When you live and train at high altitude, your oxygen carrying capacity is greatly increased. Blood cell counts go up etc... Many professional athletes train in that area for a reason. The altitude boosts their ability to use oxygen, then when they race at sea level, they have a massive advantage. it is similar to blood doping. Blood doping is where an athlete is given more blood than their body naturally has, this increases the oxygen carrying capacity. this is also illegal and dangerous. however training at high altitude gives a similar advantage and is legal in any sport.
What i am trying to say in so many words is that once you adjust and get your training in, if you were to race at a lower elevation or sea level, you will be a machine...something to consider if you have the urge to qualify for the Boston Marathon someday... just sayin'...
From my studies, I have learned that it will take a couple weeks for your body (i.e.: lungs) adjust to the climate. Once it has adjusted, I understand it is much like at average altitudes. I hope this makes sense.
As I mentioned before, I am moving to Denver; we leave in just TWO days!! :)
While I am SUPER excited about the move, I am also nervous about the differences in running in that higher altitude. When visiting family up there, I struggle with my breath b/c of the altitude, and it's made worse by my asthma, too. So I'm not sure about how to approach starting up my running again.
I know to start slowly and build up...I am an interval runner and probably always will be. I have also heard that to acclimate to altitude you need to drink approximately double the normal recommended water intake.
Does anyone have any other ideas for running in a higher altitude? Tucson, where I currently live, is about 2402 ft, Denver is about 5183, so that's an altitude increase for me of about 2781 feet. Yikes! :)
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