Week 6 Update: Jul 21, 2013
Three weeks of hypoxic sleep and now I am holding steady at 9,000 feet (or 14.8% Oxygen - down from 20.9% at sea-level). Here are some things I learned this week:
- Twin fans in the tent dramatically reduced the temperature but not enough to really provide me with a cool sleeping environment.
- Napping at sea-level really helps me recover from my hard days. Bring on the naps!
- Skipped the compression tops and bottoms this last week and I now think they actually do help. My recovery seemed slower and I felt like my warm-ups were less effective. A few more weeks of alternating between wearing and not wearing them will tell me more.
Front-loaded weeks just work for me. The more tired I feel, the better my workouts feel. Go figure. I tried something novel this week by training an equal amount of time for both the bike and the elliptical each day. The elliptical trainer gives me a great warm-up for running and the bike crushes my quads. Together, they give me a good all-around workout that closely mimics the fatigue I feel when climbing. I intend to stick with that routine over the next few weeks. Also, last week I went sailing on Sunday so I only swam - hence the big increase in workload from Sunday to Monday. Next week, I do not plan to sail because I have too much work to do the following week; thus, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday wil be three tough days. Should be a good test of my endurance, fitness, and recovery program.
The figure below shows how much I am shifting toward the front-loaded week. Lighter colors are the more recent weeks. Last week's total was 18 hours. The following week will be 21 hours…almost a half-time job now.
You can see from the figure below that I am slowly climbing up the Everest training incline. Last week put me over 100 hours.
Back to the grind last week with a total of 18 hours of training. Hit all my training goals for the week and managed two consecutive 4.5 hour days on Monday and Tuesday. Next week, I plan to train 4.25 hours on Sunday followed by two consecutive 4.75 hour days to see how I recover. Stay tuned for that update.
Feeling more motivated for working out. The only glitch from this week is my soleus keeps acting up. I'm not injured but I feel that damn muscle in my calf and it constantly reminds me to back off and stay away from hill intervals. The roller and ice are my friend these days. Note that I am way less fatigued this week. Like I said above, as my workload increases, I feel less tired. I don't get it but I don't need to get it. Hopefully the feeling lasts throughout my training program.
Yes!!!! Sleep quality on the rise. Thank you Amazon and thank you dual fans. Kathy and I are now finally sleeping through the night without awaking in two pools of sweat. My resting heart rate is also going back down to normal levels. Notice, however, that my spO2 levels keep creeping downward. All readings were above 92% but there were a few initial readings that I had to check, recheck, and recheck again that began at 88%. Not sure what those readings meant but I want to make sure I am not messing up my acclimation routine.
Updates for the week
Just a few updates.
- Tent temperature seems under control but I remain concerned about the occasional low spO2 levels. These low levels - usually the first reading in the morning after waking up - can be as low as 88%. After a few seconds of breathing and relaxing, the levels go back up to 92% but I am concerned that I am increasing my breathing rate and not really getting an accurate read on my spO2 levels when I am sleeping. My inclination is to purchase a meter that records an entire night's levels by the minute just to make sure I am acclimating well to the reduced O2 levels. Perhaps I will ask Brian Oestrike about this on Monday.
- Need to get out on a few climbs soon. Training without climbing gets a little boring. On Monday, I plan to finalize plans with Dan Mazur and Dave Kellogg so we can meet in Washington and do some climbing. You ready guys?
- I cannot tell you how appreciative I am to have a wife who is as crazy as I am. She continues to support me through this entire endeavor and even revels in the craziness. Thanks Kat for your help and support.