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I have registered for, bought my plane tickets and made my hotel reservations for a marathon in Colorado. My only concern is the race starts at an altitude of 7300' and then gradually drops to around 6000.

Now, being a runner from Atlanta, what can I do to properly train for the higher elevation distance?

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I have seen runners useing a restrictor, it simulates a higher atmosphere. but be prepared to be looked at a lot and laughed at too.

also there are hypobaric chambers, maybe you could rent one? :shrug: like a tanning booth? a hypobaric chamber removes air from a chamber (duh) that you are in. thus giving you the same conditions at which you'll be racing in. these are usually though for just lying in and letting your body adapt to the "altitude" be fore you get there. build up the hematocrit, hemoglobin and the like.
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ADT Marathon!!! The upside is that you will LOSE elevation dramatically from start to finish. The bad news is that you still finish well above 6000 feet. I love this course. I've run every inch of it at some point - just not all in the same race! I'm going to run miles 13-16 today at lunch (out and back for 6 miles total). I usually do my LSD runs along the area between mile 19 and the finish. They also have a hella fast 10k each year that covers Miles 17 to mile 23. The first 16 miles are all on a groomed dirt trail. Overall, you drop in elevation, but there are some PITA little stretches of rolling hills to keep you busy. By far though, this is the most scenic part of the race. The views from the Air Force Academy are amazing. You'll have the mountains to your right and a rolling creek to your left. I can't explain it, it is just really worth the trip. Trust me. Mile 16 to the finish has a few sporadic occurrences of dirt trail again, but mostly it's paved. This is when you get out of the Academy and into Colorado Springs. The good kind of paved - flat b/c it is a trail and not sloped like a road and smooth enough so you can generate some speed. Plus, you'll hit a little bit of shade cover during this stretch, as there are more trees once you get into the city. This is a great race. My cow-orker is training for it. The volunteers are awesome, too. You'll get tons of rest areas, a very well marked and accurate course, and enthusiastic volunteers. At a few stations, they will call out your name as you run by.
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Wobegon here is at about 350' above sea level. I have a running buddy here that races out in mountains often. He puts it this way regarding running at altitude, "It's like running with a sock stuffed in your mouth". What to do about it? "Deal with it" is all he says. You'll run slower, just 'cuz you have to. From what I've gathered, you'll likely between 1 and 2 minutes slower than your usual marathon pace when you go from a flatlander to over the mile high altitude.
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If you get a 400 pound fat person to sit on your chest while you sleep at night, that might give you some idea as to how you are going to feel your first day out here.

It is bad enough that your lungs hurt when you breathe, but your heart has to work overtime to create additional red blood cells.

Having said that, every year many people from sea level fly out to run this race or the Pikes Peak Ascent (which is way worse - up to 14,100 feet) with no altitude training. They all seem to live.

Just don't go skiing. Those people all die.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-03-09-colorado-heart_x.htm

When you get here, plan on drinking tons of water. Have no caffeine at all. Be prepared to eat a lot more than you normally do. There are guidelines for adjusting to altitude Oh, and don't forget to wear sunblock and chapstick. The effects of the sun increase an order of magnitude every 1000 ft increase. You can get a severe burn out here in less than 15 minutes.

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Thanks for the info, especially the sunblock warnings. I received an email back from the race officials today assigning me Bib number 18. Fortunately I have no idea how to even put on a set of skis :umno:

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It is bad enough that your lungs hurt when you breathe, but your heart has to work overtime to create additional red blood cells.



just to nit pick, the heart does not create Red Blood Cells (RBC's) RBC's are primarliry created in the large flat bones in the bone marrow. the heart does however have to work harder because since each
RBC carries less oxygen it has to re-supply the muscles that much often, there fore an increase in pulse. just FYI

ps. also the formation of RBC is not an quick process. that is why you can only donate blood every 8 weeks. to create RBC's it takes a consistant stimulation of a need. this then causes the increase of Erythropoetin (sp) also known as EPO. an IOC banned substance and what the French accused Lance Armstrong of using for his "unfair advantage" in the TDF. EPO is a short lived glycoprotien hence the need for a consistant stress on the cardio/pulmonary system
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I was paraphrasing.

Basically, you will feel like c**p the first day in higher altitude.

Just be mentally prepared for that part.
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I have found a couple of mountains within a 2 to 2 1/2 drive from Atlanta with an elevation a litte more than 6000' on which to practice some of my long runs. I think I'm going to use Clingman's Dome in Tennessee as my training mountain once each month starting in April. My other option is Mitchell Mountain just outside of Asheville, NC but that one is a 3 to 3 1/2 hour ride from here.

One of those runs will be at least 20-23 miles. I'll take a HRM along with me to make sure I don't overdo it.

Additionally there is a state park called Black Rock Mountain Park that has an elevation of 3100'. It's only a little over an hours drive from me, so I'll be using that one during my long run on weekends I'm not at Clingman's Dome or similar elevation level.
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Here in Ecuador, the mountain climber types use 'coca' tea, or what they call "mate" in Argentina, as a remedy for altitude sickness. They swear by it. I recall one summer vacation when my sister (about 15 at the time) ended up in the hospital after we arrived in Colorado from the flatlands of Iowa.

gocubbies
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She got sick to due to the altitude, if that wasn't clear.
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She got sick to due to the altitude, if that wasn't clear.
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That will be awesome. I think you'll do just fine.
Just so you know, I wasn't trying to intimidate you. If you plan for it and prepare for it - you will be OK. And your plan looks like the best one I've seen for someone down at sea level.
People fly out to Colorado all the time for various big event races. I've seen people freak out and get pretty upset prior to racing once they arrive and realize it is tough to climb a flight of steps. Those long runs at 6000 feet will be a great asset for you and give you an idea of how your breathing will differ from what you are used to. The best part about this race is that it is pretty much all downhill. And the surface is runner friendly.
I think you are going to do extremely well.
I think the race is a Boston Qualifier!
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