lake Silvaplaner and Lake St. Moritz. Sailing school and club in St. Moritz. Wind and kitesurfing on Lake Silvaplaner.

Alpine skiing

World-famous training and competition site. Numerous approved training and competition ski runs. Venue for the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Ski jumping

The St. Moritz Olympic ski jump is currently being completely rebuilt.

Tennis and squash

Tennis and squash centre: Six tennis courts (four indoors) and two squash courts. Tennis school with experienced coaches, a shop, restaurant and in winter an indoor golf range.

Sports halls for team sports

Limited number of sports halls of various sizes (two in St. Moritz, two in Celerina, three in Samedan).

Basic rules

Tips for altitude training

No matter which endurance sport you're into, altitude training in St. Moritz will improve your performance. Before you get started, here are a few basic rules to keep in mind.

The performance-enhancing effect of altitude training is quite simple. There is less oxygen at high altitudes and the human body adapts accordingly. Firstly, the body activates its respiratory and cardiovascular systems and increases the number of red blood cells. Other cells also alter how they function and produce more energy anaerobically, in other words, without using oxygen from the air. All this is ideal for athletes. Even just spending time in high altitudes has a positive effect. The ideal altitude range is between 1,500 and 2,200 metres above sea level.

Start off slow

The golden rule of altitude training: be very careful when you first start. If you begin training immediately after arriving in the Alps, you'll quickly hit the wall. The body needs time to adjust to the new atmospheric conditions. Being short of breath on the day of your arrival – for instance while carrying your luggage – is the initial effect of the increased altitude and is completely normal. After all, you're likely to have travelled directly to 1,850 metres above sea level.

Give your body time

The human body adapts to the increased altitude in stages. The acclimatisation stage in St. Moritz, which is at around 1,800 metres, usually takes between two and four days. After that time, your sleep will be just as restorative as it is at sea level. Give your body time to get used to the changed conditions. In other words, treat yourself to some peace and quiet and only take part in low-key activities.

Swiss Olympic training base
The first rule of altitude training: start off slowly. At the beginning, make sure you allow yourself enough time to rest.
Drink plenty of water

As the altitude increases, the air becomes colder and drier – the perfect weather conditions for training. When you exercise in St. Moritz, you'll benefit from the bracing, dry Alpine climate. However this dryness, combined with your increased respiratory rate, means your mucus membranes will require more fluid. Your body will use up more minerals and electrolytes, which is why it is important to ensure you drink plenty of water.

Perfect timing

If you have an upcoming competition, you must plan your altitude training carefully to ensure you are competing either immediately within the first two days after leaving the Alps, or alternatively after waiting up to 20 days. The body recalibrates itself between days four to nine. Never take part in a competition during this critical phase. The best time to compete is during the third week after your return from the mountains. We recommend seeking professional advice with regard to your individual training plan.

Running free above St. Moritz - Julia Bleasdale
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Testimonials

What athletes say about St. Moritz

Dario Cologna, cross-country skier

"In St. Moritz we were able to prepare for the World Championships in Oslo on perfectly maintained skiing tracks under sunny blue skies."

Curdin Perl, cross-country skier

Curdin Perl, Skilangläufer

"Nothing beats training in my home town with my team mates. The cross-country skiing tracks in St. Moritz are simply superb."

Toni Livers, cross-country skier

Toni Livers, Skilangläufer

"Everything was just great, from the hotel accommodation to the training on the cross-country skiing tracks. We feel totally prepared."

Remo Fischer, cross-country skier

Remo Fischer, Skilangläufer

"This year we took advantage of the perfect conditions in St. Moritz to prepare for the World Championships, just as we did in the lead up to the Olympic Games."

Jan van Berkel, triathlete

Jan van Berkel, Triathlet

"St. Moritz is unique; it provides a motivational outdoors experience with the physical benefits of altitude training. I make sure to breathe deeply here – so that I don't run out of puff during the Olympic Games."

Philipp Bandi, track and field athlete

Philipp Bandi, Leichtathlet

"I'm particularly fond of the variety of running trails that wind through the forests and lakes. I've been doing my summer training up in Engadin for years and there has never been a dull moment."

Viktor Röthlin, long-distance runner

Viktor Röthlin, Langstreckenläufer

"Engadin is a training paradise. There are athletes everywhere you look. Joggers, cyclists...groups, too. And the clubs that hold their training camps here. It's so easy to exercise and be active in St. Moritz, because everyone else is doing it too."

Jan Fitschen, long-distance runner

Jan Fitschen, Langstreckenläufer

"My greatest sporting achievements wouldn't have been possible without altitude training in Engadin. It has great running trails through spectacular landscapes, the weather is almost always ideal for training and it's at just the right altitude. I also really enjoy talking to the athletes who come to St. Moritz from all over the world. For preparing yourself both physically and mentally, you just can't beat Engadin!"

Enrico De Maria, sailor

Enrico De Maria, Segler

"In St. Moritz, at the top of the world, you'll find everything you need. Good training infrastructure, good accommodation options, stunning natural beauty, a wide range of outdoor activities, a motivated sports office team; there's a constant flow of professional athletes. It's great!"

Maja Neuenschwander, track and field athlete

"For me as a runner it should actually be named “Top of the Running-World”! The Engadine offers all-round perfect conditions to make the next marathon a success. Here, training has something effortless to it."

www.majaneuenschwander.ch

Noemi Zbären, track and field athlete

Noemi Zbären, Leichtathletin

"St. Moritz and the Engadine offer ideal training conditions not only to endurance athletes, but also to sprinters and track and field athletes like me. In an overwhelmingly beautiful scenery and the fresh mountain air, the hard workouts don’t feel that hard anymore."

Nicola Spirig, triathlete

"St. Moritz offers not only a wide range of training opportunities and breath-taking scenery, in which I can optimally prepare for my races. In recent years St. Moritz has become my second home - a brilliant environment for all sports enthusiasts."

www.nicolaspirig.ch