High altitude training

Have you been training on high altitude?

We have a couple of times, since it is mostly in those environments we are running our races. However, now in winter time, there is also here in the higher mountains where we find the best conditions for ski mountaineering. So, the last 4 weeks we’ve been above 2000metres.

Two times, so far, we’ve hit the wall. Sanna at first in Tignes on our way up to Grand Motte, the second day on our trip. Slower than the slowest but still hardest pulse and breath. But I struggled through the day and it became better as the day went, and as the sun shined on us, we were out until the moon took over.
Tignes and The Vanoise National Park offers a huge area with skiing and other mountain activities. It is truly beautiful surroundings. We felt spoiled about the weather conditions. And it continued as we traveled about an hour away to La Plagne, another ski resort.

It has been blue skies and sun for two weeks, which means for us, picnic everyday for lunch to be able to stay outside as long as possible. We are use to handle that and have endurance, until one or two days we hit the wall when the body says: “Timeout, chill for Christ’s sake!” And then it is really enjoyable to just lay in bed and eat all day long. That is just what happened on Christmas Day. Luckily for us, it was cloudy and snowy.

We skied a slow cross-country hour, but other than that it was recovery time, and movie day. A good tip is The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, if you haven’t seen it. Pretty fun one!

At the moment we are in La Plagne, Le Belle Plagne at 2050 metres above sea level. The villages are ugly here, really. But the mountains around are very nice. Many downhill skiing pistes and lifts, so not perfect for ski mountaineering, nor cross country skiing. But still, we’ve found good tours and have had training days to remember! And sometimes it is nice with some manchester as well.

It is a bit tricky to train on high altitude, and be here for a long time. We like being out for a long time, and push pretty hard at some point, but also take it easy. But we forget that it takes a lot more than on sea level, and needs more resting. We can feel it when we come back into the apartment and sit down, then the tiredness comes over us. It has been okay this trip though, as mentioned, only two times when we’ve been feeling really low. Otherwise, the energy level has been good.

In January we haven’t decided yet if we stay in the alps or go home.