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Running at altitude

Answered By Nancy Hobbs


Have been on some back packing trips but never really ran hard at high altitudes. Should I be thinking about any precautions or if I usually do a 5 mile run can I still do 5 or just ease into it, and is hydration more or less important up high?


Great question. It depends on the altitude at which you plan to run. If you are planning 14,000 feet, that is different than 5,000 feet. Most people start to feel the more intense effects of altitude (heavy legs, shortness of breath) above 10,000 feet. This is not to say the effects are negligible at 5,000 feet -- especially for somone from sea level. Hydration is very important and for runs lasting longer than 1 hour, some electrolyte replacement is a good idea. Think more about "time" than distance when comparing your run. If you run 45 minutes at sea level, plan to run 45 minutes at altitude. The trails can have different terrain and elevation changes as compared to road running as you probably know. Hope this helps! Enjoy the trails. Nancy

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