Training at Lower Altitude on Vacation

I live at just over 5000 feet and next week I’ll be visiting my brother’s family at about 700 feet. I’ll be able to continue power based training and I’m wondering how, if at all, to adjust my training.

I remember learning on the podcast that I live at a high enough elevation so VO2 max training especially isn’t getting stressed as much as at lower elevations (though obviously it’s even more of a problem at higher elevations), so I’m wondering if I should adjust my VO2 session at least to take better advantage of my brief time at lower altitude. And maybe threshold?

I found one related conversation about changes to FTP at sea level where people have had mixed resulted in how their FTP changes (if at all) What is my "expected" sea level FTP, I live and train at altitude. So I’m wondering if there are other people on the forum who usually train high but who have trained during vacations (or work trips) low and have some suggestions. Or if anyone is more familiar with the theory at least of what to do. (And before suggesting going off RPE, I’m knew enough to training and workout at higher zones that I don’t think my perception of exertion will be accurate enough)

I’m also a little worried that if I either go harder and/or mark workouts as easier then adaptive training will try to up future workouts after I get back home. Though I suppose I can just decline adaptations.


@buirechain a rule of thumb somebody once told me was that sea level marathon pace becomes threshold @ 1 mile elevation. (!) Another rule of thumb I’ve heard is that you shouldn’t feel too much decrement in performance @ 1 mile elevation. So those are two pretty divergent rules of thumb! Ha! Probably due to individual variation that you mention.

But I recently watched Gwen Jorgensen take lactate data at ~mile high altitude and those results matched the marathon pace → threshold pretty closely. So that’s a pretty big difference…or what I would call a big difference.

If I were you I WOULD PIN IT!!! I’d take the bike outside and blast up some hills. Holy crap! It should be fun, right? Especially if it’s a vaction. I mean, let it rip! Screw Adaptive Training. Have fun with it.


Im no elevation effect specialist (coming from the land with no elevation, aka the UK) but for a short holiday you are probably overthinking it. So you could be able to go harder for less effort for a time, enjoy it (it is a vacation afterall) AT will sort it self out down the line.

I’m definitely planning on having fun too. I ride on average 16 hours a week and I’m on a low volume plan, so my legs should have time for both. And I’ll be borrowing my brother’s mountain bike instead of having my road bike which should give me some opportunities for fun.

And if I’m overthinking it–isn’t that part of why I’m on Trainerroad?

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I live at about 10K and in the past took a week or 10-day vacations to about 200’ a few times a year. I never really adjusted anything as I used that week to log long-ish days with minimal structure. But I knew I was about 10% stronger there. Since you’re at 5K, I’d expect close to a 5% boost in your FTP. So if you are doing structure, you could do a ftp test (for exact numbers) while you are there to adjust your zones for training, or add 4 or 5% to your ftp and adjust your training accordingly. You may not notice anything at all. When I go to race, it’s always at lower elevations (5K or less) minus the local races. So, have a pretty solid grasp on what to expect.