Swimming: 8800 yards
Cycling: ~231 miles, ~24,000 elevation gain (Marni)
Cyling: ~310 miles, ~30,000 elevation gain (Karel)
Running: 42 miles (Marni and Karel)
There are many benefits of training at altitude.
As you can see, there are many performance benefits to training at altitude that can bring on better endurance, power and speed....and they are all natural and legal!!!
Some athletes will notice the struggle at ~5200 feet whereas some athletes have to go to more than 8,000 feet above sea level.
With less than 8 weeks until the 2015 IM World Championship, our bodies were in a great place physically to absorb a mega-load of training stress but the reduced atmospheric pressure really made it challenging to stay aerobic. We have spent much of our training this year learning how to listen to our body and when we need to go EZ, we go EZ so that when we need to go hard, we have the energy to do so. Athletes often train in between this area - all the time and this makes it hard to boost performance.
In Boulder, it almost felt as if every workout was anaerobic - no matter how "easy" we were trying to go (which as you can imagine, made "recovering" after a climb or during a workout, quite impossible).
Even though we don't chase numbers when we train, it was much harder to go a certain effort in all three sports at altitude.
And although we both don't feel as if we lost fitness because of the altitude, it's hard to say as if we "gained" anything at altitude.
This mostly occurred in the 2-3 hours post workout so for Karel, he opted for more liquid calories and for me, I ate more frequently (every hour) and had small meals instead of a larger recovery meal. By dinner, we both had our "normal" appetites back and had no trouble enjoying our normal carb-rich diet.
We always had an appetite to eat before our workouts as well.
Sure, I had some great workouts but from a "smart" training perspective, our train-cation was long enough and I am happy to be back in Greenville. Karel managed to bounce back quickly after we returned home, whereas I have taken this entire week (since Tues when we traveled home) incredibly easy with light workouts, to fully recover my body.