Altitude

SN17

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
9
I live at sea level, so I am a little concerned about the elevation at the Academy. Is there anything I can do between now and BCT that will help prepare me for the change in altitude? I was thinking about getting a mask used to train for high elevations. Does anyone know if the masks actually work?
 

KTMDad

5-Year Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
175
The masks don't work for the purpose of acclimating to high altitude. Our DS came from basically sea level and he survived. The Cadre know most Basics come from the low lands and plan the training accordingly. Some people get to CO early to try and acclimate, but our DS wanted to spend as much time with friends and family so he arrived the day before I-Day. The best thing is to train (run, run, run, pushups, pullups, leg lifts, run some more). It is as much mental as it is physical. However, the better shape you are in will make the mental part that much more tolerable.
 

haleym

5-Year Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
417
Ultimately, the mask is a waste of money. You are better off allocating your time to physical training and simply becoming better at running, push ups, and anything ab or endurance related. Regardless of how good of shape you are in, you will still struggle- that's the name of the game because it is still basic training. But being physically ready to handle that stress (aka not collapsing after 10 push ups or running a 10 minute mile) will make it much easier for you.
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
612
Exactly what haleym said. The start of BCT is set up to help everyone acclimate to the altitude. I am from sea level and didn't go out early or anything, but I did run run run my senior year of high school right up till the day before BCT started and I didn't have too much trouble. Yeah exercises the first week are a little tough, but the cadre know that. They may not seem like they do...since they'll yell and you'll fail anyway, but they do.
 

Badfinger

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
65
I live at sea level, so I am a little concerned about the elevation at the Academy. Is there anything I can do between now and BCT that will help prepare me for the change in altitude? I was thinking about getting a mask used to train for high elevations. Does anyone know if the masks actually work?

I would not worry about the altitude. Just stay in shape and keep doing the cardio as others above have said.

A few summers ago we took a vacation to Colorado Springs. I wanted my son to see the Academy (he accepted his appointment for the class of 2021 back in November). Two days after we arrived, we found ourselves at the Cog Railroad that goes up to Pikes Peak. Adjacent to that is a fitness trail called the Manitou Incline. After coming back down from Pikes Peak, my son ran up the Manitou Incline without any altitude issues (the top of the incline is some 8000 feet above sea level) and we had only been in town for 2 days, coming from our city that is only 650 above seal level. Point is if you are in good shape, you will notice the elevation, but it won't be an issue.

Here is a link to the Manitou Incline: http://www.pikes-peak.com/want-climb-manitou-incline/

Took my son 29 minutes (when he was 15 years old). Took me 90 minutes...hardest thing I have ever done aside from a full marathon!
 

SN17

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
9
I would not worry about the altitude. Just stay in shape and keep doing the cardio as others above have said.

A few summers ago we took a vacation to Colorado Springs. I wanted my son to see the Academy (he accepted his appointment for the class of 2021 back in November). Two days after we arrived, we found ourselves at the Cog Railroad that goes up to Pikes Peak. Adjacent to that is a fitness trail called the Manitou Incline. After coming back down from Pikes Peak, my son ran up the Manitou Incline without any altitude issues (the top of the incline is some 8000 feet above sea level) and we had only been in town for 2 days, coming from our city that is only 650 above seal level. Point is if you are in good shape, you will notice the elevation, but it won't be an issue.

Here is a link to the Manitou Incline: http://www.pikes-peak.com/want-climb-manitou-incline/

Took my son 29 minutes (when he was 15 years old). Took me 90 minutes...hardest thing I have ever done aside from a full marathon!

Thank you! I signed up for the appointee tour in March, so hopefully I have time to check the Manitou Incline out.
 

Karen359

5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Messages
38
My son is class of 2020 and he did not prepare for the altitude and he was fine. He said it took about two weeks for everyone to get acclimated. The only thing he felt like he did not know about nor prepare for was the long jump on the AFT. He continues to struggle with that.
 

Tommyboy

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Messages
28
You should already be in great physical condition or you would not have earned a nomination to the Academy so the altitude should not be an issue for BCT1. BCT1 is not very physically demanding and is more military training than anything else. By the time you make it to BCT2 and march to Jacks Valley for the Physically demanding portion your body will be well acclimated to the altitude. The only effects of altitude you might get would be headaches caused by dehydration at altitude but you will be issued a camelback which you will constantly wear while being reminded to drink water constantly. Please note in BCT1 they will break you mentally and in BCT2 they will break your physically. BE PREPARED.
 

Badfinger

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
65
Thank you! I signed up for the appointee tour in March, so hopefully I have time to check the Manitou Incline out.

Definitely check it out. If you decide to give it a try, take a bottle or two of water. I understand they made some safety improvements to the trail recently (much needed...some spots were very dangerous with jagged metal posts, exposed culverts, etc).
 
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