Top 9 High Altitude Running Places To Train

It is not necessary to be an exceptional athlete to utilize altitude training. For a dreamy running excursion, check out the seven spots detailed on subsequent pages that could be the perfect locale to take a trip to shortly. Although there has yet to be scientific evidence of the benefits of altitude training, a large number of prime athletes are convinced of its positive effects and have fully endorsed it.

It is proposed that altitude training can enhance aerobic performance at lower elevations due to an enhanced capacity to convey oxygen to muscle tissue.

When undergoing instruction at high altitudes, the amount of red blood cells goes up due to the increase in erythropoietin (EPO) in the initial three weeks of mountaineering.

Not everyone responds to training at high elevations in the same manner. A test run is necessary to determine if it would work for you. Some folks have difficulty acclimating to elevated elevations, while others necessitate additional time to adjust or have difficulty reaching their peak potential at the opportune time.

Don’t anticipate quick improvements in your performance just because you’ve started adapting to the routine in the first three weeks. It may take up to four to six weeks before tangible outcomes are seen. It is advised that you run at elevations between 5,000 and 7,500 feet for optimal results, but even at lower altitudes, you can still gain advantages.

Be aware that you should consume more fluids at higher altitudes, and consider that your appetite may be reduced.

Finally, you should decrease the intensity of your training to produce the same outcomes. When doing speed sessions and long runs at high altitudes, you have to put forth more effort to keep the same intensity, but you won’t be able to complete them as fast.

Here are the favourite places to run at altitude, from high to higher:

1. Iten, Kenya

This small, secluded town located in the Rift Valley Province at an elevated elevation has been a place of origin for several worlds and Olympic superior athletes as well as a number of the world’s leading marathoners.

Despite this, Iten’s fame as a runner’s paradise truly began in 2000 when Lornah Kiplagat inaugurated her training centre there, which attracted runners from all capabilities and backgrounds, such as rising American school students and established masters.

This up-to-date establishment offers a gym, a sauna, a swimming pool and neat, university-style apartments to stay in. There is also the newest addition of a coffee maker available to patrons.

In addition, there are not a lot of unnecessary extravagances. All you will require for your running is your equipment and possibly a tiny digital camera.

As you travel along winding paths and dusty tracks, encircled by kind and gracious Kenyans, you’ll comprehend and feel for yourself how these people have grown to be internationally acclaimed athletes despite having a humble lifestyle.

The captivating beauty of the valley located at 7,800 feet will not only inspire you; you’ll be spurred on by the young children cheering you on, even if you are struggling to breathe.

The roads, mostly not paved, can be inundated with flooding during the rainy period, however, the cinder tracks are remarkable and well-suited for fast practice runs.

If you have good luck, Kiplagat may come to sit at your dinner table and share his anecdotes, cheer you up, or even offer guidance. Close to the equator, the temperatures are always mild. For the past couple of years, there has been a lack of rain even during the regular rainy season of August and September. On any given week, Iten is the place to find a significant number of prominent Kenyan athletes, including Edna Kiplagat, Moses Mosop, Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang, Emmanuel Mutai, Abel Kirui, David Rudisha, Vivian Cheruiyot, Sylvia Kibet, Linet Masai, and sometimes Asbel Kiprop and the British distance runner Mo Farah.

Sally Kipyego, a runner for the Oregon Track Club, took some time in Iten to train for the world championships, along with UK 5,000m specialist Helen Clitheroe, 1500m expert Hannah England, and Jake and Zane Robertson from New Zealand.

The marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was welcomed by Kiplagat to stay for several weeks in Iten after having achieved the 2012 Olympic qualifying standard in the Berlin Marathon in September.

2. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque is a prominent city in the Southwest which has a long history that is comprised of Native American, Spanish, and Western American roots.

About 30 years ago, runners initiated the exploration of Duke City and saw it as a very desirable spot to train at an elevation that was also affordable. Legendary runners Liz McColgan, Noureddine Morceli, Khalid Skah, Paula Radcliffe, and Amy Yoder Begley have turned the area into a place where they come to practice.

The fresh, arid atmosphere, rural atmosphere, the advantages of having a big international airport and a wealth of good running paths – comprising of an ideal 15-mile track beside the Rio Grande River – have resulted in Albuquerque being favoured by athletes.

The nice weather (hardly ever snowing and a lot of sunshine) makes training in this dry place at 5,300 feet even more desirable.

Over 120 miles of dirt roads near the city can make for an amazingly long run, with lots of hills and the gorgeous 10,000-foot Sandia Mountains in the background.

Albuquerque generally has a temperate climate compared to other cities in southwestern states like Arizona and Texas, but remember that it gets sunny most of the year, and so many roads and trails don’t provide much shade. Make sure to slather on that sunscreen if you’re out and about. Exercising in Albuquerque is usually the most enjoyable during the months of the spring season from March to May, as well as during the fall season from September to November due to the temperate climates of both seasons.

The environment in the area is thought of as fairly hospitable, particularly in contrast to the nearby towns of Arizona and Texas. Nevertheless, if you are planning on running during the summer season, it is recommended to do so at an earlier time because it is very exposed with very few areas of shelter. Paula Radcliffe has made frequent trips to Albuquerque to train over the past decade, while Lauren Fleshman, Amy Yoder Begley, and Alan Webb have occasionally stopped by.

Albuquerque has become a popular area for Kenyan athletes to make their home base in the U.S. for their road racing seasons, as well as for teams from Japan and Australia.

The population of Duke City has seen several part-time citizens who have achieved Olympic recognition, such as Liz McColgan, Noureddine Morceli, Gabriel Szabo, Khalid Skah and Josiah Thugwane.

3. Bozeman, Montana

Nikki Kimball is a highly regarded distance runner who exercises on the vast 67 miles of trails contained within the Main Street to Mountains path structure located in a college town in southwest Montana.

Kimball cherishes the Bangtail Divide path the most, yet if you’re searching for further choices, investigate the nearby running gathering, Big Sky Wind Drinkers.

Meet up with the organization for their weekly recreational outings in late April, which will take place over town and in the nearby hills.

Those looking for an exciting challenge should explore Bridger Ridge: a 20-mile single-track that passes through rocky areas and areas of sharp talus before climaxing at Sacagawea peak, towering at over 9,600 feet.

Such a strenuous run requires a thick, juicy steak. In Montana, there is an abundance of cows, with approximately three for each resident. Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse, found in the town of Manhattan, Montana, is a thirty-minute drive from Bozeman and provides some of the best steaks in the Western United States.

4. Boulder, Colorado

In Boulder, runners can experience the joys of the Rocky Mountains without having to go into the wilderness and isolate themselves like a monk. The town is the proud owner of Bolder Boulder, the biggest 10K race in the United States that sees more than 50,000 runners reach the end in May.

If you are partial to being off the beaten path, try some trails that may be close to your home or take a short drive to Magnolia Road, which is at a height of over 8000 feet.

This incredibly demanding 20-mile race consisting of difficulty and distress is thought of as a demonstration of ability by those who encountered it in Chris Lear’s portrayal of the 1998 cross-country group at the University of Colorado, Running with the Buffaloes.

The Village Coffee Shop, a greasy-spoon diner adorned with autographs from Olympians and national champions, is a popular breakfast destination for those recovering from a long run—or a hangover.

5. Mount Laguna, California

Just an hour away from San Diego, a surprising find of cooler weather awaits in the Cleveland National Forest, situated in the hilly region of Laguna Mountain.

This area is filled with hiking trails such as the Big Laguna, Noble Canyon, Indian Creek, Pine Mountain, and the Pacific Crest Trail. You can go biking along single-track roads and experience the typical California landscapes of chaparral, meadows by the river, and forests overlooking the desert of Anza-Borrego.

Runners who compete in longer races should look into the Mount Laguna Trail Marathon which was to take place in 2014. Unfortunately, the event for 2013 was scrapped because of fires.

Ultrarunners might want to think about the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run. It’s similar to a marathon, but the race is much longer and tougher; last year’s participants completed the course in anywhere between 17 and 31 hours.

The quaint Laguna Mountain Lodge accommodates visitors directly in the national forest. A large number of the 17 cabins are conducive to people who have pets, which is great for those who like to take their dogs jogging on trails. Campsites are also available throughout the national forest.

6. Colorado Springs, Colorado

When you talk about instruction in Colorado Springs, the vast majority of individuals will instantly consider the Olympic Training Center.

The flagship facility of the U.S. The Olympic Committee offers two Olympic-sized swimming pools, six gymnasiums, and the most expansive indoor shooting venues in the western hemisphere, but these features are not always attractive to runners.

Athletes who participate in running will benefit from the convenient proximity to Carmichael Training Systems as well as the 260 miles of cycling and other sports trails located within 10 miles of the area.

It would take you just 15 minutes to access the path at the foot of the 14,117-foot Pikes Peak, and running a mile in less than 16 minutes would make you known throughout the world.

The Manitou Incline trail has a 2,000-foot elevation gain achieved over 5,200 feet of distance. Matt Carpenter, an expert long-distance runner at altitude, takes members of the Incline Club on long runs up the path every Sunday.

The Pikes Peak Ascent, which takes place annually in August, provides runners with an opportunity to push themselves as they cover the 13.32-mile course, rising from a starting point of 6,300-foot Manitou Springs to the peak of the mountain. If you really desire to damage your legs, go for the 26.2-mile Pikes Peak Marathon.

Some American distance runners have opted to go to Iten, the Kenyan running centre located at a high altitude, while Kenyan-born runners now call Santa Fe, the region in New Mexico with an elevation of 7,000 feet one hour outside of Albuquerque, their home.

There are seven Kenyan-origin athletes with outstanding marathon results listed as part of the Santa Fe Road Runners Club, including Andrew Musuva, the Grandma’s Marathon victor, and Jonathan Ndambuki, who finished his marathon with a time of 2:10.

The Dale Ball Trails consist of a complex web of trails interconnected with each other, spanning more than 20 miles and traversing the hillsides covered in piñon and juniper in Santa Fe. The seventeen miles Railtrail is a gentler choice, with a dirt path beginning three miles from the local community and providing perspectives of the mountains from every angle.

The Santa Fe Striders, a local running organization that is not based in Kenya, host weekend runs in the two areas, as well as nearby paths during Thursday nights and a set of challenges during the year.

One should refuel properly if they are keen to take on challenging desert running, and the best place to do this is at the Tune-Up Cafe. Get the protein-rich buffalo burger: a patty from nearby Bosque farms on a soft brioche bun with garlic mayo and freshly-cut fries.

8. Flagstaff, Arizona

This incredibly elevated city does not feel the heat that has caused Arizona to gain an extra hour of daylight during Daylight Savings Time, making it one of the coolest and most comfortable high-level spots.

Most of the year, Ryan Hall can be seen rapidly moving along tree-covered dirt roads. Shalane Flanagan dedicated two months to training for the 2014 Boston Marathon, putting in lots of miles on Lake Mary Road to build her base.

People who are determined and daring should investigate the trails around Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort.

Prizes are awarded at the Snowbowl Hill Climb, a seven-mile event that takes place each year in July. Awards are given to the general victor, the fastest runner to complete the first mile, and the first contestant to consume a hamburger at the six-mile point and still finish the race.

People who live in the area claim that Pay ‘n Take Downtown Market, which offers beer, wine, and espresso, is the ideal place to get a drink after a run.

9. Mancos, Colorado

Mancos, located in the southwest corner of Colorado and having a population of less than 1,400, offers something that Boulder and Colorado Springs lack: tranquillity. Ben Hahn, the founder of The Mancos Project running club, stated that it is impressive that runners can still find trails in Colorado that are not crowded with people.

Stop at the club’s 8,000-foot-high conditioning centre where people stay there and are provided with organic food made with ingredients grown, picked, or butchered within 100 miles.

Ryan McGuire, a marathoner, explains that going running through the paths and forests is much more enjoyable than his regular home environment, where there is a lot of traffic and cars on the roads. I can really forget everything else and concentrate solely on my practice while I’m out running.

Although it is not a well-known area, there are many opportunities to run in the San Juan Mountains, such as Mesa Verde National Park located close by. Purchase a few inner tubes from the gas station in the city and take a tranquil journey down the meandering Dolores River.


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