There isn’t much that hasn’t been written or said about the altitude training haven of Livigno. Sitting high in the Italian Alps, Livigno has become one of the most desired high altitude training locations in Europe. A desire built upon high alpine passes, flowing backcountry and bike park singletrack and, of course, Italian coffee!
After such a busy first half to my European trip, I was looking forward to taking a break from the constant location changes and settling into a routine of training and relaxing that can be hard to manage on the road. The first few days in Livigno took care of the ‘relaxing’ part of the equation. Letting the body ease into the higher altitude was also an important consideration. Although, those few days were probably the hardest of the trip! Having to look out the window and see the endless streams of road bunches heading off into the hills really put my discipline to the test!
Eventually my time came and it was time to hit the mountains. Although not quite as visually appealing as the Austrian Alps, Livigno’s mountains still held plenty of the good stuff. Flowing singletrack that could take you to the highest peaks and all the way back down into the valley. The two bike parks also held plenty of trails that are still being expanded with a new flow track having just opened and another on its way.
The Mottolino bike park was my preferred choice with its fast and technical singletrack that became a great testing ground for the skills! It was also conveniently placed so that I could finish my road climbing efforts up the Passo Eira and drop into singletrack for the descent! The other option was the Carosello 3000 flow trails on the other side of town. With close to 20min of freshly built flowing singletrack, it was the perfect choice for a more relaxed day of mountain biking.
Of course it wasn’t all fun and games and there was plenty of ‘work’ to be done. I was a bit nervous heading into the camp with the training being at altitude as I was unsure of how I was going to adapt and feel. Thankfully everything went smoothly and I’ve come out the other side right where I wanted to be heading into the final races this season.
I can attest a lot of that to the power data I received from my Stages Power Meter. The data gained has been integral for not only the camp but for the whole year’s increase in power. Being able to closely monitor and manipulate my training has been a great help in dealing with the curveballs thrown up by the altitude and has kept me right on track.
Overall Livigno certainly lived up to the hype and I’m already planning the return trip! Now the hard work is done, it’s time to put it to use with the first race this weekend in Montgenevre, France. Time to go fast!