When I first moved to Nebraska (4600ft) from Houston (50ft), I had a few issues the first couple of months. It wasn’t every day, but rather it would go in spurts. And when I say this I don’t necessarily mean just as it pertained to running but rather just adjusting in general.
I would have days on end sometimes where I just felt so so so tired all the time. And then when it did come to running I definitely saw a difference in degree of difficulty. I had trouble holding what my normal training pace would be in Houston. This wore on me mentally some of the time, but eventually it all just got better.
You hear and read all the time about training in higher altitudes (much higher than here) and then running at or just above sea level and how awesome it is. While I do know that to be true by way of the elites, I never even for a moment thought it would be an advantage for me.
The few times I went home to Houston since moving here, none of those times did I run. I was always too busy and again because I wasn’t training for anything I took that time to do what I needed to do and spend time with those I wanted to spend time with. So for the past 8 months I had nothing to compare it to, nor did I even think about it.
It wasn’t until I got to NYC and on that Thursday morning, I laced up my shoes to go for a few shake out miles in Central Park (our hotel was 2 blocks away!!! So incredibly awesome!), that I realized that running/training at a higher elevation DOES make a difference even for a middle of the pack runner like myself!
I felt like I was floating as I ran from my hotel to the park. It was like buttah :O) At first I didn’t know for certain it was the change in altitude, but more like OMG I’m running in Central Park kinda high that made me feel so floaty, but then again on Saturday morning…to do more shake out miles and I felt the same exact feeling, I knew for certain that running here in Nebraska was indeed a good thing for a middle of the pack runner like myself!!!
So needless to say by the time Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to do the actual New York City Half Marathon, I was feeling pretty darn good about things. Yeah I hadn’t had the time I would have liked to train but that didn’t really matter so much given the overall goal, but man it sure made it a lot easier!
Those hills in Central Park? No problem. Running into the wind up 42nd street towards the Hudson River? No problem.
The lower elevation definitely was in my corner and I was oh so happy!
This of course bodes well for when I officially start training for Chicago (500ft range, but places are just above sea level) in October! This might turn out to be the easiest marathon I’ve ever done. That is the hope anyway!!
I have Colfax Half Marathon in May and while I initially thought I would try and get as close to my PR as possible, since this half marathon is in Denver (5,183ft), that might not be the case. At least it won’t be as hard as if I was coming from Houston training to run in Denver. They do say its flat, but I don’t know about all that. Traditionally most races tout that but it’s a whole different story sometimes when you get there and actually run the course!!!
So for now I am embracing my sometimes difficult runs here (Yes sometimes I still struggle with the altitude on runs), because I feel at the end of the day, transferring that training down to sea level or just above is definitely advantageous!!