What is your main cycling or triathlon event/race for the year?


@cullenac I managed to get a photo from the top of the Tymble…it took me 33 mins to pedal to the top, thankfully there were a couple of shady patches on the way up to give a little bit of relief from the relentless sun.


That looks fun!


So, I am in Odense, Denmark, now for ITU Long Course World Championships. I’ve been posting a blog on Zwift Insider of the training. Here is week 30. I got to do some training in DC, and it was way hotter than Quebec. Week 31 should be out soon. https://zwiftinsider.com/week-30-the-last-week-of-training-its-gettin-hot-in-here/


@Coach_Ian I didn’t think the climb was ever going to end BUT I had great fun flying down the other side :grin:


Yeah, that’s so much fun.


Michelle absolutely crushed that climb and got a new 20 min power PR!! Her workouts this week just became more fun.


@Coach_Theia :scream:


In September I’m doing an event in the Tahoe area. I live at sea level and was wondering how my power numbers will suffer from just doing a race that starts at an altitude of 6k feet. The event is 80 miles, 8k feet of climbing but the last 17 miles and 4,200ft of climbing is the ascent of Mt. Rose. I have no idea how I should adjust power targets based on altitude. Any advice from the coaches/forum?


The best way to train for altitude is… riding at altitude to acclimate. However, it is not always possible to travel to the event location to train, so your second best bet is to arrive the day before and “trick” the body into thinking nothing happened (yet)- because it takes 2-3 days for the effects of the altitude to kick in. I too live at sea level, and when I went to Colombia I got altitude sickness on the third day, and it went away 2 days later.

As for power, you should continue to train as usual, and add longer rides with periods of lower cadence (50-70 rpms)- you can even add those during your endurance rides at 75%-80% of FTP.


Thanks @Coach_Theia. I’m arriving 30 hrs before the event so hopefully I will still be able to trick the body… As for power targets, I meant on the day of the race. For training I will keep using the same power zones but was curious to understand the relationship of power output and altitude. I know that at the same power number my HR will be higher if I’m doing it at altitude vs at sea level so if I don’t want to blow up I assume I will have to adjust down a bit my event power target for the last climb. Is that correct? Or should I just ignore the altitude effect and try to hit the avg power I can maintain for that climb as if I was starting at sea level?


Joe Friel has a handy chart about power output.(conclusion is that power output is usually down by about 10% in your case and 5% for acclimated athletes). But keep in mind there is always margin for error. Do you know from experience how you react to altitude (under normal circumstances, not cycling)? That might give you an idea if you are more or less sensitive. One other recommendation-- hydrate as much as possible, more than you would normally at sea level.


This is super useful! I think I acclimate quite well to altitude . I go skiing a lot during winter and rarely have headaches but I’ve never done a long endurance event at altitude. Also, I grew up in Mexico City which is at 7,400ft but not sure that really matters if I haven’t lived there in 10+ years :joy:


Yeah, probably not :laughing: I grew up in Sao Paulo (2,500ft), and did not have any problems in Mexico City for the week I spent there. But Bogota… it wasn’t only the headaches, I was also quite dizzy! So looks like for me the line is somewhere around 8,000 ft.


Oh no! That sounds awful. Hoping I won’t have any issues for my event… :crossed_fingers:


You’ll be fine! Just be mindful and like I said, hydrate well!


Be glad you aren’t me. I live at sea level.


gosh this is a stunning location! I spent 3 months in Reno in 2014 looking at working from there and we visited mount rose and Tahoe (see my birds from the forest there ; ultimate gift on my birthday!)Andrea%20by%20darren%205.

I did find the altitude somewhat challenging. we talk about strategies in the coaches corner today. I would HIGHLY recommend having your B12 and Ferritin and iron and haematocrit checked to ensure optimal iron stores to ensure O2 delivery is efficient. if they are low then you can take iron or B12 in advance to get stores to optimal. ferritin goal is 80 ng/ml approx

Also your fuelling will change, more carbs will be expended and shift the balance on the plate in meals also to more carbs, some protein, some fats and ample colourful veggies for antioxidants.

eating a diet rich in healthy fats as you prepare will support cell membrane function.

tweaking your training to really have acute preception of effort will help you feel the heart rates what do you feel @Coach_Theia so that perception will notice the slight rise in effort due to less O2. most importantly dont over think it!

there is a triathlon in tahoe, i often think wow that would be amazing and then realise how much of a battle the sucking air with low O2 is!! Ive done track intervals at altitude and i think i struggled so badly it led to my most childish meltdown ever with my boyfriend!! At the time i didnt figure i was at such altitude but i made sense of it eventually!! it pays to know where you train in foreign countries!!

Best of luck!


I would say without a doubt growing up in altitude gives you an edge. i dont know how but i see it in my boyfriend. every time we go back to johannesburg he never has an issue it is like the body remembers; and i die! and i also have a naturally high ferritin from haemochroatosis gene but sadly its not enough for me to outrun him :stuck_out_tongue:


I think altitude will exacerbate any tiny weakness in health also eg adrenals when under pressure make us prone to dizziness so fatigue will make things worse. were you vegetarian back then Theia? that could impact you also re b12 and Iron and blood O2 carrying capacity.


Thanks for all the tips Andrea! I had my annual blood work done recently but only found iron and hematocrit in the results. Both within normal range.
I have been to Tahoe a few times but always during winter. I love the area and have been wanting to go in summer so signing up for the event was just an excuse to plan a trip there. Obviously the altitude issue never crossed my mind until now.
I will definitely be very mindful of the food and the hydration so hopefully I will do well in the event.