Training at Altitude Sporadically

I live near sea level, but I go into high altitude quite frequently (roughly 7300 feet) many weekends all winter long to ski and quite often in the summer for MTBing.

Unfortunately I am typically in and out of the high elevation in 2-3 days, and I think this lifestyle is actually a detriment to my training quality. Forget the travel stress that adds up, but the quality of training due to never being able to actually aclimatize limits the intensity of workouts.

I’ve decided the best way to combat this high altitude training in the winter is to due all my high intensity training at sea level, and then work in sweet spot or endurance intensity at high elevation. If I have a threshold workout scheduled, and I have already done all high intensity throughout the week, I lower the intensity to sweet spot (even though 14% below threshold is probably still threshold I lower it to a level that feels like sweet spot). I don’t think I am going to get the training adaptation of a wattage that is below sweet spot at sea level but feels like threshold at high elevation, so I just lower to sweet spot because the training adaptation I’m guessing is not much different, and I don’t burn mental matches on something that feels like threshold but I’m not getting threshold training adaptation from.

In the summer, I usually do long mountain bike rides for fun and for hours in the saddle, so I plan on using the same protocol of intensity during the week, but maybe I should dial back my mountain bike ride intensity (easier said than done on technical climbs at times) and just use them as long endurance rides to maximize my training stress.

Any thoughts on this, and if there are better ways to optimize my training plan? I’m afraid there’s no way around my lifestyle (cry me a river I know) and will have to deal with slightly suboptimal training plan.

Honestly, I think you have this schedule pretty dialed in by doing your high intensity at sea level and leaving sweet spot and endurance for the higher elevations.

As for your mountain bike rides, I wouldn’t worry about dialing it back from sweet spot to purely endurance. These outdoor rides are great for your mental strength and motivation to get on the trainer when you get home so personally, I would just enjoy those and ride them how you want to. If that’s sweet spot one day, great. If it’s endurance the other, that perfectly okay too! All I’m saying is you are traveling to go ride, so just ride! As long as you are getting a solid ride in and enjoying yourself, that’s what’s important. :slight_smile:


If you’re single you could consider an altitude tent…
If frequently is every weekend, it’s still 2/7th of the time, I’d go by feel and accept that your TSS will be inaccurate (full day of ski isn’t an off-day)

Yea, I’m with you, and that’s how I do it. Sometimes I could probably dial it back vs. trying to set personal records up climbs. You’re right, the reason I am travelling is to enjoy riding my bike. It’s good to keep that in perspective.

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Ha I think my wife would officially think I’ve lost my mind if I brought in the altitude tent, but it wouldn’t be beneath me otherwise! Yea ski fatigue is tough to fit into the equation, which the WHOOP strap actually helps me keep track of this on top of the travel stress. That’s where I drop a gym workout during the week in favor of another trainer ride, and throw in the lower intensity ride on just one of the ski days during the weekend. Good mentally for cross training, but eventually for a spring target event, it gets tough to fit it all in to be in peak form. Summer is easier to rack up the TSS since the outdoor days are bike focused only.