Monday, August 9, 2010

How to Train at Altitude in the High Desert

I went to visit my father for a few days in Spanish Springs, Nevada, outside of Reno. I am training for the Saratoga Palio Half Marathon in September, so this was a running vacation. I kept to my Hal Higdon intermediate training schedule, which consisted of a 3 - 4 mile run each day. For variety, I substituted a hill workout for my tempo run on Friday, running up and down La Posada twice.

Tempo run on Friday? Hill Workout? Friday is a rest day!

Yes, I typed Friday. I had to skip running on Saturday, as I would be flying back to New York, so I ran on Friday instead. The key to staying happy with my running whilst on vacation is flexibility and planning for success.

Tips for running at altitude:

Listen to your body. I did not force myself to run at the same pace as normally do.

Hydrate. I can usually run for 3 - 4 miles without additional water. In the desert, I took care to constantly hydrate. On my La Posada workout, I stashed a water bottle at the bottom of the hill. When I ran on the other days, I ran a loop around my father's house and stopped to drink at from the water bottle I left on the front lawn.

Plan your route. I use gmaps pedometer to plan my running routes. I told my father where I was running and when I planned on returning. I wore my Road ID and carried a cell phone. I also carried a small bottle of water with me.

Run in the early morning or evening. I used my LiveStrong visor to shield my face from the sun and ran while the weather was at its coolest.

What tips do you have for running at altitude or in the desert?

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