I was lucky enough to grow up at an altitude of 7,200 feet above sea level. There was always a sport going on and I never went a month without a new sport to compete in. I was able to up my level of intensity when I would travel to lower altitudes because of the richer oxygen at those events. It would feel as if I could go on forever.
Low Altitude, SAD
In 2006 I moved away from Laramie, Wyoming to San Diego, California which is just above sea level. That was the first time I had ever had real Mexican food and I ate it up like crazy. The SAD (Standard American Diet) summed me up and my activity level went down. I would still try to run once in a while but I was constantly winded and fatigued.
The hardest part of being at sea level was when I would go back to Wyoming to visit my parents or in the summers when I would go live on a Glacier in Alaska (about 4,200 feet). The first month or so of being at altitude again was extremely hard. By mid afternoon my energy was gone and my brain felt like it was shutting down.
The Climb Back Up
I have now been living for about 7 months at sea level and have been eating 75% raw or higher (all vegan) for a little over a year. About 3 months ago I started to run regularly again and have even had personal bests and revelations.
About a week ago we left San Diego to visit my family in Wyoming for a few weeks while we train for the Bolder Boulder 10K race in Boulder, CO. Since we left we have run several times at 4,600 feet and 7,200 feet. We decided to run a 10k at 7,200 feet to see how hard it would be on our lungs. It was Suzanne’s second 10k ever and she ran faster than she did at sea level. I was able to run without any of the common altitude effects such as: headaches, light headiness, burning lungs, fatiguing muscles, etc. In fact I felt better than I did at sea level.
Raw Foods and Altitude Change
The beauty of raw foods is that they help your body carry more oxygen where it is needed. When your body is able to more efficiently carry oxygen to your muscles and return with toxins to get rid of you are able to adjust to oxygen changes much quicker than if your body was working at half capacity.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be implementing our mostly raw running fuel. We will be drinking green juices and smoothies to up our oxygen levels. Our cheeks will be full of chia seeds while on our runs to help give that stamina in the later miles. We’ll be documenting all of our progress and what works/what doesn’t and we’ll report it after the race. Suzanne’s goal is to finish the Bolder Boulder in under 60 minutes (9.7 minutes per mile) and my goal is to finish under 45 minutes (7.3 minutes per mile). Oh yeah, one more thing… we’ll be doing it in our Vibram Five Fingers.
What are your favorite race foods?
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