We discussed our finishing time for PYT and came up with a realistic goal. Our goal came from previous races and the amount of training we’ve committed to a specific race in the past. Now, we are ready to put a training plan together.
I’ve decided to subscribed TrainingPeaks for 2 months to track our training in Leh, India. TrainingPeaks will gave me a free month if I subscribe for a month. It’s enough tracking until we race!
It’s going to be sort of challenging living high and training high. Majority, in fact almost all the studies I’ve read published does not advocated living high and training high unless racing high. Although there is one benefit I’ve read that’s common, there is a significant improvement in lactic buffering in the muscles after LHTH which helps in short sprints for example. Also, according to most studies a good height to live high that shows improvement in performance is around 8,000 – 9, 000 ft. The improvement is more on increasing red blood cells in the body before racing at sea level. So, a training camp at 11,800 ft may not help. In fact, some studies show that it’s actually detrimental to an athlete. LHTH is an old school way that is not commonly used by athletes today.
What improvement are we really looking at? For us mortals, I don’t expect significant improvement in our racing goal time. However, it would be interesting to see how our “training camp” in Leh, India plays out for our race in November. It’s fun to be experimental and no matter how we do in the race, we are doing this because it’s fun. It keeps us motivated to train and be more consistent. Also, I’m a major geek.
In the past, tracking my training have given me so much information about my body. Understanding the body is very interesting, specially if you put it under a lot of stress and pressure during training or racing. Tracking our training also keeps us honest and it’s cool to see past data to assess our fitness. In the big picture, we want to maintain our current fitness for several years and hopefully, not lose much fitness as we get older. Our life is centered around outdoor activities and that is what we truly enjoy.
Going back to LHTH, according to most studies and it is also obvious that lack of oxygen can impede intensity training. Furthermore, upon living high for long periods of time and completey acclimated there is not enough evidence in studies to show improvement racing at sea level. There are actually not a lot of studies of LHTH compared to LHTL (Live High, Train Low).
This is why I want to track our progress in training for an LHTH scenario specially at 11,800 ft! There are so many variables in play and it will be fun. 41 days of LHTH.
The first week in Leh, we are going to allow the body to adapt. This means many things. The plan is to take it easy with easy hikes and walks around Leh. Rest is critical. We are going to stay on a high carbohydrates diet, very minimal on protein and fat. Carbohydrates requires the least amount of oxygen to break down. It is a way to ease the body into adaptation and recovery. We also have to make sure we take Iron supplement religiously when we are there. In 2015, we arrived in Leh fully acclimated after three months roaming around Nepal’s Himalayas. We didn’t have problems at all when we got to Leh that time. This year, it’s a bit different. We do hike high and sleep low in the French Alps but the question is, is it enough? We’ll have to see.