I live near Philadelphia and am heading on a business trip to the Denver area. I've been running between 6-9 miles per week for the past 5 months. I'm wondering what I should be expecting to be able to run when I'm in the hire elevation. Should I plan on doing the same distances, or will it be less. I'll be up in that elevation for 6 days. Typically I do 2 days of 2 miles and a third day of 3 miles. Sometimes, especially as I get closer to our 5k races, I'll bump up to 3.1 all 3 days. Any help you can provide would be great.
Thanks in advance
You should be able to continue your runs by slowing down. You will lose some oxygen capacity due to the thinner atmosphere (about 10% of VO2max), but a slower pace should compensate.
I live at relatively low altitude - Los Angeles - but have traveled to Denver and other cities at comparable altitude (e. g. Albuquerque) a number of times. When running, you will need to breathe noticeably harder, compared to sea level, for the same running speed, and you will max out at a slower speed than at sea level. As Len noted, because the air is thinner, you're getting less oxygen with each breath. My experience is that I'm about 30 sec/mile slower in Denver than in Los Angeles, at least for the first few days. I have not needed to reduce distance (typical runs between about 4 and 8 miles).
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