I just moved from San Diego to Colorado Springs. I used to run along the beach, and while I'm not a real serious runner I never really felt that out of breath.
That's all changed now. I've been running for about three weeks here, about three times a week. I feel like I'm always out of breath now. Granted, I had a layoff from running for about 6 months, but I didn't really put on alot of weight or anything. I figured it would just take a couple weeks to start adjusting to the altitude, but so far I can't really tell a difference.
Any suggestions from people who've also made a similar move on how to overcome the altitude changes? How long did it take you? Thanks in advance!
Well I would say that it usually takes people, under normal conditions, 2 weeks to feel good when they run again after taking a long break. Since you moved to the Springs, I would say it takes about twice as long just to get used to the less oxygen. It's awesome though once you go back to sea level and do a race. Colorado Springs is an awesome place to train, I've never lived there but I've done a lot of races down there and there are a lot of cool trails all over the place. Welcome to Colorado.
Thanks KR, it's good to be here (or back anyways, lived here many many moons back).
Yeah, I reckon I'll just keep at it. Give it a few more weeks and see how it comes along. Had just hoped to see a change for the better a bit sooner!
I appreciate the response.
Ok so you got me interested in this topic now and I had to look it up in my old college books that I have left hanging around(I was a Kinesiology major). There was actually a lot of studies done on this with elite and college athletes. One in particular dealt with a California-Colorado study. This long worded study was interesting. Basically, they took middle distance runners from Davis, California and from Colorado Springs and they did the exact training program for 12 weeks. A two-mile run and VO2max testing was done every 2 weeks as a trial. The study basically concluded that the training program could not be sustained at altitude at an intensity and duration as their sea-level counterparts. From a theoretical viewpoint though, altitude could produce more rapid and even greater physiological changes due to the hypoxic stress on the body and makes the body adapted. I do know though that you definately acclimatize faster by running or exercising than by doing nothing and in the book I have, which might be outdated now, it mentions runners taking 7-10 weeks to become completely acclimatized running 3 days a week. So, probably more than you wanted to know but it was for my benefit as well, so there. Again, hope you are enjoying it down there. Especially the weather today (3/11/08). Can't pass up this kind of spring weather in March. Take care.
We just moved to an area of higher elevation as well. We don't have the drastic change that you do, but it was noticeable.
But I took a longer break than you in between, and I put on a bit of weight. ( I got pregnant, and didn't keep running as I should have, and I eat like Hoover vacuum cleaner when i'm pregnant, which lead to the substantial weight gain). So I'm not entirely in your position, but I can say it took me a couple of months to feel anything like I did before when I was running more regularly. Good luck.
Now I don't notice a difference at all, but it's been 6 months of steady running for me. I doubt it'll take that long, but I'd give it a month or two before you forget it was ever an issue.