Training at an 8,000-Foot Elevation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Training at 8,000ft Elevation… Step-by-Step Guide!

It can be a bit daunting at first to prepare to start training at 8,000 ft.! Mammoth Lakes is over 7,000 ft. above sea level, and this can be quite the adjustment if you are not accustomed to such extreme heights! Luckily, with some preparation, anyone can be ready to train or start backpacking at high altitudes–even 8,000 ft! Whether you want to mountain bike Mammoth or discover your own outdoor adventure in the running paths, there is something for everyone in Mammoth, CA. Here are some tips for preparing yourself for training in Mammoth Lakes. You’ll be hitting the trails in no time!

Understand the Difference

If you’re unaccustomed to training in altitudes greater than 6,000 ft., you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. The effects of high altitude become noticeable at around 2,000 ft. above sea level. When your body is first exposed to higher altitudes, there is a drop in the blood oxygen content. This drop can greatly affect your endurance and athletic performance. Because there is a reduced air pressure at higher altitudes, oxygen is not able to diffuse to your red blood cells as quickly as it can at sea level, so your blood passes through your lungs without being completely recharged with oxygen. Ultimately, this leads your body to feel tired faster, and you might notice you aren’t able to perform at the same endurance level you’re used to.

A lot of professional athletes actually choose to train at higher altitudes because it helps build endurance. Competitive distance runners, for instance, often spend weeks in the mountains training their bodies to withstand the change in conditions. Training in higher altitudes, such as those in Mammoth Lakes, will help you achieve higher fitness levels! That being said, you can’t just start to mountain bike Mammoth without any prior prep! You’ll need the right training and the right outdoor gear to make the most of your time in Mammoth, CA.

Preparing to Train at High Elevation

1. Focus on Aerobic Training

One of the best ways to start preparing for the change in altitude is by increasing your endurance. Doing aerobic exercise like running, cycling, and swimming will help increase your stamina quickly. Use local bike trails or hiking trails to get started. Aerobic exercise helps increase your V02 max, also known as the maximum level of oxygen your body can consume. You want to increase this level as much as possible before you begin training at high elevations.

2. Increase The Incline

If you aren’t used to running up hills or steep inclines, it’s time to start training on them. Find a steep hill, trail, or road nearby and start running or hiking up them regularly to accustom your body to this kind of terrain. Bike trails are another great way to increase your stamina. While training, focus on your breathing and try to take in as much oxygen as possible.

3. Get the Right Equipment

Visit a trusted sports outfitter with experience in alpine training like Adventure Sports Outpost. There, you’ll be able to get high-quality equipment in order to train or start backpacking safely while at high altitudes! They have bike rentals and outdoor gear to help you explore Mammoth! They’ll also be able to help you find the best equipment and gear for your skill level and sport! Your outdoor adventure awaits!

Start Training!

If you’ve taken all the necessary steps to prepare, then it’s time to start training at high elevations! Hiking, skiing, biking, running, and participating in other sports at high altitudes is a great way to expand your fitness skills and reach your health goals! If you need any ideas for how to enjoy Mammoth, CA, visit Adventure Sports Outpost for the best bike rentals, ski rentals, and outdoor recommendations! Enjoy the beauty of Mammoth, CA from the mountains!

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