Thursday, October 02, 2008

Feeling the effects of altitude

As I was on an easy run on Monday I could feel that my breathing was a bit discomforting, the pace somewhat slower and the heart-rate about 10 bpm higher than normal. I was beginning to think that something was wrong. A few miles into the run my eyes and mind drifted away taking in the sights of the surrounding mountains. It was at that point in which I realized I was running at a higher altitude. The elevation here in the lower part of Oberammergau is 2800ft, a significant difference compared to the 300ft elevation of the area I live in in the Netherlands.

The week so far:
Tuesday was a 10 mile run with 10 x 1' strides. I usually get down to about 4:40-4:45 pace toward the end of the minute strides, but because of the altitude I could only manage to get the pace down to about 4:53. It's obvious that the half-mile high elevation has an effect on the body. On Wednesday morning I only put in 3 miles because I had planned to run more in the afternoon. However, I forgot that I was taking a trip to Munich for Oktoberfest, so the planned 6-8 miles did not happen. Today was a double with an easy five in the morning and twelve in the afternoon which included 2 x 2.5M at tempo pace. Because of the altitude I tried to run at the same effort, instead of pace, as last week's 3-mile tempos. I averaged about 5:45 pace (14:24, 14:22) for the 2.5M tempos. The remainder of the week will be easy running to reach 75 miles.

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