Sunday, January 09, 2011

Verifying: My issue really is Over-Exertion and not Altitude

In October, I climber Mt. Hoffman to test out of theory that maybe I don't have altitude sensitivity at all.

And I go into a great bit of detail about it here:

On Black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving) I did go snowshoeing at Mt. Shasta just to verify this theory that it's not altitude at all but working at too high of a heart rate.  This is a trail I know well and I always seem to have trouble around 7200' to the point that I could tell you the elevation without having to look at my gps.  That day I climbed to 7600' before turning around due to the weather deteriorating, but I had my verification.  At no point in time did I hit the wall   I had to stop often to let my heart rate come back down as it would want to climb over 150 very easily, but doing so made it so that I could easily climb it with no energy taking leave of my muscles.

As I said in the previous post this is life changing and now I have something I can train for.  It was so frustrating when I thought it was elevation as there is no way to train for elevation - your only hope is aclimatization.  I'm quite proud that I stuck with trying to figure this out and that finally after 10 freaking years of working on this I finally see a way through it.

There is another point that I had been noticing is that if I'm magically dropped at a higher elevation, likes taking the cable car up to Squaw High Camp at 8000' I'm fine.  If I hike up to that level I often have trouble.  Noticing that was a big clue that altitude probably isn't the problem I thought it was.

I'm now working with a training on increasing my endurance, first by running and then incorporating spin and climbing.

The trouble is that I'm perfectly happy with my heart rate going over 85%.  I've the endorphin junkie and it's proving to be quite a challenge to learn how to work more at a maintainable level.  Even today I was letting my dog tow me up Mission Peak and my HR was 160-165 and I was fine for the 2 miles we were going up, but that isn't workable for very long.  In face even on Mission Peak I may have run out of energy at that rate.  I will be routinely repeating the climb without a dog encouraging me to charge, so I'll have to see how doable this is.

My dream is to be able to climb and keep up with a group.  If I can do that then I can climb Ranier and other Washington and Oregon Mtns and maybe even some Canadian and Alaska ones.

But first lets do Mission Peak at a normal HR.

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