Reap the Rewards of Altitude Training for Runners

Dec 22, 2023

Here in our Rocky Mountain community, we’re blessed with plenty of lung-burning trails and routes at moderate to high altitude. While nose-breathing through these thin-air climbs can be humbling at first, embracing altitude training offers huge performance benefits for runners. Here’s an overview from your team at Phoenix Fitness:

Adaptations from Altitude Training

The decreased oxygen availability at elevation triggers beneficial physiological adaptations including:

● Increased red blood cell production to carry more oxygen to muscles ● Improved running efficiency as muscles learn to utilize oxygen better ● Boosts speed endurance by clearing lactic acid buildup faster ● Bolstered mental toughness and discomfort tolerance

When you return to lower altitudes, these adaptations allow you to run faster times with less perceived effort.

Ideal Training Zones

Experts recommend hitting 8,000 - 12,000 feet for the ideal altitude training sweet spot. Lower elevations don’t stress your body enough while too high limits your workout intensity. Our local foothills trails provide the perfect terrain for optimizing improvements!

Approach Strategically

Don’t jump all training to 10,000 feet overnight. Allow your body to acclimate over 7-10 days while monitoring for altitude sickness. Integrate easier runs, walk breaks on hills and build back pace/distance gradually during this period. Work with our coaches if you need help tailoring your altitude running program.

Harness the performance edge that altitude offers right in our backyard! Just be sure to utilize this powerful training tool strategically.