Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31

Thread: Training for meet at high altitude

  1. #1
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Question Training for meet at high altitude

    I have never swum at high altitude, so I have no idea how my body will react when I compete at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. The meet is over a year from now, so I have plenty of time to prepare. How should I train for it when I currently live and train at near-sea level elevation? The difference in elevation between here and there is about 4,300 feet. The events I will be competing in will be: 400 IM, 200 Fly, 200 Breast, 200 IM, 100 Fly, and 50 Breast.

    I am 56 years old, swim six days/week (averaging a total of 12-13,000 yds./wk; I trade off heavier days with lighter days), and do various forms of dryland after each swim (yoga, weights, Theraband exercises, etc.).

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ElaineK; April 21st, 2018 at 04:57 PM.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  2. #2
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    773
    Blog Entries
    167

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Short of sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber adjusted to mimic high altitude, there is no way to accelerate acclimatization. Generations of alpinists have tried every imaginable concoction, supplement and training trick. Zero success. It just takes time for the body to increase oxygen carrying capacity. Go to the venue about three weeks early or just accept the suffering and diminished performance.

  3. #3
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    Short of sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber adjusted to mimic high altitude, there is no way to accelerate acclimatization. Generations of alpinists have tried every imaginable concoction, supplement and training trick. Zero success. It just takes time for the body to increase oxygen carrying capacity. Go to the venue about three weeks early or just accept the suffering and diminished performance.
    Well, getting there three weeks early isn't a practical option, so I guess I'll have to settle for resting at the walls during my 200 fly if it gets that bad!

    Thanks for letting me know, Karl.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Latham, NY
    Posts
    306

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    I never swam at altitude, but did a few track and field meets up in Colorado. It hurt the distance runners most, the longer the race, the worse you did. I ran a couple 5K races at a minute or more slower than normal. Milers did almost as well as expected, maybe just a few seconds slower. At shorter track distances, 800m and less, there was no degradation. So, figure anything taking less than 3-4 minutes only depletes stored oxygen, but after 4 minutes your oxygen uptake during the event is diminished.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth, RI
    Posts
    394

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    I have read articles in Runner's World about this very topic for runners who live and train near-sea level elevations going to run in events that are at much higher elevations. The medical, and athletic authorities that contributed to that article were pretty much in agreement that if you can't spend several weeks living and training at the altitude you'll be competing...the best thing is to show up right before the event. (i.e. day of/before)..with no particular altitude training at all. Their collective opinion was that you need to spend in the neighborhood of three or more weeks living and training at the altitude before your body begins acclimate to the altitude. In fact, the article said, that spending less time than that at the altitude is actually counterproductive. So, based on all that, I'd say your best bet is to just get there the day of, before, or maybe late two days before at most. Here's an article that pretty much says the same thing as the one I read in RW a few years ago.

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/w...g-at-altitude/

    Dan
    Last edited by ForceDJ; April 21st, 2018 at 10:03 PM.

  6. #6
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Sumorunner View Post
    So, figure anything taking less than 3-4 minutes only depletes stored oxygen, but after 4 minutes your oxygen uptake during the event is diminished.
    Well, then, I'm screwed for the 400 IM.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  7. #7
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth, RI
    Posts
    394

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    Well, then, I'm screwed for the 400 IM.
    I wouldn't say that. How many of the other swimmers do you think will be from high altitudes?

    Dan

  8. #8
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by ForceDJ View Post
    So, based on all that, I'd say your best bet is to just get there the day of, before, or maybe late two days before at most. Here's an article that pretty much says the same thing as the one I read in RW a few years ago.

    https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/w...g-at-altitude/

    Dan
    The end of the article says,
    "
    Aim for at least 45 hours prior to race start, and a few days more than that might be better for you."
    It looks like it contradicts what you say above.

    If I'm lucky, the 400 IM and 200 Fly will occur later in the multi-day meet!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  9. #9
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Posts
    47

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    The end of the article says,
    "
    Aim for at least 45 hours prior to race start, and a few days more than that might be better for you."
    It looks like it contradicts what you say above.

    If I'm lucky, the 400 IM and 200 Fly will occur later in the multi-day meet!
    I would work on butterfly breathing every stroke cycle and breathing exercises stressing deep belly breaths to maximize what O2 there is. I wasn't aware there is any O2 storage as mentioned above. Plus long distance runners are probably pacing themselves more than most swimmers do so expect the O2 difference to hit swimmers sooner. Not fun. My friends who have swum at ski resorts pools say it hits them immediately. But they are at higher altitudes than you will be swimming at.

  10. #10
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    96

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    When it's time for the event, bring some ibuprofen for headaches, maybe some canned oxygen too. Not sure what you can do to prep for it a year in advance though. I see people wearing those oxygen-restriction masks at the gym sometimes.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth, RI
    Posts
    394

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    The end of the article says,
    "
    Aim for at least 45 hours prior to race start, and a few days more than that might be better for you."
    It looks like it contradicts what you say above.

    If I'm lucky, the 400 IM and 200 Fly will occur later in the multi-day meet!

    That was the writer's personal experience/opinion. I was referring to a paragraph before that about the recommendations of other resources which concludes:

    The Majority of Research
    When it comes to racing at altitude, many resources recommend that athletes with a limited budget and little time arrive as close to an event’s start time as possible—usually the same day. Other sources recommend arriving between 18 and 47 hours prior to the event, commenting that there is no difference in the hours within that timeframe...
    Dan

  12. #12
    Active Member airborne18th's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    rehoboth beach, de
    Posts
    35

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    I have never swum at high altitude, so I have no idea how my body will react when I compete at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. The meet is over a year from now, so I have plenty of time to prepare. How should I train for it when I currently live and train at near-sea level elevation? The difference in elevation between here and there is about 4,300 feet. The events I will be competing in will be: 400 IM, 200 Fly, 200 Breast, 200 IM, 100 Fly, and 50 Breast.

    I am 56 years old, swim six days/week (averaging a total of 12-13,000 yds./wk; I trade off heavier days with lighter days), and do various forms of dryland after each swim (yoga, weights, Theraband exercises, etc.).

    Thanks!
    First, the premise that you are swimming at high altitude is flawed. It is higher altitude, but not high altitude. A mile high is only considered moderate altitude. Yes you will have some impact above 4000, but if I remember correctly it is about 4800 and really 5000 where the cardiovascular impact really starts to kick in.

    While it takes a few weeks for acclimatization, doing a week before and doing some light to moderate training is military guideline.

    The other guideline, which is for the mile range of altitude, is oxygen restricted and hypoxic training in advance. but the lean is more towards restricted oxygen training.. ( get a cap that restricts for a snorkel ).

    And actually training at the altitude is actually the best way. Since you seem to be concerned.. why don't you find a place to swim that is in the higher altitude and take a weekend road trip.. we don't have the Rockies in the east, but there might be somewhere that at least has altitude.

  13. #13
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by ForceDJ View Post
    I wouldn't say that. How many of the other swimmers do you think will be from high altitudes?
    I have no idea; however, I would imagine the meet would draw a lot of local swimmers and those from surrounding states-- one of which is Colorado, another state with cities at high altitude.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Kornblatt View Post
    I would work on butterfly breathing every stroke cycle and breathing exercises stressing deep belly breaths to maximize what O2 there is. I wasn't aware there is any O2 storage as mentioned above. Plus long distance runners are probably pacing themselves more than most swimmers do so expect the O2 difference to hit swimmers sooner. Not fun. My friends who have swum at ski resorts pools say it hits them immediately. But they are at higher altitudes than you will be swimming at.
    I already breathe every stroke in fly; however, I don't do breathing exercises. That will be something for me to check into-- thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by arrieros View Post
    When it's time for the event, bring some ibuprofen for headaches, maybe some canned oxygen too. Not sure what you can do to prep for it a year in advance though. I see people wearing those oxygen-restriction masks at the gym sometimes.

    My husband and I were joking about the oxygen idea. We thought the least the National Senior Games staff could do is have an oxygen tank available next to each starting block!

    Quote Originally Posted by ForceDJ View Post
    That was the writer's personal experience/opinion. I was referring to a paragraph before that about the recommendations of other resources which concludes:
    Ok, got it. There are so many differing opinions out there, it's now as clear as mud! I guess

    Quote Originally Posted by airborne18th View Post
    First, the premise that you are swimming at high altitude is flawed. It is higher altitude, but not high altitude. A mile high is only considered moderate altitude. Yes you will have some impact above 4000, but if I remember correctly it is about 4800 and really 5000 where the cardiovascular impact really starts to kick in.

    While it takes a few weeks for acclimatization, doing a week before and doing some light to moderate training is military guideline.

    The other guideline, which is for the mile range of altitude, is oxygen restricted and hypoxic training in advance. but the lean is more towards restricted oxygen training.. ( get a cap that restricts for a snorkel ).

    And actually training at the altitude is actually the best way. Since you seem to be concerned.. why don't you find a place to swim that is in the higher altitude and take a weekend road trip.. we don't have the Rockies in the east, but there might be somewhere that at least has altitude.

    The elevation of Albuquerque is 5,311 feet, so it is likely I will experience that impact you describe. (The difference in altitude between where I live and Albuquerque is about 4,300 ft.) The snorkel idea may be the ticket to developing stronger lungs-- something I could use, since I feel the need to breathe every stroke on both fly and free when I race any distance. Thanks for the idea!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  14. #14
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    295

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Elaine,

    There is not much you can do to increase the amount of hemoglobin in your system although three weeks is better than nothing. BUT, don't lose hope because this was my experience from 1994. I attended the Breadbasket Zone meet in Denver in 1994. I got there a couple of days in advance - mixed a business trip into the fray. The first 2 practice days absolutely sucked - no other word for it.

    BUT, come the weekend and the racing - everything from 50s to 500s and I was on track and not slower than at meets in Minnesota (700 ft elevation). I was pleasantly surprised.

    With a year to plan, the snorkel might help although I would personally opt for training harder instead of restricting your airway. You might try adding an iron supplement in an attempt to increase your hemoglobin and red blood cell count. Normally this is a suggestion for people suffering from anemia (like me), but it might be marginally beneficial in your case.

    That is my experience. I suspect, you will do just fine.

    Windrath

  15. #15
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    542
    Blog Entries
    292

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Elaine, I was out in ABQ visiting family at Christmas last year and had planned to go to the pool, but didn't. My heart rate was way up there just resting so I can imagine it's going to be a little nuts while exercising. I've been having the same thoughts about the games next year and have just decided to just have fun and live with it. There won't be any records broken by me or probably not even PRs, but we'll represent our states just fine.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

  16. #16
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    Elaine,

    There is not much you can do to increase the amount of hemoglobin in your system although three weeks is better than nothing. BUT, don't lose hope because this was my experience from 1994. I attended the Breadbasket Zone meet in Denver in 1994. I got there a couple of days in advance - mixed a business trip into the fray. The first 2 practice days absolutely sucked - no other word for it.

    BUT, come the weekend and the racing - everything from 50s to 500s and I was on track and not slower than at meets in Minnesota (700 ft elevation). I was pleasantly surprised.

    With a year to plan, the snorkel might help although I would personally opt for training harder instead of restricting your airway. You might try adding an iron supplement in an attempt to increase your hemoglobin and red blood cell count. Normally this is a suggestion for people suffering from anemia (like me), but it might be marginally beneficial in your case.

    That is my experience. I suspect, you will do just fine.

    Windrath

    That gives me hope! Going out three weeks ahead isn't an option for us; however, a couple of days ahead is what we had planned anyway. Hopefully, my experience will be similar to yours!

    For me, training any harder isn't a wise option. It has taken all of my willpower to cut back on the 450+ miles annual miles I used to log in, because my body couldn't tolerate the volume. Between my sports orthopedic surgeon (a former college football player himself) and my husband, they finally convinced me that my land-based repetitive stress injuries and congenital issues would follow me into the pool if I didn't back off.

    I'll check with my doc about that iron supplement. Thanks for the suggestion!


    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms View Post
    Elaine, I was out in ABQ visiting family at Christmas last year and had planned to go to the pool, but didn't. My heart rate was way up there just resting so I can imagine it's going to be a little nuts while exercising. I've been having the same thoughts about the games next year and have just decided to just have fun and live with it. There won't be any records broken by me or probably not even PRs, but we'll represent our states just fine.
    Hey, Flystorms! Thanks for sharing your experience. I had this same discussion with my husband last night, drawing the same conclusion to go out and have fun; and, not worry about my race times. Hey, at this point, I'm thinking I'll just be happy if I can complete the 200 fly without getting DQ'd for passing out mid-pool!

    I'm looking forward to meeting you at the games! Please let me know which events and age group you will be competing in, so I can cheer you on.


    Off the subject, I've enjoyed your town a few times before hopping on an American Queen Steamboat Company paddle wheeler for a river cruise. The last time was in January during your wicked snow storm! It sure was cold and icy in Memphis!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  17. #17
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    542
    Blog Entries
    292

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    LOL! Glad you enjoyed Memphis It's even better in the spring and fall when it's more moderate. Festival season just started a few weekends ago and there is something going on nearly every weekend between now and the end of September. It's a great town.

    Yes, we'll have to connect at Nationals next year. This is my first so I'm super excited. I'll be in the 50-55 group swimming all four free events.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

  18. #18
    Active Member VintageDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    28

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Even though it took me a week to find it (the new USMS website is not too friendly). There is an altitude adjustment factor that will give you an idea of how your times may be affected. It's in the rule book at 104.5.3(1) Here's a screen shot.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AltitudeAdj1.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	57.6 KB 
ID:	11540

    Also, University of New Mexico Seidler Natatorium is 5133' above sea level.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Woodbury, New Jersey, United States
    Posts
    454
    Blog Entries
    485

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Elaine, I think training at "Hi Attitude" would be much easier in Colorado where it's legal.

    I didn't seem to notice much of difference skiing in the Rockies, possibly because I wasn't racing and could just stop when I needed air. Seems like something to put aside and just race. Should be a great trip. There are a bunch of swimmers here who have been itching to go to a senior games, so who knows. Good luck way in advance.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

  20. #20
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    4,432

    Re: Training for meet at high altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms View Post
    LOL! Glad you enjoyed Memphis It's even better in the spring and fall when it's more moderate. Festival season just started a few weekends ago and there is something going on nearly every weekend between now and the end of September. It's a great town.

    Yes, we'll have to connect at Nationals next year. This is my first so I'm super excited. I'll be in the 50-55 group swimming all four free events.
    Great! I'm in the 55-59 age group, and I won't be racing in any of the free events! That makes it so much easier to cheer you on! Our age groups race on the same days, too. (The 65 and up groups race on different days.)

    Quote Originally Posted by VintageDirt View Post
    Even though it took me a week to find it (the new USMS website is not too friendly). There is an altitude adjustment factor that will give you an idea of how your times may be affected. It's in the rule book at 104.5.3(1) Here's a screen shot.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AltitudeAdj1.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	57.6 KB 
ID:	11540

    Also, University of New Mexico Seidler Natatorium is 5133' above sea level.

    Yikes! I'm sorry you went through all the trouble, but I appreciate it! Knowing now what I can expect (especially in my 400 IM), swimming personal best times will definitely NOT be one of my goals for the meet!

    I see you're from ABQ, the city with the heavy metal-performing mayor with a past history of playing college football!


    I have good memories of attending (and photographing) the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta every year from 1986-1991. What a blast, especially when I got to fly in one during one of the competitive events, thanks to my buddy who got me a press pass.


    Will you be at the games? If so, I hope to meet you, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojerz View Post
    Elaine, I think training at "Hi Attitude" would be much easier in Colorado where it's legal.

    I didn't seem to notice much of difference skiing in the Rockies, possibly because I wasn't racing and could just stop when I needed air. Seems like something to put aside and just race. Should be a great trip. There are a bunch of swimmers here who have been itching to go to a senior games, so who knows. Good luck way in advance.

    Hmmm, somehow I don't think that kind of training would be conducive to swimming very well.

    Thanks for your "good luck" wishes! Will you be joining us at the games? It would be great to meet all of the Forumites who will be there!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. High Altitude Training Camp - Vail, CO - June 18-22, 2017
    By offpisteaquatics in forum Event Announcements and Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 14th, 2018, 02:13 PM
  2. High Altitude Training Camp - Vail, CO - June 18-22, 2017
    By sixfourgirl in forum Event Announcements and Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: March 22nd, 2017, 04:30 PM
  3. High Altitude Training
    By alphadog in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: September 2nd, 2008, 05:53 PM
  4. High Altitude Training Camp Dates
    By Bill Volckening in forum What's New at usms.org?
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 21st, 2003, 07:40 PM
  5. 2002 VO2 Min High Altitude Meet in Flagstaff
    By meldyck in forum Event Announcements and Reviews
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 10th, 2002, 06:44 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •