Anti-gravity treadmills, elevated and cool rooms – what looks like a NASA base is a new training center for professional runners – in the middle of the South Palatinate.
The best German runners have been walking around quiet Herxheim near Landau in the Palatinate for several years now. The reason for this: the health center of the director general, Johannes Isinger. Because he’s not only the head of the rehab facility, but he’s also a running enthusiast. That’s why he continues to expand his treatment center for top runners.
Live and train at an altitude of 5,000m
In addition to massagers, rejuvenation tools, and anti-gravity treadmills, high-altitude and cold room room apartments will also open in his new health garden from July. There, endurance athletes can train in eight double rooms and in their own training area at a high-altitude simulated training camp – in the middle of the Palatinate. Managing Director Johannes Isinger has invested a large six-figure sum for the top athletes.
Unique high rise apartments in Germany
The entire living and training area can be adjusted to the desired height level using the air pressure system – a maximum of 5000 metres. Each room can be adjusted to an individual height level. For example, you can run in the training room at an altitude of 2000 meters and then sleep in your room at an altitude of 3000 meters. The entire area is sealed off. Fresh mountain air with a low oxygen content is pumped into the rooms through a piping system and breathing air is taken outside. (In the video, Johannes Isinger guides you through the building and explains the technology.)
For endurance athletes, altitude training is especially important for building more red blood cells. It is no coincidence that long-distance runners from all over the world make pilgrimages to alpine training camps in Kenya, the United States or Switzerland. The raised apartments with attached training facilities are unique in Germany.
115°C for optimum regeneration
There is also a cold room adjacent to the living and training area for senior athletes. At minus 115 degrees Celsius, the regeneration process should be accelerated after intense training sessions there. However, critics complain that there is no scientific evidence yet on the effect of this cryotherapy.
According to Managing Director Johannes Isinger, the cold room is not only a suitable treatment for competitive athletes, but also for rheumatic patients. However, you should not stay in it more than two to four minutes.
An important building block for the German Athletics Federation
Such a facility with short distances for therapists, training centers and rehabilitation procedures is rare – even for the German Athletics Federation (DLV). Professor Rainer Knoller, Head of Science at DLV, sees high rise apartments as a valuable building block for top athletes.
Because in times of Covid it is not always possible to travel to altitude training camps. A mountain house in Germany enables athletes to carry out a training camp automatically and easily. And that’s in a place where it all comes together: training, renewal and mountain air. This saves time and avoids travel fatigue and travel stress. It’s also easy on the wallet, because high-altitude training camp in Herxheim tends to be cheaper than a long trip abroad.
DLV has been using the Herxheim site for auditions, courses, seminars and training camps since 2015. Several Olympic participants have also recovered from injuries at the Johannes Eisinger Rehabilitation Center. The association is happy with the new options in Herxheim.
European champion Alina Reh looks forward to high-rise apartments
First runner Alina Rih is the European Junior Champion over 10,000 metres. So far I only went to Herxheim when I was injured. Now you also want to use the site for training camps. The anti-gravity treadmill allows her to train with less body weight. This allows running at speeds that would not normally be reached.
Alina Reh has never been in a cold room before, and a high-rise apartment is new to her, too. Regarding the Olympics in Paris, she looks forward to the new training camp option: “I live only two hours away and I don’t like being far from long training camps. That’s why I will definitely take advantage of who-she.”
Preparing for the Olympics in the South Palatinate
Step by step, the healthy garden will develop into a base for great runners. With raised apartments, you can save on long boot camp trips. And perhaps the Olympic rookies from Paris will soon train in Herksheim in the South Palatinate.