Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by airplanelove22, Jun 10, 2018.
I'm not a very strong runner. With the high altitude, how much of a problem will this be???
Have you been running in preparation? Altitude will always be a factor no matter how strong of a runner you are. Best bet would start training now and incorporate sprinting into your long distance runs to help build lung capacity.
I have one week, and I'll probably run some. I went to NASS last week and ran a bit and found that I'm not in top shape (like I was during sports season)
Might wanna consider doing doubles. Running once in the morning and once in the evening. Altitude does wonders when you go to sea level but is the reverse when you go up to it.
Just a little tough love here, but a week before you go to SS is kind of late to think about getting in shape.
If your goal is to get into a SA, then you're going to need to start planning ahead.
Physical conditioning is a primary goal of your first 7 weeks at any academy, and will continue to be important throughout the four years of study there.
That time (doing PT and sports) can actually be enjoyable, or an ordeal. It's all up to you.
With that said - if you live near sea level - an extra 7,200 feet of altitude (at USAFA) will make you gasp for air and feel like a fish out of water.
Your running times (for 1-1/2 miles, for example) will be around 45 seconds to a minute slower. It takes many people 2 to 4 weeks to get accustomed to it.
The view from the campus is beautiful, and the place is huge (18,500 acres as opposed to 338 acres at USNA - which is only 7 feet above sea level).
The summer seminar programs have no impact on your application, so this mis-step of preparation won't hurt you (other than making PT an ordeal).
Marathon runners who live and train at lower elevations but run a race at high elevations have 2 strategies for such a race (1) move to and train at high elevations for 8 weeks prior (best option because in increases red blood cell count) or (2) fly in as close to the start time as possible and run before altitude symptoms manifest themselves (in and out in less than 24 hours). Altitude has a huge system-wide impact on aerobic function and (as a former marathon runner who did several higher altitude races) it will slam even the best prepared low-land runner. Being in top aerobic shape substantially reduced the physiological responses to less oxygen and air pressure. It is not just a matter of gasping for air.
As soon as you arrive Denver or Colorado Spings airport, drink a bottle of water or gatorade . . . it will help fend off initial altitude sickness symptoms ( headache, nausea, etc.). Keep a bottle of water handy. You dehydrate quickly at 7200 ft elevation.
In the USAFA natatorium (building for swimming and diving events), there is a sign painted on the wall (or at least it used to be) to psyche out competitors from "back east" . . . THE AIR IS RARE!!!!
Hello all...I am posting for my daughter as she is currently at the SS Session 1. We got there a few days prior to adjust.
She drank 80 oz of water per day to help with the altitude. This helped her adjust and we did plenty of physical activities to push her. It is now up to her to perform at the CFA and SS.
If you stay hydrated, you should be fine. The pace will be tough for flatlanders — my Colorado DD said some kids were throwing up into garbage cans during PT — but you can also pace yourself. If you don’t like your CFA scores, remember that you have until January to do it again. Focus more on getting a lay of the land, meeting kids and asking a lot of questions. Have fun.
I am from sea level and was in pretty decent tennis shape (short sprints with short recovery time), and I felt like I was going to die on every run at SS, but it really didn't matter. There weren't that many runs and you will be in good company, struggling to breathe after climbing a flight of stairs. Good luck, don't worry about it, have fun, and ask questions. SS is what convinced me I wanted USAFA (granted not until I went to a similar summer program at a "normal" college and got some distance...) and it's the best decision I ever made.
oof alright, thanks. I've been running and it's ehh but I'll live
by "weren't that many runs,' How much do you mean?
It was a long time ago...but I think we only did one long group run, the rest was more self-paced stuff, running laps in the morning around the Terrazzo, something even I (a true hater when it comes to running) somewhat enjoyed. My point is don't stress about it for SS, use SS to evaluate USAFA and if you decide it is what you want, take the summer and fall to BECOME a good runner.
I'm glad to have read about this. My DS will be heading out Sunday. We plan to get some physical activities in, but good to know.
So do they actually score CFA while at SS?
Just came back from USAFA SS. Barely any physical activity, and we didn't even do a full CFA (we just practiced the events).
I too attended the SS and returned back yesterday. No running, but our group did a lot of team building activities, 7-8 miles walking every day. It was a memorable experience. Glad I went. Make sure you carry some cash to buy water at the academy.
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