A Race Debate – Zero to Mile high

This morning felt like one of maybe ten humid days we’ll ever see in Denver; the Ryders’ studio had condensation-lined windows and we all dripped onto the bikes as we let the pores sweat it out for 50 minutes. Another day with seat-less bikes, another day of air-boxing, another day with ankle weights + abs, another day feeling just a little bit stronger.

While my mind has different thoughts as I turn off the alarm, I know there’s not a single better way to start any day.

Sweat, cardio, strength, endorphin high.

So, Hello Thursday. I’m ready for you!


If you’re in Denver, and/or want to come visit me for 5 days (come on over!), do not let this deal pass you by – 5 class pass at Qi-Ryders for $25.

Promotion code: KDVR.

3.13 032 3.13 035

I purchased two of them, and they’ll be gone too soon. Go!


With one easy run between me and another 13.1 mile Finish Line, my to-do list only includes rest, stretch, airport pick-up and race expo! Race “goals” are still being decided, but I have high expectations for that sibling of mine. She’s worried about the altitude; I’m worried about her passing me on the course.

And on that note, I have an interesting debate to open up to you:

I “train”( read: live) at a high altitude, obviously. So, if I chose all my “A” races (to use your terminology, Marlene 🙂 ) at sea level, is that “cheating”? Clearly I have an advantage, given my lungs are used to oxygen-deprivation. Clearly it leads to some speedier miles, with less effort.

As with most things concerned with running/racing, I think it’s all in good fun and am mostly ambivalent. If I want to race in Boulder, I will. If I want to race in DC, I will. If I find a destination race in Rome, sign me up!

But, in your opinion (just for Fun, because I’m curious), 
should I race where I train, for “real” results?



Filed under about me, Exploring Colorado, Races, Spin, strength train too!

22 responses to “A Race Debate – Zero to Mile high

  1. I say race wherever you want! I think it would be different if you were specifically going to Denver to train and have an advantage, but you live there! So it’s not like you are being malicious or anything like that!

  2. I don’t think it’s cheating at all! You’re training at altitude, which means you are working HARDER during those workouts… so you’ll reap those benefits at sea level, but you worked for it!

  3. Holly

    I say it’s smart training! 😉 No, not cheating at all. Plenty of people travel to races. I’m dying to run a race at sea level!

    Good luck on Sunday and let’s cross our fingers that it’s not raining! Eek!

  4. It’s not cheating anymore than someone who lives in hilly terrain running a flat marathon. You naturally have a bit of an advantage, but you still have to put in all the hard work behind it for that advantage to make a bit of difference. 🙂

    • Heather C

      Interesting perspective, I like it! And on that note, Denver is pretty flat – so I definitely don’t have that advantage 😉

  5. How do you spell torture?

    “Seat-less bikes.”

  6. I say race where you want to race! My sister trained on big hills and kicked ass at the half marathon because it was flatter than she is used to running. And I laughed when I read your concern about your sister passing you because that actually happened to me!

  7. I say, enjoy that little boost that altitude training gives when you go back to sea level guilt-free! There’s a reason that the Olympic Training Center is here in CO. All the elite athletes want that extra boost when they compete too. If it’s legit for them, it’s legit for us mere mortal athletes too! Plus, as others have said, your body does have to put in the extra work just to become more efficient at this altitude, so it’s all good in my opinion. One of the many perks of living here in Colorado. 🙂

  8. Jamie

    I agree with everyone else, you should run wherever you like and enjoy the advantage! I am a much newer runner than you are but I am looking forward to a race in a lower elevation one day.

  9. Elizabeth

    Definitely not cheating! Like Dana said – it just gives you a little advantage.

    You’ll definitely have to let us know it goes, and good luck beating your sister! My brother’s definitely faster than I am, so I think my only chance to beat him is in a marathon where I have the mental edge. He’s not yet convinced.

  10. runyogarepeat

    It’d be interesting to see how your times compare when you race in Denver vs elsewhere! I live near tons of hills, so my training runs are always hilly. I really don’t mind the hills, but one of the half marathons I wanna do is mostly flat, so I’m excited to see how I do on that course.

  11. I don’t think it’s cheating. You should enjoy that advantage. And it’s not like you could live at altitude, do no training and go win a race at sea level. You’re still putting in a lot of hard work!

    I hope your race goes well this weekend1

  12. no, not cheating at all! It just happends to be where you live. Take advantage! I love it. I think maybe austin is calling you to come race next weekend?

    • Heather C

      I WISH! I’ll seriously look into it, but given the history of Zooma races, I think the $ might be a little high…

  13. Lauren

    Wait….you bought pink boxing gloves??
    Awesome. I vant some….however, they can not be better than than giant orange fist (complete with cup holder) we had in Annapolis.
    Excited to see you tomorrow!!! 😀 Yay high altitude! It’s not cheating either, if anything you are working harder than all those “sea-level” people. Pshh sea level. What’s that like?!?!

  14. Abby

    I don’t think it is cheating it all. Just a perk of the place you live! 🙂

  15. Unless you were competing for cash prizes, I don’t think it’s cheating. Well, if you actually were an elite athlete, you would have to arrive a few days earlier to end your advantage anyway (that’s what they make the elites, in any sport, do).

    But it is a really good reminder for those of us not training in high altitudes to NOT sign up for a race in Denver 🙂

  16. Na. Race where u want. Many athletes train and prepare so that their races are optimal for them. Why can’t you? Plus this isn’t you purposefully training-racing this way…this is your life this way.

  17. I say use any leg up you can get! It’s basically the same as training on a lot of hills or something, I think 🙂

  18. I think it’s just for fun, but that’s just my feeling. When I ran the Moab 1/2, I definitely noticed the altitude. The downhills did not feel downhill as much as they would have in Oregon and I definitely was a little more tired from breathing harder, but overall I didn’t feel a crazy big difference.

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