Highlights from Are you ready for Leadville?
Basic effects of altitude:
Disturbed sleep, increased ventilation, decrease blood O2 saturation, and various performance effects (such as drop in VO2max)
Acclimatization and Strategies
Increased ventilation, circulatory changes, blood changes
Acute Mountain Sickness
- Dependent upon the rate of ascent, level of exertion, altitude attained, length of exposure, and inherent susceptibility.
- Onset 12-48hrs but symptoms can persist.
Strategies for Success
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid alcohol
- Small frequent high-carbohydrate meals
- Acetazolamide, Vit. C, Antioxidants
- Anticipate issues (nausea, poor appetite, etc.)
- Adjust your expectations (run/ride by feel)
When should I arrive?
- Ideally, 1-2 weeks before the event
- OR, consider <24hr before the event
- Training camp weekend
- Do another race (series) before
- Hiking or training trip at altitude
- Ideally, you focus on nailing your training at home (or low level) before compromising it for altitude
- Live high/train low (4-6weeks, 5-6 nights/week)
- Intermittent hypoxic training
- Rental altitude tents, training centers
- Creates a “cross-tolerance” effect from heat stress
- Inc. Plasma volume
- Inc. red blood cell (RBC) production
- Can utilize the summer temps. by including some workouts in the heat of the day
Performance at Altitude
- Slowing/decrement in performance
- Constraints at upper limits of alt.
- Nutritional errors can be magnified
- There is no substitute for fitness!
- Train for the event, not the altitude
Altitude: It is what it is
- Be diligent about preparation but don’t obsess
- Don’t let the course rule you - you chose it!
- Dial in your nutrition now
- When in doubt, train!
Q: How long does/do the benefits of altitude persist?
They should last about 3-4mo. Beyond then, you should see it start to wear off.