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Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ?
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Looking for some discussion on best place for a one month home base in August 2019 at altitude out west. Currently live in Greenville, SC. Need to unplug for a while (primary objective) and will be training for a race in early September

Plan to ride road and MTB. Envision long climbing rides on the road bike and getting lost in the woods for hours on the MTB. Some focused sessions on tri bike will be necessary too. Access to pool needed and masters crew a plus. Will run base miles mostly on trail and hopefully have access to a local track for some specific sessions.

Will have family along for part of trip (maybe 2weeks) until school starts back. Two boys currently ages 5 and 7 and girl 17mo, so want to be able to plan some good family activities.

Have spent some time in Breckinridge and like the town. Have a friend who did Breck epic this year and spoke highly of the terrain and local race organizers. Open to ideas like Durango, although I have not had opportunity to visit there. Have spent time in Aspen but only during ski season.

Plan to rent a house or condo hopefully walking distance to food and microbrew.

Any advice/info appreciated, thanks !

RG
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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I highly doubt its the "best place" to spend a month training, but as I live in Albuquerque I'll throw it out there. It fits all of your criteria, although I don't mountain bike so not too sure how those trails are but I think they're good. Its only ~5300ft so not quite the altitude you would get in flagstaff but definitely not sea level. A couple of different master's programs including a good one at the University of New Mexico, some good riding including a few great climbs in the mountains, fantastic running trails both in the foothills and a flat dirt path by the river that is ideal for tempo workouts. I'd say the one thing it might be lacking in is good family activities but there are certainly some around here (hiking, museums). On top of all that the beer scene is fantastic in my opinion and the endurance sports community is significant.

Now I would have to imagine somewhere like Boulder has all of this and does it a little better but Albuquerque isn't quite as cliche, and would probably be significantly cheaper!

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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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Why not go back to Breck? You’ll likely get a house or condo walking distance to restaurants and shops and there’s a bunch of activities for the family. Good access to trails to run and ride and a decent bike path to avoid cars. Good roads and climbs (vail pass, Ute pass, Loveland pass). I might be biased (lived there for a while and hoping to go back in feb).
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [kiwi.] [ In reply to ]
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High on the prospect list
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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Place I would definitely like to visit but picturing mountain town at a bit higher altitude.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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rmg wrote:
Looking for some discussion on best place for a one month home base in August 2019 at altitude out west. Currently live in Greenville, SC. Need to unplug for a while (primary objective) and will be training for a race in early September

Plan to ride road and MTB. Envision long climbing rides on the road bike and getting lost in the woods for hours on the MTB. Some focused sessions on tri bike will be necessary too. Access to pool needed and masters crew a plus. Will run base miles mostly on trail and hopefully have access to a local track for some specific sessions.

Will have family along for part of trip (maybe 2weeks) until school starts back. Two boys currently ages 5 and 7 and girl 17mo, so want to be able to plan some good family activities.

Have spent some time in Breckinridge and like the town. Have a friend who did Breck epic this year and spoke highly of the terrain and local race organizers. Open to ideas like Durango, although I have not had opportunity to visit there. Have spent time in Aspen but only during ski season.

Plan to rent a house or condo hopefully walking distance to food and microbrew.

Any advice/info appreciated, thanks !

RG

Park city, Utah hits all those boxes.



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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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I would do several high altitude trips every year when I was full time training. For your list and my favorite, Lake Tahoe. That place has it all, and there are a few little towns at different spots around the lake, all with most your wish list. And the lake is not that cold at that time, and you can add all kinds of other water sports like paddling, kayaking, stand up, etc. I would just show up with my camper and all the toys, surfski, MTB, tribike, paddle board, and some good trail running shoes. Spend a couple weeks at the 6k lake elevation, and you can easily hit 10k+ on rides and runs...
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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You might check about altitude and recovery. If you are looking for a real fitness advantage, then Breck might be too high. Taking a nap at 9-10,000 feet above sea level is exercise, so you don’t recover as well. I think the ideal altitude is supposed to be around 6-7000, which kind of explains why the OTC is in the Springs. So Colorado Spring, Park City, Santa Fe, maybe Tahoe.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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Sun Valley/Ketchum, Idaho meets most of your criteria. Town is at 5900ish, and you can get higher if you want.

There's kinda only one "real" road in town though, so keep that in mind for TT work. Would recommend getting long rides in on a gravel bike-so many routes around here! And mountain biking is absolutely stellar... 400 miles of singletrack from town.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Tahoe was not on my radar for some reason but makes total sense. Any area of the lake that you would recommend in particular ? Better start looking at VRBO now as August is probably high season there for lake accommodations.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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Flagstaff. There is a reason olympians go train there. It has everything that you want.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [Sbernardi] [ In reply to ]
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Sbernardi wrote:
Flagstaff. There is a reason olympians go train there. It has everything that you want.

the BEST part about training in flagstaff is that you can leave flagstaff to train. sleep/live high and train low (~30-40min drive to get down to a reasonable altitude). which is why the olympians train there.

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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [fate] [ In reply to ]
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I might like to visit there just for the mountain biking sometime. Sounds awesome.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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Good point. The last time I did something similar I spent a week in Denver, several days in Boulder and then went up into Rocky Mtn National Park for a week before settling into Breck, so of the trip so was probably more of a gradual ascent.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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And pay n take. Spent some time in a Flagstaff and met some good people there. Italian national swim team was visiting pool while I was dropping on with masters.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [Sbernardi] [ In reply to ]
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Agree. I went to NAU and wish I had never left that town. awesome place to train, if 7k isn't. And Telluride and Durango are an easy weekend trip from Flagstaff if you want some diversity in your training and some more challenging mt climbs.

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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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Any area of the lake that you would recommend in particular ? //

All depends on what you are ultimately looking for. South Tahoe is close to a lot of stuff, including casinos. Truckee is more out there and has that mountain town feel. I think your best bet is to just get on VRBO and look around the lake for some great places, they will tell you how far you are from local eateries and such...


I used to camp there in vans and RV's, so I would be between emerald bay and Truckee at an Indian held campground, forget the name.. But I always wanted to be right on the water, to cool off, and an easy start to all my H20 activities, and of course the scenery. Something about looking at water all day, calms the body...
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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Flagstaff would be a good choice, but maybe not the best for road riding. You have about three good routes (Lake Mary rd.out and back, Sunset Crater, Snow Bowl rd. also out and backs), then it gets tougher. Lake Tahoe/Truckee area would be good, but more traffic than I'd prefer. Breckenridge might be too high. Durango is good, but swimming options not as good as the others. Colorado front range, possibly.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:
Sbernardi wrote:
Flagstaff. There is a reason olympians go train there. It has everything that you want.


the BEST part about training in flagstaff is that you can leave flagstaff to train. sleep/live high and train low (~30-40min drive to get down to a reasonable altitude). which is why the olympians train there.


Living at 6,000 to 7,000ft and training below 5,000ft is your best, reasonable, bet.
Can you do this in Flagstaff? I'm unsure of where to go for lower elevation training.

Other places like this.
Tahoe to Reno & others
Park City & area to SLC
MT Lemmon to Tucson

Most of the low points in Colorado are over 5k, which is too high for optimal training.

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Last edited by: xtrpickels: Dec 30, 18 9:09
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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Flagstaff is good. We spent 3 summers there. August might be the tail end of 'monsoon season', so there may be some showers.

Yes, road riding is somewhat limited, but you can get in good rides. There are a ton of trails for running and MTBing. For the time that you will be there, I don't think that the road rides will get overly boring. As mentioned: Lake Mary + Mormon Lake loop, Lake Mary South to Clint's Well, Snowbowl climb, Wupatki Crater, and we would do an out and back into 'The Res' depending. We did all of the rides on a tri/tt bike.

There is the NAU pool and a country club pool that you can buy a pass to, and I think that NAU will still have a Master's group. I would contact the NAU master's group since a lot of University pools have some down time in the August time frame. They have a new Natatorium there, so it may not be an issue. We only swam in the old one.

Sedona is only about 1 hour or so away, and you can also road ride there though it is a bit hillier and parts of it can be busy. There is a pool there that is really nice and a track, though I don't know the hours for the track. Sedona will be quite a bit warmer than Flag in August.

Sedona is at about 4,500 feet. Flagstaff is right around 7,000.

The difficulty can be in finding accommodation depending on your budget and whether or not NAU is in session.

Flag is also set up well since there are quite a few teams (US and Int'l) that go there. There are plenty of resources for therapy, etc. while you are there.


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Last edited by: -JBMarshTX: Dec 30, 18 10:05
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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If you’re looking to “unplug” Aspen, Breck, & CO Springs, may not be your best options. It can get very congested there in the summer.
Durango is more arid high desert, not as lush as Aspen, Breck, etc. It’s a cool town, but the topography of Pagosa Springs (rattier town) is prettier, and you could thrash yourself on Wolf Creek Pass, which is a safer pass to bike on than Independence Pass (Aspen), & has wide shoulders.
Steamboat Springs might be worth looking into. I’ve done a lot of road riding out there, and never felt spooked by car traffic. And the pool in town will be just fine for swim training.
Another small Colorado town area to check out may be Grand County, Its a bunch of small towns: Winter Park, Fraser, Tabernash. Not as touristy, so Aspen it ain’t. There’s an indoor pool at Fraser rec center that will be just fine. Berthoud Pass will be safe with wide shoulders for epic road climbs. There’s a YMCA on an old ranch that has tons of supervised kids activities.
The towns I mentioned are high elevation. But to unplug, train on safe roads, access to trails, see pretty stuff, and have fun with the kids in cool CO mountains, Steamboat or Grand County might be worth investigating.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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rmg wrote:
Looking for some discussion on best place for a one month home base in August 2019 at altitude out west. Currently live in Greenville, SC. Need to unplug for a while (primary objective) and will be training for a race in early September

Plan to ride road and MTB. Envision long climbing rides on the road bike and getting lost in the woods for hours on the MTB. Some focused sessions on tri bike will be necessary too. Access to pool needed and masters crew a plus. Will run base miles mostly on trail and hopefully have access to a local track for some specific sessions.

There are loads of tourist towns with good MTB... but road riding is tough. The roads are there, but it's just too dangerous (too much traffic, no shoulder, impatient drivers pulling trailers on winding roads). Definitely the case in Tahoe and Flagstaff. But MTB is not good training for Tri. Do really care? What is this race you speak of in Sept?

NM, AZ, and CO will be experiencing "monsoons" in Aug, with frequent afternoon showers. Would be good to avoid that. The west coast states are dry in Aug and in between it's kinda mixed. Speaking of dry, there is a good chance for forest fires on the west coast that time of year, which can really screw things up if you are stuck with a prepaid reservation.

If you don't really need altitude I'd look at Bend OR (it's 3600ft). Climate is perfect then, good amenities, clean air, chance of smoke less than CA, awesome mountains to the west and plains to the east, great MTB and road variety. If you really want to sleep at altitude for the effect, you could probably find a cabin in the mountains nearby.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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I have always wanted to spend some time in Oregon. Northwest forests remind me of Jurassic world. Going to race Xterra this year again as IM training puts too much strain on the family right now. Did one road tri last year in Cleveland to nab a slot for Lausanne, Switzerland. Thought it would be fun to parlay into some touring of the alps. Would like to get altittude acclimated, more to bone up for some epic rides than the training effect for racing, although that would be a welcome bonus. I think MTB/Xterra and Oly distance road racing kind of compliment each other from an energy expenditure and training standpoint. MTB make me a better overall cyclist and something about powering uphill over obstacles adds another level of strength that seems to make pushing a 56-11 on the tri bike easier. Good advice on the rainy season as that could put a damper on the whole plan. Keep coming back to the idea of Tahoe, although I want to look more into the road and off road cycling routes there. Maybe I should just rent a jet stream and be totally mobile.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
Any area of the lake that you would recommend in particular ? //

All depends on what you are ultimately looking for. South Tahoe is close to a lot of stuff, including casinos. Truckee is more out there and has that mountain town feel. I think your best bet is to just get on VRBO and look around the lake for some great places, they will tell you how far you are from local eateries and such...


I used to camp there in vans and RV's, so I would be between emerald bay and Truckee at an Indian held campground, forget the name.. But I always wanted to be right on the water, to cool off, and an easy start to all my H20 activities, and of course the scenery. Something about looking at water all day, calms the body...

I would second the Tahoe area. Really nice location..a bit lower than Tahoe, but if you want to expand to Canada given that the Canadian $$$ is currently at 0.73 USD, consider the Canmore-Banff-Lake Louise area. Really awesome and terrific riders and trail running.
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Re: Where would you go to spend time at altitude in U.S. ? [rmg] [ In reply to ]
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I also live in Albuquerque, but agree it may be a bit low for you. Consider Santa Fe? 2000' higher than Albuquerque, and the riding is still pretty good. If you need more road selection Albuquerque is just an hour's drive. Plenty of pool options, mountain biking, and neat cultural stuff for the family.
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