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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Wednesday, 30 March 2011 17:30 UK

Preston's Helen Clitheroe reveals oxygen tent boost

Helen Clitheroe
Clitheroe also won bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester

Preston athlete Helen Clitheroe says she is benefiting from sleeping in an oxygen tent in an attempt to boost her hopes of winning gold at future events.

Clitheroe, 37, who won the 3,000m title at the European Indoor Championships in Paris, uses the tent in order to recreate altitude conditions.

"I sometimes think 'what am I doing?'" she told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"But I found altitude training has been really positive so I'll be sleeping in the tent to help me further."

She added: "You build it over the bed and put the mattress in the tent. It looks like a dome with a tube that goes in attached to a generator which isn't quiet.

"You then need earplugs although you can hear the air blowing in and it's like someone's heavy breathing. You gradually turn it up so at the moment I'm sleeping at an equivalent of around 2,800m.

We just need to see how this year goes with a view to what I'm going to try and do in the Olympics if I can make the team

Preston athlete Helen Clitheroe

Clitheroe hopes to represent Great Britain in the 5,000m at the World Championships in South Korea in August, while the 10,000m is another event under consideration to boost her chances of running at next year's London Olympics.

"I think I've got a better chance of making the team and running well at longer distances so that's why we've made this decision," she said.

"Me and my husband [Neil] took advice from John [Nuttall - former coach] to work out what was the best plan of action to make the Olympic team.

"I've changed the focus of my training because I want to run five and 10k races, so all the training I've done this winter, regardless of whether I was going to do the indoor circuit, was targeting longer distances.

"We just need to see how this year goes with a view to what I'm going to try and do in the Olympics if I can make the team."