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Thinking about a trip to a high altitude environment? Though there is not enough scientific evidence to fully understand if (or how) altitude training truly impacts performance, proponents of up-high running have come up with some general guidelines for those who wish to give it a shot. Here’s how to make the most of your time up high. Then book a trip to one of these amazing locations in the U.S. and worldwide.
For the best gains, shoot for a training location located 5,000–8,000 feet above sea level.
Though fans of altitude training recommend spending 4–6 weeks at altitude for maximum effect, some believe short-term exposure can still be beneficial. If you’re hoping to use a long weekend as a tune-up for a race, schedule your trip 4–6 weeks before a major event.
Lower your expectations. Thin air means you’ll work harder, especially during speed sessions and while running uphill. Your times will be slower, but that’s okay. You’ll notice the difference when you get back to sea level.
You’ll need to drink more at higher altitudes, so pay attention to hydration. Altitude can also cause a decreased appetite, even after long, hard runs, so stay on top of fueling in and out of training.
Ease into your running. It might be tough to complete that long run during your first day at altitude, especially if you have never been at an elevation that high before. Instead schedule a shorter run so you can get used to the thin air.