I have the chance to spend the last three weeks of August at 8000 feet in Aspen. I’m looking for ideas on how to plan my training before, during and after the trip to see the best possible fitness benefits (while still enjoying the riding while I’m there). I’ll be able to do a few 60-90 minute rides during the week and longer rides on the weekends.
Right now I’m slowly coming back from a crash where I got a chainring in the back of the leg, expecting to be ready for intensity again a week or two from now. That’ll be roughly 3-4 weeks off the bike or doing only zone 1. The aim is to generally raise the long-term fitness and set myself up for next season, though it would be nice to hit an end of season peak some time in October/November. Without the trip I’d probably plan to do SSB2 followed by sustained build. But the altitude “camp” would be right in the middle of the build, and I’m tempted to do more base and move to the build immediately after returning to sea level.
My main questions:
- Is it better to come in rested and have three weeks of intensity, or fatigued to start with a recovery week while I’m also acclimating to altitude? Or something in between?
- Does the relative benefit from higher intensities (eg VO2) suffer at altitude? Am I better off concentrating on more sustained (eg Z2 and/or sweetspot) work?
- Once I’m back at sea level, what takes best advantage of altitude adaptations to turn them into longer-term gains?
- Most importantly, where’s the best riding (road or gravel) to be found near Aspen?