High Altitude Life

In my running days high altitude training was always touted as a great way to increase endurance and stamina. Yet in the last few years I have never even thought about it until last week when I visited Tibet with another CrossFitter. Tibet’s capital Lhasa is at 3650m (12,000 ft) altitude and that quickly taught us that we were not as tough as we had thought. While we brought training gear and jump ropes for the weekend trip all those things stayed in the bag. After jogging up stairs for a few hundred meters we were in our post-Fran WOD position gasping for air. The kids on the street were running around and the pilgrims were marching in all directions without any visible sign of exhaustion. Even though we both had a lot of experience training in Colorado and Utah, those extra 1000 meters in altitude in Tibet seemed to have taken all the oxygen out of the air…

This taught me an important lesson. When Coach Glassman talks about learning new sports, high altitude workouts should be squarely on that list.

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