I hope you are doing well, you are happy with your season and enjoying the last days of summer.
As it’s only one week to go until Challenge Davos, I would like to tell you a bit about a new experience that I just recently made: my first altitude training camp, which I did in St. Moritz, very close to Davos in Switzerland.
After my 3rd place at Challenge Roth in July I had a little break of two weeks, but since then, I am back to work for the Ironman World Championship in Kona and St. Moritz was the peak of my preparation until now – not only measured in elevation. 😉
Alongside Anja Ippach I spent eight days in Sils-Maria, close to St. Moritz and enjoyed the beautiful region, which is perfect for cycling – in case you like climbing, descending and stunning views.
In our longest ride (about six hours) we rode parts of the bike course of Challenge Davos: We climbed up one side of the beautiful Flüelapass, as you are going to do after the turnaround point in the race. After having seen that section, I am deeply impressed by everyone entering the race. Undertaking such a hard course in a race is really unique and a big challenge!
This year it won’t be possible for me to enter the race, as Challenge Davos will take place, while I am doing my last training camp on Mallorca at the same time to prepare for Kona.
However, I think that Challenge Davos is perfect to combine racing, family time and holidays. The region is simply amazing and it’s a race, which is definitely on my bucket list, now!
If you’re considering to enter Challenge Davos one day, I’d recommend to arrive some days earlier than you usually would do for a race, as it would take some time to adapt to the altitude. In case, you want to race with high intensity – which normally should be the case in a triathlon race 😉 I would take some days to give your body enough time and to see how you heart rate, breathing and everything reacts to the altitude.
For me personally, it was not a big problem to train at altitude and I did adapt quite quickly to the thin air and lack of oxygen – but I only did basis training, really easy long rides and runs. I wasn’t training with high intensity, especially in the first days and I didn’t plan to do a race, which I imagine to be a totally different thing!
BUT the good thing is: you will love this beautiful place and it’s not a shame to spend some more days in Davos to get acclimatized. 😉
Regarding the full effect of altitude training, scientists and coaches say that you need to spend at least three weeks at altitude, so that your body has the chance to full adaption to produce more red blood cells, naturally.
For me, such a long period wasn’t possible timewise, because I had to get back to my family. But still it was a great week of training and a new impulse for my training routine, which I definitely want to repeat in the future!
In my opinion, there are a lot of theories out there, but everyone is different and the effects are very different and individual to every athlete.
Last weekend, I could win Ironman 70.3 Zell am See, which was my last test race leading into Kona, so the hard work of the last weeks already paid off, even though I “only” spent eight days at altitude. 😉
Next stop will be my favorite island Mallorca to have some more heat than we did have in St. Moritz – another thing, you should be prepared of, when planning to race Challenge Davos: it could be quite cold in September, already.
As I said, I am sure, I will be racing Challenge Davos one day – this year I will follow the race online instead and my fingers are crossed for you guys.
I wish you all the best for your upcoming races and challenges. Enjoy the rest of the summer and see you soon!