Couch to 5K
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W8R3 at altitude - please tell me this makes it harder!

I did W8R3 yesterday in the country at 800-900m altitude and the blasted hills got me - I just had to walk for four bits of about 30-60 seconds - grr.

Particularly annoying as I did the 28 mins twice last week on flat ground. Anyone else running high up? Is it true that it makes a difference? Or am I just being weedy about the hills?

Doe this mean I can't start W9 next week? Mind you, I'll be in hill country all week, so I doubt I'll do it!

5 Replies

Hello riverrunner. All my sympathy for what you went through. I'm sure the hills were the problem if you've never done any before. I do little inclines regularly (not massive but enough to give the thighs a stretch) and when I ran with my sister this week, who had never done them, she found it harder than me. Don't let it get you down - you'll still make it to graduation. Can you drive or walk to somewhere flatter?


I ran W5R3 - W6R3 at about 1000m altitude when I was in Austria on holiday, but it was a flat run (round a lake). I don't think it's the altitude that's got you, but the hills. (I still haven't tackled hills yet, but I live in Cambridge so there aren't that many...) Hills make a big difference. But, if you can conquer them you'll probably find that you're able to run faster on the flat. Good luck.


Technically the higher up you get the thinner the air gets (less oxygen in it). A benefit of altitude training is that the lack of oxygen causes your body to produce more haemaglobin (so that more oxygen can bind with it) as to allow your cells to keep being oxygenated. I definately feel less energetic and have trouble catching my breath at higher altitudes. Also though, the inclines, if you're not used to them, will be a drain on energy.


Oh hell yeh, higher you go the harder it is. Hills i.e. going up is harder especially when your not used to them. Well done and yes you should move onto week 9, you have earned week 8 the hard way.


Thank you, all of you! I did W9 r1 this morning but had to walk for three separate bits of 2 minutes - those darned hills got me. I wouldn't mind if the first half was up and the second downhill - it's the other way around that's the problem!

I shall regard today and Wednesday's run as hill practice and do W9 properly next week when I'm on the flat again!

So another wait for that badge!


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