travel, Uncategorized

Involuntary Altitude Training

My next stop after Chile was a small town in Peru, Cusco. Cusco is famous for being the starting point for the famous Inca Trail trek to Macchu Picchu and pretty much the hiking capital. Everything I read had told me to take a couple of days to acclimatise in Cusco before heading off on any hikes. The town itself is at 3350m altitude, to put that in perspective Sydney sits at 19m above sea level and Everest base camp is at 5380m. Simple things like walking up a set of stairs at that kind of altitude felt like your legs wouldn’t move because of the weight of them.

With no signs of altitude sickness (headaches, stomach issues etc) by day two of being in Cusco I thought it would be a safe bet to give the local crossfit box a go. Luckily (but not really) the session was just 30 minutes of abs. I felt as though I was at the end of one of our make-shift holiday workouts that we would do in Thailand on the beach without a gym nearby. Being the only box in Cusco (and I was thankful to at least have one), I was going to give it another chance (that and they were charging an exorbitant $20USD for a drop in or $30USD for a week pass). I asked for the next days WOD but not sure if she understood what I meant and replied with a ‘don’t worry, we have it’… Well that’s good.

Day 2.

The warm-up took way too long and the whole workout lasted 15 minutes. No strength or gymnastics component and a poor excuse for a WOD. By this point I was fairly unimpressed but again had paid for the week so would give one more day a shot (surely it couldn’t get any worse).

Day 3.

I was praying for some bar work. Something. Anything. Prayers were partly answered. The coach (who is normally late… Good job) made up the workout as we were doing a warm up. It was a little excessive and didn’t feel as though it was all that achievable in the time cap. I asked the other coach if he had done this one, he said no, he had done something else (I would have done something else too if given the choice). I still remained optimistic even through not being able to breathe on several occasions.

3 rounds for time: 25 min time cap

400m run

20 box jumps

20 heavy power cleans

20 plate overhead lunges

20 box jumps

20 heavy power cleans

I had my bar set at 65lbs, the RX weight wasn’t geared at high reps and I didn’t hesitate to tell him that. If the WOD called for 120 power cleans there was no way I was doing it at the prescribed 95lbs.

I died several times during this workout. Could not for the life of me catch my breath. Thank f*#k for a time cap, 2 rounds done and I was ready to tap out. I’ll try this one again when I’m back at a cosy 18m altitude and see if I can actually complete it!

Next post… The adventures of my Spanish speaking guide Flav, our shitty stallion and a 5 day trek around Ausangate Mountain with passes as high as Everest base camp.

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