Sunday, September 12, 2010

Big rides and hypoxia

Last night was our first night in our new rooms on the fifth floor. Two thirds of us are in hypoxic rooms, while the other third are not. Nobody knows who are in the hypoxic group and who are in the placebo group except for Carsten, the leader of the study. The rooms are equipped with an atmospheric-controlling machine that circulates the air and possibly(depending on hypoxic or placebo) releases Nitrogen into the room, thus decreasing the percentage of O2 and simulating a higher elevation. As the machine runs, it sounds a lot like a fire breathing dragon is sleeping in our room, emitting a constant loud hum and a puff of air every 12 seconds.

Hypoxic sensors, intake, and exhaust(aka"fire-breathing dragon").

Now that I think of it, I realize I have not really talked much about the overall goal of the study. The idea is to study the effects of "live high - train low" style training on elite-level cyclists. I originally found out about the opportunity to be a part of this when Russell Stevenson sent me this very informative and enticing link.

Lake Annecy from Col de la Forclaz.

Nearing the top of Chatillon. Mont Blanc in the distance.

The last couple days, I was able to get out on some big rides. On Saturday, Russell and I rode with Tim, a friend from Seattle, and his buddy Miles, from Chamonix. We did a spectacular loop around Lake Annecy in the French Alps. Big climbs, castles, crazy bike paths, and amazing views! Being in Annecy was also a bit of a shock. Seeing so many people, cyclists, and tourists everywhere was the opposite of our hideaway in the Jura Mountains!

Big Stella at the top!

Yesterday's ride was another good one. Lots of miles in both France and Switzerland at a brutal pace, thanks mostly to Jacob from Denmark. This week's training should be a lot lighter to allow for some recovery and acclimatization to the (possibly)hypoxic room.


  1. Is it Live high, train low as you said or Live high, race low?