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Does that 1% per thousand feet rule of thumb also apply to power? I recently did a high altitude time trial and figured I wouldn't be able to maintain my usual lower-altitude power level, but I didn't know how much to back off. I went up about 3500 feet, so should I have backed off by 3.5% power?

Joe Friel

Linda--Yes, the slowing certainly implies that power will be reduced.


First of all thank you for share your knowledge Joe.
You wrote:...For every 1,000 feet (300m) above where you live expect about a one-percent slowing of race time if not adapted, less than that if adapted. For example, if you live at sea level and your race is in Boulder, Colorado, at roughly 5,000 feet (1500m) and you arrive two days before the race you can expect to race roughly five percent slower than you would back home.

Perhaps you mean: you arrive 2 days before the race you can expect roughly THREE percent slower.

Is it correct? It is just to be sure.
Because 5000 feet/1000 feet= 5 days
5 days - 2 day before the race = 3%.

Thank you

Joe Friel

Massimo--No, it's still about 5%. the change is not too great in the first 2 days. but itwould have been somewhat worse in day 1 after arival.


Excellent advice, as always. For the older athlete, I think that the adaptation to altitude takes even longer, while the heat and humidity adaption appears the same. This is anecdotal rather than science-based, although I seem to recall reading about altitude, and its increased effect per decade on an individual. And yes, spending time in air conditioning when not training in Hawaii would be wise - if we go back, we would make sure to have central air in our rental to do just that.

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