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Any altitude gains to be had?

Old 04-30-21, 08:51 AM
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spelger
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Any altitude gains to be had?

I'll be in FL from NV soon and was wondering if the altitude will play in my favor in a noticeable way. Does anyone have experience with this. Miami is ~7 feet while the Reno floor is ~4500 feet. Climbing routinely puts me at ~6500 feet.
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Old 04-30-21, 09:10 AM
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You'll feel a lot spiffier when riding hard than the locals if the barometer goes down to record breaking levels of say 26.00 inHg, while in Florida. But then you might need to think about that super dooper hurricane that must be brewing off shore.

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Old 04-30-21, 09:44 AM
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I'd be more concerned about the effect humidity could have.
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Old 04-30-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'd be more concerned about the effect humidity could have.
true that, yesterday's ride was 88F with 9% humidity. i suppose i should add a zero to the humidity levels in FL.
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Old 04-30-21, 11:01 AM
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I find that the faster I can ride the less humidity or even temperature bothers me. But watch out when you have to stop for any length of time. Riding slow below 10mph can make you heat up quick.

Once that cooling breeze from 16mph, 20mph or faster stops flowing by you'll get hot quick. Even a breezy helmet can hold in a lot of heat to your head when stopped.
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Old 04-30-21, 11:43 AM
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You will no doubt get a boost in strength and endurance from your extra hemoglobin until your body acclimates to Florida. But what you gain may be taken away by the humidity during the hotter months. Hopefully not.

Several years ago I was skiing at Aspen for a week before Xmas where the temp at the top of one lift was -20. Got to Miami the next day where the temp was 85* with similar humidity. Just about fell over getting off the plane.
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Old 04-30-21, 04:37 PM
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When you get there your hematocrit, the percentage of your blood that is red blood cells, should be higher. As you stay thereat will decline in response to the higher partial pressure of oxygen at ~sea level.
Remember the guy (? Merckx) who set an hour record in Mexico City? He trained with lower oxygen concentrations, and slept in a tent with lower oxygen concentrations to increase his hematocrit.
Today they just get a shot of erythropoietic hormone to achieve the same result.
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Old 04-30-21, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
When you get there your hematocrit, the percentage of your blood that is red blood cells, should be higher. As you stay thereat will decline in response to the higher partial pressure of oxygen at ~sea level.
Remember the guy (? Merckx) who set an hour record in Mexico City? He trained with lower oxygen concentrations, and slept in a tent with lower oxygen concentrations to increase his hematocrit.
Today they just get a shot of erythropoietic hormone to achieve the same result.

Is that the Pfizer or Moderna EPO that #WADA approves of for the Hour? How many doses does a guy need to achieve the Florida Effect? Inquiring cyclists want to know.
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Old 04-30-21, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
I'll be in FL from NV soon and was wondering if the altitude will play in my favor in a noticeable way. Does anyone have experience with this. Miami is ~7 feet while the Reno floor is ~4500 feet. Climbing routinely puts me at ~6500 feet.
Iíve lived all my life in Colorado including decades in Denver above 5000 feet. Iíve also spent a lot of time touring all around the US. When I get down to low altitude I feel like a can just put a piece between my cheek and gum and ride for hours. Even on a mountain bike, I often feel like Iím the fastest bicyclist around. Iíve spent at least 6 weeks at below 1000 feet and still felt the beneficial effects of a life at high altitude.

Humidity can be an issue. The water doesnít evaporate at the same rate (if at all) as it does here so you donít get the same cooling effect from air movement as you do here where it is drier. One of the ways that I learned to deal with it was to use a Camelbak and to pack it with as much ice as I could before I ride. The cold seeps from the pack and cools you somewhat. It makes a real difference. Refresh with more ice as needed. I usually got 4 hours out of a 100 oz pack.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
You will no doubt get a boost in strength and endurance from your extra hemoglobin until your body acclimates to Florida.
Yes, Olympic athletes routinely train at altitude for that reason. That's why the US Olympic Training Center is in Colorado Springs rather than Miami.

Several years ago I was skiing at Aspen for a week before Xmas where the temp at the top of one lift was -20. Got to Miami the next day where the temp was 85* with similar humidity. Just about fell over getting off the plane.
Heh. I had a similar experience with the 2019 "polar vortex" event. I had a trip to Cuba planned for early February when the polar vortex hit. Our flight got cancelled because it was too cold for the ground crew to service the plane (high temperature that day was -25įF). The next day we heard that O'Hare might re-open if it got warm enough, so we re-booked on a potential flight, drove four hours to Chicago and left from there on the first flight out after the airport re-opened. Most of the other passengers were flight crew members who had been stranded in Chicago when the airport closed. When we got to Cuba, it was about 80įF.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:24 AM
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I don't think 4500' is that high. If you lived in Tahoe or something, it'd be a bigger difference.

Sea level has thick humid air. It's hard to keep your speed up and it's hard to guage dehydration. Don't expect to be on fire.

As we've seen with various events and even Bronco's home games, the advantage is when the low elevation athlete visits high and struggles. Visiting low just isn't that big of an advantage.

I have personally seen pretty good results in short (under 10k) runs at low elevation. That's a lot less wind resistance though.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I don't think 4500' is that high. If you lived in Tahoe or something, it'd be a bigger difference.

Sea level has thick humid air. It's hard to keep your speed up and it's hard to guage dehydration. Don't expect to be on fire.

As we've seen with various events and even Bronco's home games, the advantage is when the low elevation athlete visits high and struggles. Visiting low just isn't that big of an advantage.

I have personally seen pretty good results in short (under 10k) runs at low elevation. That's a lot less wind resistance though.
As someone who lives not that far above 4500 feet, I disagree. Football probably isnít the best example for seeing altitude gains. Itís not really a aerobic sport.
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Old 05-01-21, 01:26 PM
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A red blood cell lasts about 90 days, so at six weeks you should still have about half of the higher altitude ones. I don't know how long at lower altitude for your bone marrow to slow production. EPO was launched in the US by Johnson and Johnson, IIRC.
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Old 05-20-21, 07:19 AM
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back from FL. i found riding to be really easy. it was quite windy everywhere i went but i never felt tired. i was always tight on time (i was there helping my daughter settle in for a summer internship) so my rides were as long as they are here in reno but never winded at the end. humidity was certainly higher but not at all bothersome. except for when i would occasionally look down and the sweat would literally pour out of my helmet with bandana underneath. thought i needed windshield wipers for my glasses.

it was a fun three days. i actually got a KOM while out there. so flat:


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Old 05-20-21, 09:00 AM
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Typically:

When sea level riders race at altitude, they get clobbered by the live-at-altitude riders.

When the altitude riders race at sea level, they get clobbered by the live-at-sea-level riders.

So while you may feel more spiffy when moving down to sea level, you probably won't be as fast as the sea level riders who have trained putting out massive power in that sea level air.
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Old 05-20-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Typically:

When sea level riders race at altitude, they get clobbered by the live-at-altitude riders.

When the altitude riders race at altitude, they get clobbered by the live-at-sea-level riders.
Something is up with your logic. In both scenarios, the racing is at altitude, yet in one scenario the sea-level-riders do the clobbering, and in the other scenario the live-at-altitude do the clobbering. Both can't be true. And since I tend to believe scenario 1, I'm guessing in the 2nd scenario you meant to say "When the altitude riders race at sea-level,..."

Sounds like you're saying the home team always has the advantage?
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Old 05-20-21, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Something is up with your logic. In both scenarios, the racing is at altitude, yet in one scenario the sea-level-riders do the clobbering, and in the other scenario the live-at-altitude do the clobbering. Both can't be true. And since I tend to believe scenario 1, I'm guessing in the 2nd scenario you meant to say "When the altitude riders race at sea-level,..."
Yes, sorry about that. My typing mistake. The low elevation riders struggle to compete at altitude, and the high altitude riders struggle to complete at low elevation.

Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Sounds like you're saying the home team always has the advantage?
That's a good way to put it, yes.
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Old 05-20-21, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i actually got a KOM while out there. so flat:
I think a KOM in Florida means King of the Molehill.
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Old 05-20-21, 06:22 PM
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The heat and humidity are tough in Florida. If you take saunas and heat condition yourself before, you could do great.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:35 PM
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I spent a few years living at ~7Kí. When I would go back to lower elevations (like back to the east coast and ride my old stomping grounds) I did not find it was really helping me in any meaningful way.

On the other hand, the difference if made when riding at 10Kí compared to when I lived at 2Kí was significant.
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