XCD09 – Week Three Recap

This week has been one of the most relaxing of XCD09. I arrived in Breckenridge on Sunday night and have spent every day but one on the slopes. I’ve just been skiing Breck, but plan to venture out to other Summit County resorts like Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain soon. Vail is also a possibility. The snow hasn’t been ideal this week. Until this afernoon, there had been no new snow. I hope today’s snow continues through the night, as the warm weather early in the week and lack of new snow combined for some icy conditions on the slopes.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time this week at the Breckenridge Recreation Center. It is a really impressive facility. It has a great pool for lap swimming, lots of cardio equipment (including Expresso Interactive Bikes), an expansive climbing wall (this is Colorado, after all), free wi-fi and many other amenities. And, it costs about a third as much per month as my gym back in DC.

Training at the Breck Rec Center hasn’t been easy, however. Even though it sits down in the valley in town, the altitude at the gym is 9,600 feet. Elite athletes like to train in Boulder because the high altitude helps condition their lungs. Boulder sits at 5,344 feet. Breckenridge is more than 4,000 feet higher. That explains why there are signs hanging throughout the gym warning you about the altitude, urging you to not exert yourself too much and to stop if you don’t feel well. I noticed the altitude immediately on my first swim workout. I found it hard to go more than two strokes without taking a breath, whereas I normally take a breath every three to five strokes. When running on the treadmill, I had to slow down by about a half mile per hour in order to not get too winded. When I get back to sea level in Seattle, I hope these high altitude workouts will provide some real endurance benefits as I head into the final 13 weeks of training for Ironman Switzerland.

Journey on.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 7th, 2009 at 8:33 PM and is filed under Cross Country Drive 2009, Triathlons. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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