Altitude Preparation?

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TripleFive

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6/2/2014 4:31 PM

Lakewood Colorado hosts round three of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Thunder Valley sits at roughly 5,480 feet, a staggering 5,360 feet above the Hangtown track.

As most of us know, the altitude has a significant detrimental affect on both the bikes and the riders. Often times MMA fighters who are scheduled for a fight in Denver conduct their entire training camp at altitude in order to prepare and acclimate.

Are pro motocross riders doing anything different to anticipate and adjust to the thin air, or are they simply treating round three like any other round? Are they showing up earlier than they normally would?


DJS721

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6/2/2014 4:45 PM

Not being a current pro, lol, hard to say. I know lots of riders do train for a track early by showing up in the region (remember Alessi a few years ago running into a fence post riding in PA training for High Point I think...ended his season)

When me and a buddy were planning to ride in Colorado, he showed me a mountain climber trick of taking Dymethyl Glycene (DMG). It helps the body process oxygen easier, and allows you to acclimate quicker. I don't recall getting winded or short of breath even after a few days of riding, some of it was hard single track. You have to start a couple days before, and then ease into it.

So I wonder if DMG, and over the counter supplement that you can buy at any vitamin store, is allowed by the AMA?

TripleFive

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6/2/2014 5:01 PM

If it works and it's not banned it seems foolish not to take DMG.

Ebs

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6/2/2014 5:03 PM

Altitude chamber, I wonder if any guys go as far as sleeping and/or working out in one.

dazzlindino

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6/2/2014 5:17 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/2/2014 5:18 PM

ballons...helium ballons...many helium ballons....

rickys james mc hannah 469...ama pro career wins...and counting
which means these riders have an average of 92 wins ea...
which is equal to over 3 years of winning every single sx and natl each...
15 years of absolute total 100% domination ...just sayin' ...

Socket946

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6/2/2014 5:46 PM

Eli and John Tomac regularly train at altitude.

2012 CRF250R #946



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Socket946

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6/2/2014 5:47 PM

TripleFive wrote:

If it works and it's not banned it seems foolish not to take DMG.

It's banned.

2012 CRF250R #946



"Stop being a dipshit, and we'll both be less aggravated" - GuyB

TX24

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6/2/2014 7:37 PM

I was at a sports store a couple of weeks ago and saw these masks one can buy to simulate elevation. They kind of looked like a small gas mask, might look kind of strange training in one.

ocscottie

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jasonv43

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6/2/2014 7:57 PM

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

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FGR01

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6/2/2014 8:30 PM

jasonv43 wrote:

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

Be sure to drink lots (of beer) and wear no sunscreen. The sun, just like the air, is thinner at altitude and can't hurt you. Sunscreen just makes it harder for your skin to breathe in the thin air.

Powerband in every gear !

Socket946

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6/2/2014 8:43 PM

jasonv43 wrote:

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

FGR01 wrote:

Be sure to drink lots (of beer) and wear no sunscreen. The sun, just like the air, is thinner at altitude and can't hurt you. Sunscreen just makes it harder for your skin to breathe in the thin air.

5th gear tapped, everything the bikes got.

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"Stop being a dipshit, and we'll both be less aggravated" - GuyB

mmitoptech

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6/2/2014 8:59 PM

In my experience, No. May have changed over the last few years but in the past, it was just another round. A few changes need to be done to the bike.

GFY

jasonv43

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6/2/2014 9:13 PM

jasonv43 wrote:

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

FGR01 wrote:

Be sure to drink lots (of beer) and wear no sunscreen. The sun, just like the air, is thinner at altitude and can't hurt you. Sunscreen just makes it harder for your skin to breathe in the thin air.

Why not kill two birds with one stone.







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EddieC

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6/2/2014 9:28 PM

"altitude" masks do not work. The below article does an excellent job of explaining it.
Common practice if an athlete is only to spend 1-2 days max competing is to show up as late as possible to event and compete. Any longer then that and your body will start feeling the effects of the altitude.

Sleep High Train Low is the accepted formula for reaping the benefits of altitude. Research has show 2-5% increase in hematocrit which to some this could be a huge difference. The only way to get this, is to purchase an altitude tent.

When I was working with Tucker Hibbert I had suggested using the altitude tent prior to competing at Winter X Games. We started 6 months out slowly increasing altitude per company protocol. When he arrived he didn't notice the altitude and was able to test and race without complications.


http://mmatrainingbible.com/2012/08/21/the-truth-about-gas-mask-training/

EddieC

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6/2/2014 9:34 PM

ocscottie wrote:

This is not an altitude chamber but rather a poor excuse for a decompression chamber. There have been a few people approach the Asterisk Medical Staff about using it for post concussion treatment as well as post injury treatment . Our doctors did a thorough research of this unit calling up the doctors of the pro teams that supposedly where using them only to find out the doctor did not find the results the company claimed.
Real decompression units require MEDICAL DOCTOR supervision because of the use of pure oxygen. The unit pictured about uses a bicycle pump not O2.

Silliker269

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6/2/2014 9:40 PM

Bust your ass and train harder then everyone else , pretty standard formula

yz414

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6/2/2014 9:44 PM




100 push ups a day in one of these

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

If you can't ride good you better look good, thats why I have new gear.

colonel

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6/2/2014 11:07 PM

I doubt that many are sleeping in chambers in order to adapt. All of the science on altitude training and acclimation shows that after you arrive at altitude, your performance starts to drop after the first 6-12 hours. It keeps dropping and reaches rock bottom at 72 hours. After that it improves rapidly. This is because of a diuretic effect of altitude. If any of you have had this feeling you may have noticed that you were peeing a lot the first 2 days. After a few days your blood volume shrinks to the point where it cannot sustain the requirements of your cardiovascular system at peak exercise and so when you go hard your brain is deprived of oxygen, you fell breathless, your heart rate won’t increase and you just can’t go. This is your brain refusing to let you go hard. In fact, at the top of everest, you cannot get your blood lactate above 1.5mmol/l. For example when doing a max test at sea level it hits 16mmol/l.
So you don’t go into oxygen debt and anaerobic at altitude, rather your brain just shuts down leg control and stops the power. So should any rider arrive 3 days before, it will be the worst possible time.

After 3 days your liver starts to produce lots of protein and your blood volume expands again. You also produce lots of red blood cells. After 5 days at altitude your performance will return to when you first arrived and will then improve. So its therefore recommend that you either arrive the day of the race or the evening before or stay for at least a week before the race which is often not possible with testing etc.

When you drop to lower altitude after a period of altitude training, the protein is lost again but the red blood cells stick around for about 120 days. So as a result your haematocrit goes up and you can sometimes benefit from this with improved performance. However, the low intensity that you have to sustain at altitude means that you can often lose form if you stay too long or if you do this a few weeks before a big race. This is why most of the studies on altitude training show no benefit to performance at sea level. However, that said, the best time for altitude training is 6-8 weeks before a big event.

All of this is also not a huge factor for a once off mx race with regards to adaptations due to the race being a 1 day event.


2thefront

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6/3/2014 12:53 AM

jasonv43 wrote:

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

FGR01 wrote:

Be sure to drink lots (of beer) and wear no sunscreen. The sun, just like the air, is thinner at altitude and can't hurt you. Sunscreen just makes it harder for your skin to breathe in the thin air.

I hope no one takes the part about the sun seriously haha.

louis.bernard.564

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6/3/2014 1:14 AM

jasonv43 wrote:

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

FGR01 wrote:

Be sure to drink lots (of beer) and wear no sunscreen. The sun, just like the air, is thinner at altitude and can't hurt you. Sunscreen just makes it harder for your skin to breathe in the thin air.


I heard a special herb helps at high altitude in south america, but I am not sure you will pass the PED spectator test.

C.Worthy

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6/3/2014 1:20 AM

Altitude training masks? Wonder if they actually make a difference


TripleFive

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6/3/2014 7:03 AM

A lot of good info in here, thanks guys!

hvaughn88

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6/3/2014 7:17 AM

I was training with one of these for a mtb race. Didn't go too well when I walked into the bank wearing it.





TripleFive

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6/3/2014 7:36 AM

hvaughn88

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6/3/2014 7:37 AM

^^^hahaha, exactly!



Mchenault499

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6/3/2014 8:03 AM

Honestly, altitude affects people differently than others. Some people may do some different training and may have an edge (even a mental edge) but in the end, prepare as you normally would. The best idea would be to get to Denver as early as possible so your body can adjust a little. Even if you aren't riding... Everyone knows how it will affect them, just be prepared for it and the fittest rider will feel it the least. Is Tomac returning this weekend? If so, he will have the edge because he trains and lives at elevation.

Also, even though its counter-intuitive because of the elevation, I think Pourcel will do well because just watching him, it seems like he would be able to go the fastest while also having a lower heart rate than most of the other riders.

TomZ

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6/3/2014 8:05 AM

Reading some of the posts above I see much of the information I have read over many years.

I have learned over a period of 30+ years that altitude has a different effect on young vs old, highly trained vs couch potato and what you do when you arrive at altitude. Being a skier/snowboarder we have traveled to altitude many, many times. The young kids really felt it, the teens not as much and the oldest in our groups always felt it the most. The higher your level of fitness the less overall effect it has.

I train 4-5 days per week and have a very disciplined diet and hydration program but age is catching up to me.

Last winter my 16 yr old son and I skied some backcountry hike in terrain at 12,000 - 13,500 ft elevation. We went pretty hard the first day(it was a powder day) and for one of the first times in my life I felt the effects that night. Elevated resting heart rate, sleeplessness etc. By day four I had recovered fully and felt great but those days in between were tough. We skied each day but not nearly as hard as usual.

Adjusting to 6000 +/- ft elevation is much easier than 12k + but if it were me I would have flown directly to Denver and spent the entire week at altitude to adjust as much as possible. When races are won or lost on the smallest details, it may be the difference between hero and zero.

AnimalHungry

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6/3/2014 10:05 AM

jasonv43 wrote:

Yeah but what about the spectators. How should we prepare?

Well I'll be coming down in altitude (I live at 10,000 ft) so I'll be steaming up and down those hills like an Ethiopian mountain goat.

Simon

AnimalHungry

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6/3/2014 10:24 AM

TomZ wrote:

Reading some of the posts above I see much of the information I have read over many years.

I have learned over a period of 30+ years that altitude has a different effect on young vs old, highly trained vs couch potato and what you do when you arrive at altitude. Being a skier/snowboarder we have traveled to altitude many, many times. The young kids really felt it, the teens not as much and the oldest in our groups always felt it the most. The higher your level of fitness the less overall effect it has.

I train 4-5 days per week and have a very disciplined diet and hydration program but age is catching up to me.

Last winter my 16 yr old son and I skied some backcountry hike in terrain at 12,000 - 13,500 ft elevation. We went pretty hard the first day(it was a powder day) and for one of the first times in my life I felt the effects that night. Elevated resting heart rate, sleeplessness etc. By day four I had recovered fully and felt great but those days in between were tough. We skied each day but not nearly as hard as usual.

Adjusting to 6000 +/- ft elevation is much easier than 12k + but if it were me I would have flown directly to Denver and spent the entire week at altitude to adjust as much as possible. When races are won or lost on the smallest details, it may be the difference between hero and zero.

I'll throw in my 2 cents here since I see people trying to adjust to altitude the whole time. Generally, the fitter you are the better you adjust to altitude. However there's a difference between adjusting to altitude (basically feeling out of breath climbing the stairs) and actual altitude sickness. My buddy runs the oxygen lounge up here in Breckenridge (9,600 ft) and he consistently says there is absolutely no correlation between how fit someone is and whether they get altitude sickness. He's seen 300 lb heifers, whose only exercise is leaning out the window of their cars at the DD drive thru, with superfit kids who have come to race mountain bikes and it's the kids who have the altitude sickness. It sucks, but it's true. No matter how fit you are, if you are pre-disposed to get altitude sickness then you're basically screwed for the first 2-3 days after you come up from sea level.

Simon