Training for Altitude from Sea Level

Just found out that I’ll be in Colorado/Montana soon and have 6 solid weeks to train until then, but I have no idea what to do. I’ll be at altitude for about 10 days.

My season so far: I did a base plan in spring and held a 6 week average TSS around 250 for that period, but then I was injured and off the bike for a bit. After recovering, I’ve been holding a 6 week average of about 175+ which would be since the beginning of June. The last 2 weeks I’ve basically been off the bike due to work. I just re-tested last weekend and my FTP is 209 currently. I’ll be racing at least once a week for the next 5 weeks leading into this travel, treating them as training races. I’m currently about 10lbs over where I should be as well, so will be dropping that weight ahead of the trip.

The goal: I’d like to be in solid shape for this and want to ride some actual mountains and passes, but don’t want to be totally gassed by altitude and lack of fitness. Right now I’m thinking of doing SSB part 2 and focusing on the weight loss as the way to get into the best possible shape for climbing in the shortest time. Is this a good approach or is there a better method I could be using (i.e. sprinkling in VO2)? I’m especially interested in any type of training I should do that would help make me more effective at altitude. Currently also considering getting a larger sprocket for my 11-28t cassette…

PS: I’d love any recommended routes near Denver, Red Lodge, The Grand Tetons, or Salt Lake City.

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I’m in Billings, MT (60 miles from Red Lodge), so I can help with routes and such. Depending on your timing, I could possible meet up or share you info with others if you want to do some rides together too. I can make routes in Ride with GPS and share those too.

Assuming you are looking for road rides, and ones with climbs, I personally love a 28t for the riding around Billings and Red Lodge. Beartooth Pass is very worth consideration and rated one of the prettiest climbs in the US.

Let me know here or via private message (whatever you prefer) and we can work on the details (days you plan to be in RL, desired rides, distances and such) to help you enjoy your time in my area :smiley:


There’s a great ride in Grand Teton NP along Teton Park road - eg Jenny Lake to Colter Bay and back. There’s not a lot of elevation change, but you can take a side trip up Signal Mountain to get a climb in.

I’ve not ridden it yet, but some day I plan to ride to Grassy Lake Reservoir. It’s a gravel road though.

For training, just work on getting your FTP as high as you can. So probably no different vs the training you’re probably otherwise doing.

Any chance you have a GPS file for that route? Sounds like the perfect ride for my parter (who is newer to cycling) and I to check out. We don’t have gravel bikes so we’ll have to pass on that.

Appreciate the training tips, that’s what I’m working on.