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Old 08-08-17, 04:29 PM   #1
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Need ideas to improve at high altitude

Can't seem to improve much on my daily rides. Ride starts a 8,800 and once I climb to around 9,500 I just can't go any more. Legs OK - guess I'd call it a lung-out. Stop and rest climb 50 feet and stop again. Is there anything I can do to improve.
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Old 08-08-17, 06:55 PM   #2
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Well it's hard to say. That's 700 feet altitude difference, are there ups and downs along the way? What happens if you drive your bike to the 9,500 foot level and start riding there?
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Old 08-08-17, 07:00 PM   #3
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Slumgullion repeats? Have you been there long enough to acclimate? Do you ride hills in Florida? Intervals?
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Old 08-08-17, 07:26 PM   #4
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Smaller gears, go slower, go steady, keep it up. Don't blow up. Maintain a steady pace. Small advantage in exhaling explosively though slightly pursed lips. Vitamin B12. 100mg CoQ10. Adequate iron intake. Have blood levels checked. Or 18mg chelated iron 3 X week. Or this stuff: Mountain Might, Altitude Training, High Altitude Training or its components.
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Old 08-08-17, 08:04 PM   #5
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Well it's hard to say. That's 700 feet altitude difference, are there ups and downs along the way? What happens if you drive your bike to the 9,500 foot level and start riding there?
Pretty much up all the way but it does start getting steeper when I get in trouble. Drive up and try - good idea. Takes me about 35 minutes and 3.5 miles of climbing to reach area where my problems begin. Will see if I can't get DW to take me up one day next week. Is it really altitude - good way to find out.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:43 AM   #6
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Slumgullion repeats? Have you been there long enough to acclimate? Do you ride hills in Florida? Intervals?
OK I'll bite Slumgullion repeats? Been here three months and maybe 50 feet max elevation riding around Lake Okeechobee. It is flat.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:49 AM   #7
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Smaller gears, go slower, go steady, keep it up. Don't blow up. Maintain a steady pace. Small advantage in exhaling explosively though slightly pursed lips. Vitamin B12. 100mg CoQ10. Adequate iron intake. Have blood levels checked. Or 18mg chelated iron 3 X week. Or this stuff: XXURLXX Mountain Might, Altitude Training, High Altitude Training or its components.
Definitely agree with looking into iron levels. Think oxygen carrying! Adequate water intake is important as well.

Supplements to consider:

-Ginko (may increase blood circulation to the brain)
-Vitamin C (antioxidant - shown to help rats in high altitudes. Although rats =/= humans)
-CoQ10 (both an antioxidant and can help support the heart)
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Old 08-09-17, 08:54 AM   #8
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Smaller gears, go slower, go steady, keep it up. Don't blow up. Maintain a steady pace. Small advantage in exhaling explosively though slightly pursed lips. Vitamin B12. 100mg CoQ10. Adequate iron intake. Have blood levels checked. Or 18mg chelated iron 3 X week. Or this stuff: Mountain Might, Altitude Training, High Altitude Training or its components.
Good summary of things to do - thanks. Bought new lighter bike to get lower gears and that helped a little. Just found out on Strava I may be going the wrong way on the loop. Everybody completing the ride is going clockwise - no one has finished it counterclock which is what I have been doing. I've got another month to work on it.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:56 AM   #9
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Definitely agree with looking into iron levels. Think oxygen carrying! Adequate water intake is important as well.

Supplements to consider:

-Ginko (may increase blood circulation to the brain)
-Vitamin C (antioxidant - shown to help rats in high altitudes. Although rats =/= humans)
-CoQ10 (both an antioxidant and can help support the heart)
- https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0624120556.htm

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Old 08-09-17, 09:19 AM   #10
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OK I'll bite Slumgullion repeats? Been here three months and maybe 50 feet max elevation riding around Lake Okeechobee. It is flat.
Hmm, that is long enough to acclimate. I wonder if you are just not used to riding hills. I agree smaller gears, higher cadence, and expect that hills are hard.

Slumgullion is the pass on the way to Lake City. It's hard. It would be a good place to do intervals, I think - although it might be too far away. Honestly i just said that b/c I'm going to be in that area in few weeks and I'm really psyched about riding Slumgullion pass - but it wasn't a very helpful comment on my part, so sorry about that.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:43 AM   #11
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That is interesting. I have seen a wide variance in response to altitude. I think that says there's a chance that beet juice (nitrate) might also help some more than others. Worth a try for the OP.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:44 AM   #12
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That is interesting. I have seen a wide variance in response to altitude. I think that says there's a chance that beet juice (nitrate) might also help some more than others. Worth a try for the OP.
I've read about the beet juice as well.
I tried it a couple times on my usual ride, but can't say I noticed any difference.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:54 AM   #13
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I've read about the beet juice as well.
I tried it a couple times on my usual ride, but can't say I noticed any difference.
While studies show there's a statistical improvement with nitrate, there are bound to be individual variations. Plus it's probably hard to suss out an athletic effect, while the blood pressure effect is apparently easily seen.
https://examine.com/supplements/nitrate/
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Old 08-09-17, 01:52 PM   #14
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I love how Coloradans are always aware of the altitude they are at.
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Old 08-09-17, 03:46 PM   #15
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Hmm, that is long enough to acclimate. I wonder if you are just not used to riding hills. I agree smaller gears, higher cadence, and expect that hills are hard.

Slumgullion is the pass on the way to Lake City. It's hard. It would be a good place to do intervals, I think - although it might be too far away. Honestly i just said that b/c I'm going to be in that area in few weeks and I'm really psyched about riding Slumgullion pass - but it wasn't a very helpful comment on my part, so sorry about that.
Looked at it on map and unless 149 has wider shoulders there than it does here - no way. Left my road bike in TX due to no safe place to ride around Creede. If time permits stop in Creede and try Bachelor Loop. I can ride hills OK like in TX hill country - but totally different around here. Thin air and steeped grades!
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Old 08-10-17, 02:24 PM   #16
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Definitely an interesting option. Someone mentioned beet juice down the line. Other "pump" supplements my have some value here as well.
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Old 08-10-17, 02:38 PM   #17
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Definitely an interesting option. Someone mentioned beet juice down the line. Other "pump" supplements my have some value here as well.
I have a friend who lives on the South side of the Denver metro area, and used to be a hardcore cyclist. Some years back, some of his friends were contacted by a film crew who wanted to get some footage of cyclists riding Deer Creek Canyon. It was only after they did the ride with the film crew, that they learned the footage was used used for a news story on the use of Sildenafil to improve athletic performance at altitude.
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Old 08-10-17, 03:47 PM   #18
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Will be trying some of the ideas mentioned. One of mine is attempt to increase air flow with products like Breath Right and Turbine. Will try each for a week or two and look for changes. Supplements will be low on list. Thanks for all the input. No easy answer for sure. If all else fails "RIDE"
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Old 08-11-17, 03:11 PM   #19
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Two more tools for my altitude training:
1. Belly breathing - something I never thought about but can do. Just never occurred to me that it would help in thin air.
2. Bought a battery powered oxygen meter - same kind Doc uses - just clips on finger and displays % of oxygen in blood and pulse in a few seconds. Under $15. Should help prove my problem is oxygen deficiency or not.
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Old 08-13-17, 09:10 AM   #20
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Can't seem to improve much on my daily rides. Ride starts a 8,800 and once I climb to around 9,500 I just can't go any more. Legs OK - guess I'd call it a lung-out. Stop and rest climb 50 feet and stop again. Is there anything I can do to improve.
Move to a higher elevation so you grow more red blood cells naturally, but train lower so your workouts are more effective.

Climb slower at higher elevations, perhaps using lower gears so you can do that at a comfortable cadence.

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Old 08-13-17, 10:41 AM   #21
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Will be trying some of the ideas mentioned. One of mine is attempt to increase air flow with products like Breath Right and Turbine.
Studies show The Turbine breathing aid doesn’t improve performance
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Old 08-13-17, 12:53 PM   #22
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Already concluded that on my own. Really useless especially with runny nose. Tried Breathe Right today and seemed to help with air flow. Next - will carry oxy meter and measure at top of climb with and without commercial breathing aids.
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Old 08-16-17, 07:42 PM   #23
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Already concluded that on my own. Really useless especially with runny nose. Tried Breathe Right today and seemed to help with air flow. Next - will carry oxy meter and measure at top of climb with and without commercial breathing aids.
I've experimented with a pulse oximeter. IIRC the kidneys start to put out EPO when you get below 97%. I'm not strong enough to get below that at sea level, no matter what I do, but at 10,000' I can get below that just doing pushups. To really get acclimated, you need to drop it down there, recover, repeat. That's a common tactic of high altitude mountaineers, though I don't think they bother with the oximeter. Again IIRC, it takes about 6 weeks to get fully mature RBCs. Adequate iron and B12 help.
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Old 08-16-17, 08:22 PM   #24
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I can't say much for elevation as a century ride is between 1500-1800' of climbing for me. However, consistently eating sweet potatoes, not yams there is a slight difference, and basil in food helps. I forget exactly what is specifically helping in each case, but, it works for me.
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Old 08-16-17, 08:57 PM   #25
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Breathe Right is silly. Fer goddsake, breathe through your mouth! Wide open on the inhale, tongue on the floor, neck consciously straightened. Belly breathe, exhale explosively, slightly pinching the mouth to make a whooosh. Move air, the more the better. Around here, going from sea level to 14,000 in 2 days, one figures it out.

How to breathe: https://www.rmiguides.com/blog/2014/...or_performance
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