For those living close to sea level and wanting to race at altitude, there are many struggles that you could possibly face that those living at altitude will not. The physiological changes that they have developed put them at a far greater advantage than those coming from sea level. Here are a few tips that can help flatlanders (those not living in the mountains or close to sea level) be more successful racing at altitude.
Timing is Everything:
If you are not coming from altitude then timing is key to the success of your race. When I say altitude this is typically above 8,000 feet. The lack of adaptations within the body for those not used to spending time at this altitude can drastically hinder performance. Typically, those racing below 8,000 feet are not drastically affected. Studies and experience show the following strategies to be the most helpful:
Studies have shown that arriving 3 weeks or more at the elevation you are going to race and staying there will allow for the minimal sufficient time for your body to adapt for better performance. It has been my experience that is not always true for everyone. Many locals that I have spoken with said that they did not start to see the same performance levels in their training at attitude that they did at sea level until 6-7 months after living at altitude.
This is the strategy that I have seen the most success with and that I have