07-06-09, 12:48 PM
Does anyone have any experience training at low altitude (ie: Dallas) and competing at higher altitude (ie: Boulder, CO). That's what I'm about to do for the Boulder 5430 Half IM. I'm in great shape for Dallas, I'm just worried about how the altitude is going to affect me. I snowboard 3 times a year in Vail so I know it's going have an affect (although Boulder is about 3000 feet lower than Vail).....just would like to hear by how much from someone that has experience it.
07-06-09, 09:11 PM
When I was in college I did the opposite. I would train at sea level in Louisiana during the fall and during the winter I would go back to Mexico City for the winter and train there at 7000+ feet. I can tell you that I would take me about 5 days to get used to the thin air. My main feeling was a little bit light headed and the sensation of not being to pull enough air when breathing so I had to ease into into and after one week I was acclimated and able to continue my regular training.
When I would come back for the Spring baseball season I could tell that high altitude training was very beneficial. I had greater lounge capacity.
My point here is to show you that at least for me it took me few days to be able to train at the same intensity that I was used to. How many days will you be in CO before the tri? I do not know that is there anything that can be done to expedite getting acclimated to the higher altitude.
Let us know how your tri went and your experience.
07-07-09, 10:55 AM
I've done some MTB'ing in Colorado (I live in Chicago) and it was pretty rough on me from a breathing point of view. I also found that I got dehydrated much faster up there.
If possible, give yourself at least 48 hours to acclimate. Last time I was out there I didn't ride the first day and it was a little better.
07-07-09, 11:04 AM
I moved from the midwest to Denver last fall, and it was pretty rough, and I was in fair shape (I'd been training for a half marathon up until about a month before I moved). Going up a flight of stairs would wind me a little bit... Take it easy, and pay attention to your body. Expect that you won't do "as well" and you won't be disappointed.
But most of all- HAVE FUN! And wave to all the people in the purple "team in training" race singlets for me. They're my team!
07-19-09, 11:22 AM
well, here folks are inventing bicycle, but the sports science found their answers couple dozens years ago. And since that nobody was able to invent something else. so, the findings are:
- the worst days for high altitude acclimatization are from 7th to 9th. So, don't try to arrive one week before competition "to get used to altitude"
- your feeling will be getting worse from day 1 to day 9. So, wait 48 hours it's not an option - 48 hours later you will feel yourself worse than just after arrival. Actually, there are only two ways to compete on high altitudes. First one, the best one, - after 14 days, after acclimatization is done, and second - immediatly after arrival (as close as possible).
As for competing, especially if you will not have 2weeks or acclimatization, don't accelerate too hard (especially on uphills). Once you will get above lactate treshold it will be very difficult o come back - recovery on high altitudes takes a way longer time. So, it depends on your race habits - if you used to push hard on uphills and then recovering on downhills, it maybe will not work there. And it's better to choose stable pace.
Also when I was competing on altitudes 9-10 K feet, I had not only problems with breathing and recovering, but lighhead and sence of slow motion replay - all my movements were vey slow and prolonged. Actually, at that altitude I wasn't able to compete at all - after one uphill the puls went extremely up and never went down, although I barely move and breathe slow for the rest of the race. Well, 9-10 K it's not 5000, but up to that point I was living at 4500 for half of the year, and it didn't really help. So, be prepared to that, but also every case is different, some people are naturally very good in hig altitude adaptation. (for example, people with naturally high (so, not only they, ut all their relatives, who maybe don't do sports at all will have very-very high levels)hemoglobin and hematocrit level). Also, it depends on your weight - in the mountains every additional pound of meat requires additional amount of scarsed oxygen. For me it was tough, because I'm in Clydesdale division (although my height is 6'6", so I'm not really fat. Actually, after long time training at altitude my weight even went down under 200 lbs (like 195 lbs) for a little bit, but it's not a big help if you are going to compete with 100-120lbs small guys).
Well, I hope it's not late yet - there are three weeks before the race in Boulder. So, if you want to go through acclimatization, you'll need to leave in a week or even now. :-) Good luck in Boulder and follow your feelings.
07-20-09, 06:02 AM
I live/train in Minneapolis at about 900ft and in 2005 I drove out to Boulder for the Mt Evans Hill Climb and the Boulder Peak Triathlon. I started taking Ginkgo Biloba about two weeks before the trip. I also waited to drive out on Friday (the hill climb was Saturday and the triathlon was Sunday). My fitness level was not where I wanted it to be but it wasn't too bad and I didnt really have too many problems in the events. The biggest thing I noticed was that I got a little dizzy during the hill climb on each switchback (slight increase in steepness and effort) above about 12,000 feet.
Back in the 80's and 90's, I used to travel to Colorado Springs about once a year (we had offices and a plant there) and I used to bring my bike occasionally. I noticed that the fitter I was, the less I seemed affected by the altitude change.