am) I had to go in to the city this morning and leave the safety and comfort of the mountains. I get tense and stressed when I get down there. I left the house and it was 54 degrees by my thermometer and after running my errands it was about 80 starting my run. I've read everything I can find in regards to altitude training and I've come to several conclusions.
After 7 months of sleeping, eating, training and repeating at 8000+ ft, I have adapted quite well and don't feel that altitude conversion based purely on elevation is appropriate.
Big benefits I will gain from living where I do will come in the form of 2 things:
1) cooler temperatures. I saw HR's today that were similar to HR's I would see up here simply because I felt so damn hot. When I run in the mornings up here it is mid 50's and the evenings are mid 70's. Heat kills training more than anything else. Dehydration- as I've pointed out a gazillion times- is maybe the single biggest performance detractor. A high core temp causes blood to be shunted away from working muscles.
2) a training environment that allows me to escape in to a world of very low stress. I'm very happy up here and running is pure joy. In my old age I have grown sensitive to society and the interaction with others. I don't need to go in to a rant and sound like Allie Fox, but I am very happy running through the mountains with no people, no traffic, not even any pavement if I don't want it. We don't even have litter up here.
I do think however, that there is a conversion for the difference in terrain. Today on my run on the flat Coal Creek trail my 3rd mile was 5:54 with a HR max of 139. Running a steady mile at 5:54 felt elementary where running a 5:54 mile up here means you are hammering up a 5% grade at 6:20 pace then running 5:30 on the downs. Completely different! Heading in to these last 2 training blocks I need to really start focusing on driving to find flat roads. Even heading to Nederland to their track will help. As I said before I don't think I want to consider the altitude after 7 months so driving up to run flat would work. If I had even one mile of flat road up here I think I would run very close to the same paces I am hitting at lower and flatter elevations.
With that said- next week I will be at sea level and hope to do both a MAF test and an AeT test to see how my body reacts to a drop in over 8000 ft of elevation.
And on another note: This is the most boring Tour De France ever.. I thought it was going to be the greatest but I was wrong.