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Best way to improve aerobic fitness in a month?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Friends, I am heading out to Vail in a month. I just figured out that it is a tall mountain, and I am a flatlander. The top of my home hill in Maine is just half way to the base lodge there. I am thinking that it is going to take a bit of aclimating. Is there anything I can do to improve my aerobic fitness in the next month that might help? Sprints on the stationery bike, eliptical trainer, jump rope, more intense leg workouts, etc? Thanks.
David
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Friends, I am heading out to Vail in a month. I just figured out that it is a tall mountain, and I am a flatlander. The top of my home hill in Maine is just half way to the base lodge there. I am thinking that it is going to take a bit of aclimating. Is there anything I can do to improve my aerobic fitness in the next month that might help? Sprints on the stationery bike, eliptical trainer, jump rope, more intense leg workouts, etc? Thanks.
David
ski short turns and bumps. is one thing you can do while skiing.
post #3 of 20
Skate skiing for total body workout that also helps balance and edging.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Is there anything I can do to improve my aerobic fitness in the next month that might help? Sprints on the stationery bike, eliptical trainer, jump rope, more intense leg workouts, etc? Thanks.
David
Intense interval training is the most effective way to build aerobic (and anerobic) capacity quickly. Google "Tabata Protocol" for a particularly vicious but effective, well-researched version.

One way would be to ski top-to-bottom runs, if you're in sufficient shape now, including lots of intense bursts (eg, fast, short turns; mogul intervals; fast, high-G turns).

Rick
post #5 of 20
I second the intervals... lots of intervals. The rowing machine is the best way to build overall cardio fitness.

Also, I recommend wall sits - 60 seconds each, legs bent at 90 degrees. Try to do 3 the first time... It burns like hell, but if you do these 3-4 times per week until your trip, you'll be way ahead of the game. You'll build your lactic tolerance to monster levels. And yes, your legs will be shaking - make sure to breath, and don't tense up the rest of your body.
post #6 of 20
It's always worthwhile to be fit, but fitness doesn't have much to do with altitude adaptation. Regardless of what your fitness is, you won't have the same energy as you do at sea level, and you could be at risk for altitude sickness. If you are concerned about that or about adaptation generally, get your doctor to prescribe acetazolamide, regardless of how fit you are. Summit County is high enough that I have trouble sleeping and the acetozolimide helps.

BK
post #7 of 20
regarding fitness, intervals are great even if you are doing short jogs with intervals of walking in between

Regarding altitude adaptation, as an East Coaster who skied in Santa Fe and Tahoe without big affect I would advise the following. If possible don't ski on your first day of aclimation. Second, drink lots of fluids. If you are in decent shape you prob won't be noticeable affected anyway IMHO

I think the difference is more noticeable for things like marathons, cross country skiing and more aerobically demanding sports.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Skate skiing for total body workout that also helps balance and edging.
Second that...you're in Maine. You need to learn that sport.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
I am thinking that it is going to take a bit of aclimating. Is there anything I can do to improve my aerobic fitness in the next month that might help?
David
Not so sure aerobic training can do much for you in one month, however...

My recommendation is to join your local Crossfit. Pound for pound, ounce for ounce, you could not do better. One month for me yielded tremendous results. It's your biggest bang for the buck with only one month to go.

Disclaimer: I am obsessed with Crossfit
post #10 of 20
fartlek runs. basically the same idea as intervals, but more fun to say.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Sprints on the stationery bike, eliptical trainer, jump rope, more intense leg workouts, etc? Thanks.
David
Bag the bike and eliptcal thingy.
Crossfit,Tabata,short sprints/intervals.
3 days on 1 day off
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
It's always worthwhile to be fit, but fitness doesn't have much to do with altitude adaptation. Regardless of what your fitness is, you won't have the same energy as you do at sea level, and you could be at risk for altitude sickness.

Quoted for truth
post #13 of 20
If you're susceptible to altitude sickness all the fitness and half the medicine in the world will not solve the problem, but the medicine might help. If it's mild just treat it like a hangover. Take on activity if you want or take it easy if you so choose. If you really get to feeling lousy stop what you're doing and rest. If that doesn't help head for lower altitude - Denver, not another resort. That said, the Vail base area is not as high as the resorts in Summit county and thousands of flat landers ski Breck etc. every year without a problem, just not me and Bode!
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Freinds, very grateful for the suggestions. Intervals sound "fun." Will give them a go. And will have the doc prescribe the meds for altitude sickness. I have already done some research on this and appreciate the reinforcement.
David
post #15 of 20
check out crossfit (crossfit.com), gym jones (gymjones.com), and mountain athlete (mtnathlete.com)

before you begin, checkout the crossfit faq, the gym jones knowledge section, and the mtn athlete faq to find out what you're getting yourself into.
post #16 of 20
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Tabata it is. That looks "fun."
David
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
It's always worthwhile to be fit, but fitness doesn't have much to do with altitude adaptation. Regardless of what your fitness is, you won't have the same energy as you do at sea level, and you could be at risk for altitude sickness.
BK
Fitness is going to help with physical performance. It is always benificial to be in shape for skiing. At altitude, even if you do not have altitude sickness, it will be harder to breath, harder to sustain.

I would say, your best bet is to increase your ability to perform with greater intensity - "sucking wind", training hard, will net faster and more effective gains especially over the short time period that you have. I think that this adaptation will prove more benificial than areobic training. That is not to say some aerobic training is not worth while.

I hope you keep us updated. How will you know if what you choose for training will actually help
post #19 of 20
Ya I'd echo doing some kind of intervals. Only advice - twice a week would work and (if you're doing it right, meaning with enough intensity) three times is probably the limit. It'd be over mine and I'm in pretty good shape! Not saying don't do other stuff though at a lower intensity or weights and even flexibility on off days. That's a good idea. It helps with recovery and injury prevention to do something less also but keep moving.

In combination or as one of the workouts you may want to do some plyometrics also - meaning jump training and core resistance training.

The last week I'd ramp down at least a few to several days before heading out.

Acclimating when you get there - give yourself a day before exerting yourself, drink lots of water - can't overemphasize because out there in the Rockies your body gasses out the vapor faster also. I'm heading out Monday and the first day is always tough to sleep, even moving around up there at 8 or 9000 carrying my gear is tiring.
post #20 of 20
EPO. Nobody's testing you, right?
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