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Question about Altitude Adjustment and Training

 
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smarauder68



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 5365


Location: Salt Lake City

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Question about Altitude Adjustment and Training  Reply with quote

Just moved(7 weeks ago) from Miami at sea level to Salt Lake City at 4500 feet. How long does it take the average person to adjust to the altitude and is there anyway you can speed up the process?  I have found my cycling here to be a lot more challenging than anywhere I've ever been. Part of the problem is allergies as I can't really breathe through my nose at all. I need a Pettachi special... Another huge problem is the thinner air and finally, I'm simply in the worst shape of my life, trying to get  back into shape this summer.

The way Salt Lake slopes is from east to west with the eastern side of the city being at the base of the Wasatch Mountain range and the Western side being at the bottom of the valley down around 4200. I've been mostly going up from my home to the edge of the Wasatch mountain range...I'll typically ride 4 miles up a gradual incline that takes me from 4300 feet to about 5000 feet. I'm guessing the average gradient is about 4 or 5% with some parts up to 7 or 8%. Takes me 45 minutes usually and then I just turn around and go back down the hill to my house. The whole ride takes me about an hour and I'm usually pretty spent.    

Should I be varying my training with flat day, climb day or am I best off always trying to climb and push the envelope?  The biggest problem I face when climbing is my breathing.  My thighs burn but I can almost always fight thru any pain there.  

Any suggestions on how I should approach training would be welcomed.
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berck
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 3768


Location: SF Bay Area

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the things I've read, they say about two weeks for the body to adjust. Which I believe is about the same amount of time for the additional red blood cells take to kick in. I've noticed this with donating blood too. My recovery from donating blood takes two to four weeks before things feel normal.

Additionally, I've read about making sure you drink enough water during work outs while at altitude.
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berck
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: SF Bay Area

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Question about Altitude Adjustment and Training Reply with quote

smarauder68 wrote:

Should I be varying my training with flat day, climb day or am I best off always trying to climb and push the envelope?


Variety is the spice of life Wink. Mix it up. Everything I've read and done suggest if you ride six days a week, only one or two days should push the envelope. Medium intensity and recovery days need to be mixed in. Most days I've been able to train consecutively has been five. I felt great on the fifth only because I didn't try to kill myself on the previous four.


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