• Q and A - How to manage altitude for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race

    Q.  I read your advise in 2012 on the Yahoo forum to get to Leadville around Wednesday before the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. I'm racing again this year and I have the opportunity to go to Colorado three weeks early. I currently live in Minnesota.

    I'm wondering if you can give me your thoughts. What is best?

    Should I stay at Copper Mountain for two weeks then move up to Leadville? Stay in Copper the whole time, etc. In 2012, I stayed in Keystone for 10 days and felt miserable the entire time. On race day I was seeing white and blue spots. Horrible. I DNF'd. Trying to make a better plan for this year. Thank you!


    A.  Given that you had 10 days in Keystone and felt miserable, I'd suggest starting with one to three nights in Denver or Golden, then moving up to Copper Mountain for the remaining time.

    I love Leadville and I've based out of there in the past. Now I base out of Frisco (basically same elevation as Copper). I personally haven't seen an athletic advantage to base out of Leadville v.s. Copper/Frisco other than a shorter drive on race morning and a shorter drive for some training rides.  Several athletes prefer Frisco/Copper because they feel they sleep better at roughly 1,000 feet lower elevation. Of course, you'll want to do some of your training on the course and at higher elevations - which is easy to do from Copper.

    It seems that you really have trouble with altitude, so you might consider Diamox - a medicine climbers, skiers and others use to combat altitude sickness. Talk to your doctor about it to see if it is right for you.

    I don't recall what I wrote on the Yahoo board, but at the bottom of this link are more Leadville 100 Mountain Bike training information and resource links.

    Hope this helps!


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