The Big O

O2, that is.  Got your attention now didn’t I?

This blog started out as a way of confessing my obsessions…and winter seems to bring out the real blab in me…

What’s a guy to do when he’s mostly stuck to trainer duty even though it’s nice and sunny outside?  Well, ya gotta get some sun in your life, so naturally the trainer gets set up on the back deck in the direct sun.  It was warm enough yesterday that I had to set up a fan outside.  That’s a real sight, some dude cranking a trainer on his porch with a big fan in his face.  The neighbors continue to shrug their shoulders.

Some of my missing synapses are returning, thank goodness.  You see, I have a great training aid for trainer work but it hasn’t occured to me to use until recently.  Back in ’04 I acquired this baby, a Hypoxico altitude generator to be used with an altitude tent.

When you live at 6500 feet, an altitude tent’s value add is dubious at best, but it is great to have in the winter’s I’m in lower elevations.  However, as altitude generators work, they must remove oxygen from the air in order to simulate altitude.  That removed oxygen has to go somewhere, and in the case of this generator it comes out of an exhaust gas port on the front.  The great Cog helped me figure out how to make use of this waste gas for training in hyperoxic conditions.  It honestly isn’t something I’ve done much cause why ride the trainer when you live in Colorado…but now is a great time to experiement with these methods.

How do I use it?  The exhaust gas is 60% oxygen.  I’ve hooked up a tube with nasal canula at the end, like you see folks using in the hospital, and wear it just like post-op 3 weeks ago.  Using a pulse-oximeter, at this altitude I’ve determined it’s about impossible to get saturation levels below 90% using the canula, but without it I can easily drop them to the 70’s.

What does this mean?  It’s sort of like training at sea level while living at altitude.  I am able to produce similar powers on the trainer that I would at lower elevations – about 10% higher.  Oxygen is like magic, I can put the canula on during steady riding and watch HR drop 5-10 beats over 30 seconds. 

Fun stuff on the back deck.