I know there have been several threads about hypoxia training and altitude acclimatization on this forum before, but the ones I found dried up years ago, so I decided it was best to start a new thread. Obviously, everyone is welcome to participate, ask questions, share own experiences, and give advice.
Current state and plan:
I have started sleeping at simulated altitude a week ago, and worked my way up from 4,000 ft of simulated elevation to now 7,300 ft of elevation (around 3/4 of sea level oxygen density). I will ramp this up to 9,000ft (around 70% of sea level oxygen density) over the next 3 days, and stay there (if everything goes to plan) for another 12 days.
After that, I will do two week at sea level (basically just sleeping without altitude tent) and then go back to altitude for another 3 weeks, where I will ramp up the altitude a lot quicker (from 4,500 to 9,000ft within 5 days).
One week after that, I have a three day stage race in Switzerland, with a base camp at 5,000ft, and climbs up to 7,000ft. I have ridden in the high alps before, and had varying experiences. A few times I didn’t feel the altitude at all (Teide, Teneriffe) and other times I felt like suffocating (Galibier, Furka). Since I don‘t want to leave this up to chance, I chose to acclimatize as much as I can (living at 200ft of elevation)
My set up:
I use a Hypoxico Everest II to generate the simulated altitude, and a head tent
The device looks terrible, but who cares… I would have loved to use a full tent, but I have a sloping roof in basically every room, so it doesn’t fit anywhere. I have put a mattress topper in the head tent to make everything nice and cozy in there. Before that I was always touching the cold metal beams.
Experience so far:
Since I haven’t spent a prolonged period at high altitude this might still be very raw. The first night in the tent was pretty rough, although the simulated altitude was rather low, the sound of the Hypoxico (which sounds like heavy breathing) and the new feeling had me awake for very long. Since then, I have spend 7 to 9 hours every night in there + 1 to 2 hours during the day, and kind say it bothers me much anymore.
I had to put the Hypoxico in the other room, because it is very loud and annoying.
I was pleasantly surprised by the tent not getting to hot or humid over night. I definitely sweat more than before using the tent, than without it, but it is absolutely fine. Also, keeping the air intake cold (the room the Everest II stands is climatized) helps a lot.
I go into the tent every night, around 30 to 60 minutes before I want to sleep. Then I measure my blood oxygen and see if it stabilizes (so far it always has). Then I measure the absolute density of oxygen in the tent and if everything checks out, I try to sleep. So far, my blood oxygen is a little on the high side, staying at 94 to 95% relative level (when around 90 is preferred). That will likely change with the altitude increasing.
According to my Whoop, recovery, HRV, and RHR haven’t been effected much so far. This is a little surprising, but certainly a positive.
I have reduced training intensity for the periods of hypoxia training, while ramping up volume a little. This should make recovery a little easier.
I am really interested in how this plays out and if it helps me conquering the alps.
Also, looking forward to your input