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altitude's effects?(4 posts)

altitude's effects?reklar
Jul 7, 2003 12:37 AM
I normally ride in the Bay Area so I rarely ride more than 4000' above sea level...Went for a ride in the Sierras over the weekend...did a pretty hefty climb. The ride started at about 3200' and went up to around 6000' or so...At about 4500' (guessing) it seemed like I was exerting more effort to get up the hill than I would have on similar hills in the bay area (my heart rate also seemed to reflect my general feeling). I had thought that altitude doesn't really affect you a whole lot until you are above 6000'--is this incorrect?
re: altitude's effects?Smiker
Jul 7, 2003 3:57 AM
Reklar,

I looked into altitudes effect a little at university last year. At lower altitudes the effects tend to be a bitt more personal, but become more noticeable when exerting yourself (such as climbing a hill). Basically there's a little bit less oxygen (maybe 6% less at 4500') so you need extra blood moved to your organs and muscles for a given workrate. And when you're working hard, those few percent are quite noticeable - which is why you're messaging here. I hope that makes sense. It's a simple explanation to match my own simple knowledge!

Smiker
Takes a few times to get acclimated ...Humma Hah
Jul 7, 2003 6:00 AM
... its an individual thing. I notice a roll-off in performance at 6000 ft, but I very rarely get a chance to get up that high.

I can hike with no apparent ill effects at 10500 ft, but I'm not going full-out when I hike. If I'm climbing on my singlespeed, I'm usually right at my AT, and at 6000 ft I can tell the difference.
re: altitude's effects?cyclequip
Jul 7, 2003 6:12 AM
I live and ride at 6000'. What I can tell you is riders from lower altitudes never shape in our races unless they spend months training up here. Even then, they battle. On the other hand, when we race at sea level we notice a big difference in performance. Peak power is little affected but recovery is much quicker and repeats are easier as a result.