High Altitude Breeds Champions

Posted: 04/30/15

Big Bear's High Altitude Provides Ideal Training Grounds for Competitive Edge.

High altitude breeds champions! World-class athletes such as reigning WBA and IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin, former WBA champions Oscar De La Hoya and 'Sugar' Shane Mosely, 2013 IAAF World Championships Outdoor 800m bronze medalist Brenda Martinez, UCI-ranked professional road racing cyclist Phil Gaimon and 2008 / 2012 Olympic marathon runner Ryan Hall get a competitive edge from high altitude training in Big Bear Lake. Both professional and amateur athletes who plan to compete in any athletic contest are encouraged to train in Big Bear Lake to get an extra advantage over competition.

Big Bear offers a variety of different terrain for conditioning, strength and agility. Some of the best areas to train in Big Bear Valley are the Alpine Pedal Path on the north shore, The Pacific Crest Trail, US Forest Service Roads in the Holcomb Valley, and designated bicycle routes in the residential areas. Another option for a high altitude workout is at various gyms scattered throughout Big Bear Valley.

Big Bear Lake is host to several athletic events including Amgen Tour of California, Big Bear Lake Memorial Day 5k Fun Run, Holcolm Valley Trail Run, Big Bear Triathlon, Big Bear Paddlefest, Big Bear MTB Gran Fondo, Tour de Big Bear, Kodiak 100 Ultra Marathon, North Shore Half Marathon/10k/5k, and Grizzly Stage Race. Both competitive and recreational participants enjoy the distinctive challenge to reach the finish line at these athletic events haled in Big Bear.

At 7,000 feet, Big Bear provides the highest altitude athletic events in Southern California. Participants not only choose Big Bear for its high altitude, but also because of the scenic sights combined with cool mountain breezes and excellent air quality. For more information about Big Bear’s high altitude athletic events including dates and entry fees visit

Listed are preparatory recommendations for high altitude competition...

  1. Do infrequent high altitude training runs to prepare mentally for the increased work effort and to practice slow and deep breathing techniques. Attempt to slow breathing patterns with deeper inhalation and forceful exhaling.
  2. Practice aspiratory muscle training during practice runs at low altitude. While running, concentrate on deep inhalation techniques by allowing the abdomen to expand. Once the abdomen expands, then contract the abdomen during the exhale.
  3. Consume foods that will maintain a balance pH level. Eat plenty of vegetables, some fruit daily, and don't eat too much of dairy products, grain products, and direct protein from eggs and meat.
  4. Increase consumption of monounsaturated (peanut butter, olives, almonds, pecans, avocado, olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, salmon, tuna, soybean oil) during high intensity training. Higher fat consumption during high intensity training will result to a higher percentage of fat utilization compared to carbohydrates during higher intensity exercise.
  5. Give yourself two full days of altitude accumulation prior to competition. During this time concentrate on increasing fluid consumption and caloric consumption of about 3000 calories a day.
  6. If you cannot arrive two full days prior to competition then arrive the morning of the competition.

Big Bear is a cool getaway for athletes to train and offers a wide range of amenities. To learn about everything there is to see and do in Big Bear Lake, to book lodging, or to request a Visitors Guide, log on to or call 800-424-4232.