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Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread

 

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iheartfestina

Jun 19, 12 11:58

Post #1 of 61 (7193 views)
Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread Quote | Reply

I've seen a wide range of commentary on the effects of altitude on athletes at IMLT. This is a thread for experts to draw up a concrete protocol - not for anecdotes and conjecture. Please add other key questions that are not included.

What is the optimal strategy for arrival at altitude before the event?
Will an altitude tent help at this event? If so, how much?
Will frequent hypoxic training at altitude or with an altitude training mask help? If so, how much?
What effect will the thinner air/lower air resistance have on bike speeds?
Are there any other precautions one can take to limit the effects of altitude immediately before the race (supplements, sleep, nutrition, ect.)?

Nick


(This post was edited by iheartfestina on Jun 19, 12 16:10)


3Aims

Jun 19, 12 13:48

Post #2 of 61 (7096 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

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h2ofun

Jun 19, 12 13:49

Post #3 of 61 (7091 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [3Aims] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I used something like that in the past, until it did not work anymore. I am open to trying most anything.

.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


Kilo Juliett

Jun 19, 12 13:52

Post #4 of 61 (7078 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

How about just carrying oxygen?

No idea if its WTC/USAT legal.

I just plan to HTFU.




rpeterson

Jun 19, 12 13:53

Post #5 of 61 (7071 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [ktj] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Just go find the tallest building in your city, sneak up to the roof, and ride your bike on a trainer.

______________________________________________


Dilbert

Jun 19, 12 13:56

Post #6 of 61 (7054 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Not Tahoe. I plan to do 70.3 Boulder and Calgary. My strategy is to climb on my bike up to a ski resort in the Cascades, or Hurricane Ridge in Olympics, with my GF driving the support car ;) and then trail run up there. An altitude brick if you will.


3Aims

Jun 19, 12 14:09

Post #7 of 61 (7022 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [ktj] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I can see it now at the aid stations. Water. Perform. Gel. Oranges. Ice. Oxygen


Travis R

Jun 19, 12 14:14

Post #8 of 61 (7004 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Depending on how much time you can spend in the area before you get there, here's what I would consider:

1. Don't do anything too rigorous for the first 24-48 hours you're out there.
2. After that, spend a day or two at a higher altitude doing some moderate activity - maybe go for a hike, or some easy workouts (you're tapering anyway, right?). "Climb high, sleep low". The rule of thumb is not more than 1,000 meters of gain per day.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Really, I think this is kind of a strategy to lessen the effects - having 4 days or so in advance to get used to it will help, but never get you fully acclimated. The thing is that you're not at really high altitude where altitude sickness, AMS, etc. are a problem - you're just going to be dealing with reduced performance until your body adapts. You most likely won't have enough time for it to adapt, so it is going to be good to know your heart rate range, and race according to that. You might be tempted to try altitude drugs like Diamox, but I believe they can actually hurt your aerobic performance.

I've never heard of hypoxic training really working (at least for mountain climbing). It might get you used to the feeling of not getting air, but it doesn't simulate the other effects of being at altitude.

So, the resulting advice is just to spend more time at altitude if you can. There's no substitute for time.



Vector Cycle Works - Bike Fitting in central Indiana


Kilo Juliett

Jun 19, 12 14:18

Post #9 of 61 (6992 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [3Aims] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

3Aims wrote:
I can see it now at the aid stations. Water. Perform. Gel. Oranges. Ice. Oxygen
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they had paramedics standing by with oxygen.




summitt

Jun 19, 12 14:51

Post #10 of 61 (6935 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Come stay at my house which is at 6,700 feet. Just kidding. First of all, the elevation at LT is nothing to be overly concerned about. The chance for altitude sickness, generally starts at 8,500 feet and higher.

There are pluses and minuses of arriving early versus coming the day before. Since it's Ironman, I assume you will be arriving a few days before. 1) Stay hydrated and do a few easy workouts would be best. 2) Start easy on the swim. I notice breathing on the swim is more difficult of any of the three disciplines. Other than that, you may be a hair slower. 3) Hope for a low pressure and cold temps and not a high pressure system, which will decrease the O2 level compared to LT's normal barometric pressure.

Lot's of resources on the web but again its not that high. If you didn't know you were racing an Ironman at 6,200 feet you probably wouldn't even know it.


tucktri

Jun 19, 12 15:11

Post #11 of 61 (6894 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitue Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I really would have hoped that a "Definitive" thread would have at least spelled the topic correctly.


Gurudriver10

Jun 19, 12 17:01

Post #12 of 61 (6798 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [iheartfestina] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So far, a pretty idiotic thread with regard to responses! Only cogent responses here, please. Here's my strategy:

1) Stay below 5000' for majority of the trip until about 24 hours prior (friends in Sacramento and SFO). Might even check-in, drop equipment, and then head back down. Check in to hotel the afternoon prior near the start. Goal is to stay low until less than 24 hours prior.

2) Acclimation strategies require 2 full weeks or more at altitude! Can't do that. It's either <24 hours or >2+ weeks.

3) The swim is a problem for the first few minutes as evidenced by several friends who got real panicky in years past (XTerra and open water folks). The problem? Constrictive wetsuit, very cold water (website is lying about the temps, which will be probably mid-50s?), high altitude/lower oxygen, combative mass start, and elevated heart rate in general from the pressure altitude all will conspire to take one's breath away at the start. Get in and acclimate a little and fill up your wetsuit to get it warming up. The swim will likely take several people out in the first few minutes.


h2ofun

Jun 19, 12 17:20

Post #13 of 61 (6760 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Gurudriver10] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Gurudriver10 wrote:
So far, a pretty idiotic thread with regard to responses! Only cogent responses here, please. Here's my strategy:

1) Stay below 5000' for majority of the trip until about 24 hours prior (friends in Sacramento and SFO). Might even check-in, drop equipment, and then head back down. Check in to hotel the afternoon prior near the start. Goal is to stay low until less than 24 hours prior.

2) Acclimation strategies require 2 full weeks or more at altitude! Can't do that. It's either <24 hours or >2+ weeks.

3) The swim is a problem for the first few minutes as evidenced by several friends who got real panicky in years past (XTerra and open water folks). The problem? Constrictive wetsuit, very cold water (website is lying about the temps, which will be probably mid-50s?), high altitude/lower oxygen, combative mass start, and elevated heart rate in general from the pressure altitude all will conspire to take one's breath away at the start. Get in and acclimate a little and fill up your wetsuit to get it warming up. The swim will likely take several people out in the first few minutes.

That will be the big decision for me. I can drive 2 hours, register and come home. Then drive back up Sat, rack the bike, and stay someplace. But, this means minimum social interacting with folks.
All your logic makes sense from my experience. I also go to Donner the morning of the race, and had very few issues.

.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


Moose1406

Jun 19, 12 17:23

Post #14 of 61 (6755 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Gurudriver10] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

  
Per http://tahoe.usgs.gov/facts.html, the water temp in September 65 to 70 degrees. I don't think the USGS modified their webiste to conspire with WTC on this.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. - D. H. Lawrence


h2ofun

Jun 19, 12 17:24

Post #15 of 61 (6753 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Moose1406] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Moose1406 wrote:

Per http://tahoe.usgs.gov/facts.html, the water temp in September 65 to 70 degrees. I don't think the USGS modified their webiste to conspire with WTC on this.

No way do I believe the water temp will be anything other than the upper 50's which is perfect wetsuit swimming. 70 would be terrible for a long wetsuit swim.

..

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


Gurudriver10

Jun 19, 12 17:29

Post #16 of 61 (6746 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [h2ofun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Oh, you're so lucky! I live in Virginia and will have to fly in to Reno, Sacto, or SFO, drive up and do the paper work, then come back the day prior from some place. Or, just book in Incline Village or the race site and just hang out, throwing caution to the wind! It's my 4th IM so I don't really need the pre-race meeting or the dinner. Hope to see you there. Stay healthy!


Gurudriver10

Jun 19, 12 17:30

Post #17 of 61 (6744 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Moose1406] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Moose1406 wrote:

Per http://tahoe.usgs.gov/facts.html, the water temp in September 65 to 70 degrees. I don't think the USGS modified their webiste to conspire with WTC on this.

Man, I had no idea! That's great news. Might even bring the sleeveless.


Moose1406

Jun 19, 12 17:33

Post #18 of 61 (6731 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [h2ofun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

h2ofun wrote:
Moose1406 wrote:

Per http://tahoe.usgs.gov/facts.html, the water temp in September 65 to 70 degrees. I don't think the USGS modified their webiste to conspire with WTC on this.


No way do I believe the water temp will be anything other than the upper 50's which is perfect wetsuit swimming. 70 would be terrible for a long wetsuit swim.

..

My mistake. Not sure why I would believe an objective third party refernece form the US Geological Survey in this matter. First, the WTC conspires with the USADA to ban Lance, now, they consipire with the USGS to misrepresent Lake Tahoe's water temperature. It's getting so that you can't believe anything said by an organization that uses initialism.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. - D. H. Lawrence


micheleg

Jun 19, 12 17:41

Post #19 of 61 (6719 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Gurudriver10] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I live just east of Sacramento at about 350 feet above sea level and visit Lake Tahoe a lot. First, I've never seen the water in Lake Tahoe above about 65 degrees, at least once you get past the immediate shore. For those really worried about the altitude, staying down the hill isn't a bad idea. I make day trips from home to LT all the time for biking, skiing, etc. and am never bothered by the altitude. Having said that, even when I stay in Tahoe for several days, it doesn't bother me, however, when I've been to Colorado (9,000+ feet), I have experienced some symptoms of altitude sickness. I tend to think most folks will not get full on altitude sickness but will notice that the air is thinner.


renolaw

Jun 19, 12 17:48

Post #20 of 61 (6700 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Gurudriver10] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

September is normally cool but comfy water, I'd guess best chances are for low to mid 60s. Once it hits July the lake is normally fine for swimming with just a wetsuit, no cap or booties needed, and it stays that way until it really starts to get cold around mid-October. It's pretty deep so temps don't swing quickly, but the north shore around KB is pretty shallow with a sandy/granite bottom so it's normally warmer than other parts of the lake.


Gurudriver10

Jun 19, 12 18:08

Post #21 of 61 (6674 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [micheleg] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

micheleg wrote:
I live just east of Sacramento at about 350 feet above sea level and visit Lake Tahoe a lot. First, I've never seen the water in Lake Tahoe above about 65 degrees, at least once you get past the immediate shore. For those really worried about the altitude, staying down the hill isn't a bad idea. I make day trips from home to LT all the time for biking, skiing, etc. and am never bothered by the altitude. Having said that, even when I stay in Tahoe for several days, it doesn't bother me, however, when I've been to Colorado (9,000+ feet), I have experienced some symptoms of altitude sickness. I tend to think most folks will not get full on altitude sickness but will notice that the air is thinner.

I was based at Mather AFB back in '91-'93. Closed down the base there. Great town with so much to do in and around the area. See you at the race!


h2ofun

Jun 19, 12 18:10

Post #22 of 61 (6671 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Gurudriver10] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Gurudriver10 wrote:
Oh, you're so lucky! I live in Virginia and will have to fly in to Reno, Sacto, or SFO, drive up and do the paper work, then come back the day prior from some place. Or, just book in Incline Village or the race site and just hang out, throwing caution to the wind! It's my 4th IM so I don't really need the pre-race meeting or the dinner. Hope to see you there. Stay healthy!

It would be nice to have some type of ST get together. Seems like Sat would be the best since most everyone would need to be there. I could drive in the morning of but that is probably too much.
I got up at 2:30 in the morning to drive to Napa this year, so I have done it. I do not sleep well the night before a race anyways.

.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


h2ofun

Jun 19, 12 18:14

Post #23 of 61 (6661 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [micheleg] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

micheleg wrote:
I live just east of Sacramento at about 350 feet above sea level and visit Lake Tahoe a lot. First, I've never seen the water in Lake Tahoe above about 65 degrees, at least once you get past the immediate shore. For those really worried about the altitude, staying down the hill isn't a bad idea. I make day trips from home to LT all the time for biking, skiing, etc. and am never bothered by the altitude. Having said that, even when I stay in Tahoe for several days, it doesn't bother me, however, when I've been to Colorado (9,000+ feet), I have experienced some symptoms of altitude sickness. I tend to think most folks will not get full on altitude sickness but will notice that the air is thinner.

Yep, that is what I would expect. Would love to see it 70, but I have never heard anyone say they have seen Tahoe that warm. Now the lake I live on is 87 now, and I have seen it get to 92, so some stuff can get real warm.

I have also never remember being bothered, but I also have never tried a full IM at this altitude. Guess I have lots of time to see if I want to do the get there at the last minute, a few days ahead, or maybe a week ahead.
That is assuming I am healthy to even worry about it.

.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


Gurudriver10

Jun 19, 12 18:21

Post #24 of 61 (6652 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [h2ofun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

h2ofun wrote:
Gurudriver10 wrote:
Oh, you're so lucky! I live in Virginia and will have to fly in to Reno, Sacto, or SFO, drive up and do the paper work, then come back the day prior from some place. Or, just book in Incline Village or the race site and just hang out, throwing caution to the wind! It's my 4th IM so I don't really need the pre-race meeting or the dinner. Hope to see you there. Stay healthy!


It would be nice to have some type of ST get together. Seems like Sat would be the best since most everyone would need to be there. I could drive in the morning of but that is probably too much.
I got up at 2:30 in the morning to drive to Napa this year, so I have done it. I do not sleep well the night before a race anyways.

.

I'm up for that! Let's tentatively plan drinks and a meal or something like that on Saturday? We have 4 of us from my town attending. I tend to sleep like a rock Friday, aiming for 9+ hours of sleep. Can't sleep on Saturday but still read in bed early evening. Wake at 4 am on Sunday and start munching. My favorite is a sizeable smoothie with fruit and some wheat crackers which I always eat on a normal day. I do drink a Kahlua and Cream the night before Ironman. It's worked in the past and is now tradition!


SBR_bestgoodbad

Jun 20, 12 4:49

Post #25 of 61 (6508 views)
Re: Definitive Ironman Lake Tahoe Altitude Strategy Thread [Gurudriver10] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

From the FAQs to the Pikes Peak Marathon website[/url]

[/url]
What can I do about the altitude?[/url]
Short of moving — next to NOTHING! There are a few altitude simulation chambers out there but I have not heard of any with public access. Some people plan vacations or weekend trips to Pikes Peak so they can do some high altitude training on the course.
In general the formula for VO2 loss goes like this: For every 1000 feet above 5000 feet you will lose 3% of your VO2. So on top of the Peak there is a 27% reduction in your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles.
However, this is AFTER training at altitude so most people are going to suffer even more. In general, you can follow the 2 day, 2 week, 2 month plan or the 3 A’s.
  1. Lots of neat little things happen in the first 2 days: Increased pulse, breathing etc. This is the Adjust phase.
  2. Lots of cool bigger things happen over the next two weeks. Red blood cell count, hematocrit etc. This is the Acclimation phase.
  3. Over the next 2 months most of what is going to happen will happen and level out including those things mentioned above as well as neurological responses and hormone levels. This is the Adaptation phase.
Some Altitude Related Links
Altitude training 1 (1996 very complete)
Altitude training 2 (2000 very complete)
The key words in both paragraphs are “in general” because some people die (as in dead) at only 8,000 feet. Others have run close to 3 hour marathons with the entire 26.2 mile flat course being at 17,060 feet. Some adapt faster, some seem to never get used to the effects of altitude. But as you can see a weekend (as opposed to consistent training) in altitude is not going to do that much as far as acclimation goes and when you go back to wherever you will lose the benefits just as fast! Bottom line, a lot of people that do the race do not get to train in altitude — nothing can be done about it so do not let it worry you.
However what the weekend on Pikes Peak will do is prepare you for what is ahead so that the experience will not be new. Knowing the course is invaluable! Knowing what hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) feels like will make it much easier the second time! Taken together a weekend on Pikes Peak could shave a VERY significant amount of time off of your race! This IS worth all the trouble and expense and if you can do it, I would recommend it!


Such a Bad Runner

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Swimming
Now that it's off season, are you shutting it down for a couple of months? Or will you swim through the Winter?
Shutting it down
Swim thru Winter
I don't swim