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Bored@work

Racing at altitude - Any tips.

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Be prepared to suffer...

 

I once did the Inca Trail (first time) at altitude. I suffered for the first two days with sickness. Don't know how I'd fair doing an IM at it. Fair play mate

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Skied at snow mass in jan and was staying at 8000'. Most days also ran on the treadmill as well and found I was going around 20 secs/km slower for the same RPE. It also took a couple of days just to stop feeling sluggish as well - had the morning headache for a week. As rebel said be prepared to suffer particularly if you don't have much time to acclimatise.

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You might wanna give yourself a little more lead in time than you did at Cairns. :)

Probably more recovery time too.

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You might wanna give yourself a little more lead in time than you did at Cairns. :)

Probably more recovery time too.

 

 

Yep 10 days before the race & then leave for Miami on the Tuesday after the race. It's going to be a breeze compared to Cairns.

Edited by Bored@work

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Not sure how much of your 10 days you will be spending at altitude prior to the race, but a week should be quite adequate for acclimatisataion.

 

Lake Tahoe isn't that high. Nearly all the bike course is below 1900 metres (6300') with the climb up to 2200 m (just under the height of Mt Kosci).

 

The run is mostly around 1900, with little altitude differential (60 m) over the entire course. Again, nothing major.

 

Some people respond better than others to altitude, but at that elevation I wouldn't be at all concerned about it. Just do your usual taper sessions in the final week and there will be some adaptation there. Come race day, you'll probably be too focused on your race to even think about it.

 

I've raced at comparable altitudes numerous times, including Tahoe/Squaw valley on three occasions, once coming up from San Fran on the day prior. I have never had a problem.

Edited by Paul Every

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Come race day, you'll probably be too focused on your race to even think about it.

 

 

Focused on his meat pie and frozen coke maybe. Actually will you be able to get a decent meat pie??

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I didn't realise that the altitude is only modest. No higher than a good session in the Australian alps. Your first run will be horrible, but after about 3 days acclimatising you should be fine.

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Not sure how much of your 10 days you will be spending at altitude prior to the race, but a week should be quite adequate for acclimatisataion.

 

Lake Tahoe isn't that high. Nearly all the bike course is below 1900 metres (6300') with the climb up to 2200 m (just under the height of Mt Kosci).

 

The run is mostly around 1900, with little altitude differential (60 m) over the entire course. Again, nothing major.

 

Some people respond better than others to altitude, but at that elevation I wouldn't be at all concerned about it. Just do your usual taper sessions in the final week and there will be some adaptation there. Come race day, you'll probably be too focused on your race to even think about it.

 

I've raced at comparable altitudes numerous times, including Tahoe/Squaw valley on three occasions, once coming up from San Fran on the day prior. I have never had a problem.

 

 

 

Thanks heaps :)

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You might wanna give yourself a little more lead in time than you did at Cairns. :)

Probably more recovery time too.

 

 

You seriously need to give your little jabs a break at boredatwork.

 

You have made your point about 10 times now. I think that's enough.

 

 

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Currently training at Lake Tahoe, and have done a fair bit on the bike course, as well as a lot of swim sets both pool and open water. This will be a tough race. Have been here for almost 5 weeks (one more week to go), and still find the swim efforts taxing aerobically. Week one it was difficult to maintain bilateral breathing for 200 metres, now can settle into a sustained bilateral rhythm but at a reduced effort level. Three of the guys I have here with me have all adapted slightly differently, but all have felt the altitude effect most in the water. Bike is the least affected, but you will still notice your breathing being quicker on any inclines, especially the back climb on Brockway on the IM course which tops out at 7200 feet and is done on two occasions on race day. Running feels a little more difficult at speed, but if you stick to heart rate it is OK and your breathing feels in control after the first 4-5 days. In short, suggest getting here ASAP before the race, taking it out easy in the swim and reverting to single side breathing if necessary, respecting the Brockway climb on the bike course so that you get to the run in decent shape. Put your time goals aside and listen to how YOUR body feels at 2000m. Definitely plan on additional fluid intake, as the dehydration rate is magnified at this height. There is no doubt this is a beautiful place, however IM Lake Tahoe will not be a fast course for the average age grouper. If you want any specifics on the course let me know, will be riding a loop tomorrow, and here for another week after that. Oh, be prepared for cold water, currently about 13 degrees in the lake but slowly warming from the 11 we experienced on our first swim there on arrival (accustomed to winter ocean temps of about 16 at Coffs Harbour).

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A couple of articles that could help you out

 

Expected drop in aerobic performance based on altitude

http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2010/09/altitude-and-aerobic-performance.html

 

Q&A at racing at altitude and acclimatisation

http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2012/06/questions-about-altitude-answer-it-hurts.html

 

Joe talked briefing on IMTalk this week about switching from his winter (Phoenix) to summer (Boulder) home and he says it usually takes him 3-4 weeks to acclimatise and usually has up to 8-10% drop in performance (power).

 

The figures are really showing that you should expect limited acclimatisation unless you're there weeks before the race. As such, you will also need to adjust your target sea level ftp/power numbers (if your using power) and also goal times (as per above) to account for this.

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I see all those altitude tents and masks on the market and then I see this Interesting comment by Joe. (from second link from Waza.)

 

A few hours working out at altitude would be of little or no value and might even be detrimental to performance

 

And I guess this isnt something that BoredATwork wants to read.

 

Short of living at high altitude (or simulated high altitude) for four weeks, there is nothing physiologically the athlete can do to prepare for altitude—other than to get in the best aerobic condition possible. The higher the athlete’s VO2max is, the better his/her performance at high altitude.
Edited by Peter

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I haven't had a look at the recommended altitude tents/masks training protocols but I am guessing they would would extend over a couple of weeks to get the adaptations.

 

I guess what Joe is pointing out unfortunately, is that you can't get up to altitude a couple of days or even a week prior to race day, do a couple of 'acclimatisation' sessions and expect to be acclimatised (as you might do for Kona?). Your performance is going to be down and you also going to at a disadvantage to other athletes that live/train up there.

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