Telluride • 800.592.6883 | Taos • 575.776.2489 [email protected]
Does Your Cup Runneth Over? Tips For Better Running & Drinking At High Altitude

Does Your Cup Runneth Over? Tips For Better Running & Drinking At High Altitude


“Head for the mountains” is both a call to ambitious mountain trail runners & a classic Busch Beer advertising slogan.

Our mountain culture often encourages extreme behavior (total immersion?), from athletic endeavors to night-time socializing in local watering holes.

Sometimes these activities converge over a single weekend. Traditionally the second weekend of September is the last hurrah of Summer before Fall equinox when the nights start to be longer than the days.

So of course, we mark this transition with a hearty combination of high-altitude running races & beer drinking festivals over the September 13 – 15 weekend in both Telluride, CO and Taos Ski Valley, NM.


Bootdoctors has advice and essential gear to help you have the best experience whether you are tipping back a stein or on your tiptoes running up the mountains.

First the advice. (For details on the weekend’s frivolities, skip to the bottom.)

Whether you are hammering the trail or getting hammered at a bar, altitude does indeed affect your performance.

To help you survive your efforts when raising a stein or racing against time, we have assembled some tips for high altitude running and funning.

First, let’s bust a couple myths:

Myth #1 – “There is less percentage of oxygen in high altitude air molecules.”  Truth: The percentage of oxygen is the same: 21%. The problem is that due to 30% lower air pressure, molecules are farther apart. Thinner air means less oxygen in each breath.[1]

Myth # 2 – “High altitude makes one drunker.” Truth: One’s BAC is the same as at lower altitude with the same ingestion of alcohol. However, the effects of altitude include dizziness, lightheadedness, unbalance, nausea and headache. Not surprisingly these symptoms feel a lot like intoxication effects.


So, how does one offset the effects of altitude on one’s performance from trail head to bar stool?

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

You often hear this from locals, whether in the context of exercise or imbibing, “Chug water before, during and after a workout and between every glass of alcohol.” Dry air at altitude causes sweat to dry quickly and reduces your body’s normal urge to drink. Use electrolytes to ensure assimilation of the water.

  1. Take it slow.

Everyone’s body reacts to altitude differently. Your body acclimates by making more red blood cells. This can take 3-4 days. Postpone running or alcohol for a few days if possible. Pace yourself.[2] Walk before you run.  Try a leisurely paced walk or run first. (even if you are trying to get to the head of the beer line!)

  1. Increase carbohydrate intake.

Indulge in your favorite snacks! Higher metabolism at higher altitude means your body needs more fat. So, go ahead, munch on those pretzels!

  1. Acclimatize.

Slowly move uphill. They recommend 1,000 feet increase in altitude per day which is hard to do in a running race or when vacationing for sure. Your body will acclimatize naturally but be aware one rarely achieves the same physical or mental fitness one has at sea level. So, go ahead – blame the altitude for your memory lapses!

  1. Feeling low? Go lower.

One thing doctors, coaches and drinking team leaders agree on – the number one antidote to altitude sickness is going to a lower altitude. So, take time to drop 2,238 ft. to visit the historic town of Taos if the Taos Ski Valley thin air at 9,207 feet (2,806 m) is kicking your butt. Or check out the valley in Ridgway, CO, 1,765 feet below Telluride’s 8,750 feet (2,129 m.)


Need more ideas? Visit Bootdoctors.

Our knowledgeable staff can show you the latest hydration pack, personal water bottle, sunscreen, weather resistant clothing and running or hiking shoes. Custom footbeds in your running and walking shoes will help reduce muscle fatigue.

Sobriety Option

How to completely avoid negative effects of alcohol on your system? It’s simple! Don’t drink! Experts advise folks to forgo any alcohol to avoid exacerbating effects of altitude. Every individual is completely unique in their body’s response to exercise or alcohol in general, especially at altitude, so be smart, listen to your own body and breath deep while enjoying the magnificent view!

Ready, Set, Go!


Details of the weekend’s frivolities:

In Telluride, since 1994 Blues and Brews Festival has hosted legendary musical artists and today features 56 of the best craft breweries in America. Bootdoctors partners with the Telluride Blues Society sponsoring the Blisters and Brews 5K Race to raise funds for Telluride Adaptive Sports Program Saturday September 14th. Who wouldn’t run for free beer? Register at

Taos Ski Valley hosts Bull of the Woods Trail Races with a half marathon and Kachina Peak Marathon September 14th. Register at

Rather blow froth off a stein than froth at the mouth in a marathon? How about showing off your polka moves at Taos Oktoberfest?  Authentic Schuplatter band, German beer and food, activities and crafts for kids, stein holding contests and so much more.

Get your collector stein online before they run out!


NOTE: Anyone experiencing severe symptoms of altitude sickness should immediately seek medical attention.


[2] “after an individual has been exposed to altitude for long periods of time, they will have 30 percent to 50 percent more red blood cells than an individual at sea level, according to Rick Curtis, director of the Outdoor Action Program at Princeton University. The body also creates more capillaries to match the production of new red blood cells. Extra capillaries decrease the distance between the cell and capillary, making it easier to transport oxygen throughout the body.”


The author Penelope Gleason keeps it hoppy at Blues and Brews with the Bootdoctors’ crew!


BootDoctors & Christy Sports Join Powerful Forces

BootDoctors & Christy Sports Join Powerful Forces


With shared common core values as family-based operations, BootDoctors and Christy Sports
collectively provide quality products and exceptional customer service.

“We’ve been looking to grow our presence in Telluride, and we’re also excited to have the opportunity to enter into Taos,” stated Patrick O’Winter, Christy Sports Chairman.
“Acquiring BootDoctors with its well-established brand reputation is the perfect way to expand in these key Rocky resorts.”
Read the full story below from TELLURIDE INSIDE & OUT.


Christy Sports Acquires BootDoctors

Christy Sports LLC, one of the largest winter sports specialty retailers in the nation, today announced its most recent acquisition BootDoctors, a specialty retailer of ski, snowboard and bike products and services, which currently operates out of three locations in Telluride, Colorado and two locations in Taos, New Mexico.

Why You Need A New Bike NOW!

Why You Need A New Bike NOW!


“They say money can’t buy you happiness. But, they’re wrong.

Because it can buy you a new bike and nothing will make you happier. I know because I just bought one.”
Read Jesse’s in-depth reasoning & buying process behind her newest, two-wheeled best friend, on TELLURIDE INSIDE & OUT.

BootDoctors: Why You Need A New Bike Now!

“The (Boot)Doctor is in the House” is a series from beloved family-owned and operated outdoor retailer BootDoctors to share the power of mountain life: adventure, style, gear, and community. Here the good guys always get to ski powder and bag summits and the sunset is always spectacular.

What’s the Secret to Success for Trail Running?

What’s the Secret to Success for Trail Running?

What’s the Secret to Success for Trail Running?

We share our tips with aspiring runners below.

But first, we invite you to participate (or to cheer on racers) in the upcoming Taos Ski Valley race!


BootDoctors is pleased to be a sponsor of the:




 – The Race –

This 10K mountain course is a challenge to body, mind and spirit. This scenic climb ascends peaks with views of Kachina and Wheeler Peaks.

Feel the energy of the mountains surge through you as you test your limits and rejoice in recreating in the outdoors.




People ask us, “What is the best shoe for trail running?” the answer is always the same, “The shoe that best matches your foot, your goals, the terrain you run and your personal running style.”

In other words it is never a one shoe fits all solution. That’s why we recommend you try on several shoes and take a walk or run for a while in the store.

Talk with a professional shoe fitter like the pros at BootDoctors who can examine your feet, legs and body physiology.

Customize your shoes with custom footbeds. About 75% of all people either over or under pronate, causing motion, strain, blisters, wear and tear.

A custom molded footbed holds your foot in the ideal position through gait and helps with comfort and performance.

Many shy away from investing in custom orthotics because of the hefty price tag of upwards of $400 to $600.

Custom athletic footbeds such as those made America’s Best Bootfitters at BootDoctors at $199 are a bargain.

If you purchase footbeds with a shoe purchase you enjoy a discounted price of $139. What a bargain for comfortable feet and longevity of your running enjoyment!

BootDoctors offers custom footbed services by appointment. Call today for yours! 575-776-2489.



Even if you weren’t running a rugged race up the mountain, New Mexico air is so dry you need extra hydration for daily living.

Hydration is the key for comfort and performance in trail running. Experts recommend you pre-hydrate by drinking up to 20 fl. Oz. about 2 hours prior to your run.

Then it is advised not to chug large quantities but to maintain a regular interval of hydration during your run, or 5-10 fl. oz. every 15-20 minutes.

Finished the race? Before you celebrate with a stein of frothy malted beverage, be sure to flush through 16-24 fl. oz. of water for every pound lost while running.

You may wonder, “How can I carry that much water?” Water weighs a lot, so the best plan is to carry a lightweight carrier, such as the Camelbak Quick Stow Chill Flask.

This lightweight, collapsible flask keeps your water cold 2X longer. The extra-wide mouth also makes it easy to refill on the fly, especially if you’re adding ice or drink mixes.

The classic one-piece silicone bite valve offers a durable user friendly drinking interface. The Quick Stow Chill conveniently holds 500 ml (17oz) of water.


Don’t forget the electrolytes. Water alone is not enough to keep your body hydrated and performing well.

Electrolytes are essential. Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are the four major electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance.

Use a drink powder in your water or take electrolyte pills. Salt pills will not do the trick!



Mountains have their own sometime unpredictable weather and your body temperature may vary greatly on the uphill vs the downhill journey.

Wearing layers that are easily added or shed is the smart way to regulate your body’s temperature.

Materials that wick away sweat and moisture while keeping you cozy are the best choice.

Start with your feet again. Your socks can make or break a run.

Smartwool PhD series mesh venting keeps your feet cool; their engineered fit system keeps the sock from moving and causing blisters;

their indestructawool technology guarantees these are the most comfortable and durable socks you will ever run in!



Go ahead and sweat, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Breath deep and enjoy the energy that the mountain is offering you.

Notice the wildflowers. And for sure, don’t forget to look up! You are in one of the most beautiful places on the planet surrounded by other passionate outdoors people.

Relish the camaraderie. Encourage each other. Smile even when you feel the burn. It’s so great to be alive!

We will be cheering you on at the Taos Up and Over. Come in soon to get set up for success in your trail running.

JULY 22ND: Introducing Taos Bacon & Brews

JULY 22ND: Introducing Taos Bacon & Brews




Introducing Taos Bacon & Brews
12pm to 5pm • Taos Ski Valley Main Base Plaza



“Everything goes better with bacon!” Try many brews and culinary creations featuring bacon on July 22, from noon to 5 pm, at Taos Ski Valley main base plaza area.
Food & brews will kick off at noon! Live music from O’Duffy’s Lament from 1.00pm — 3.30pm.
Bring home a collector’s Taos Brew Mug!



Escape the heat at Taos Ski Valley and enjoy cool Summer breezes on the mountain, gorgeous views from the SCENIC CHAIRLIFT RIDE , plus music, fun and food.
Check out all the fun every weekend at TAOS SKI VALLEY.
GET A GUIDE: The Truth About Mountain Biking In Telluride & Taos

GET A GUIDE: The Truth About Mountain Biking In Telluride & Taos


GET A GUIDE: The Truth About Mountain Biking In Telluride & Taos

The trails are calling. Check out the awesome mountain bike opportunities around Telluride & Taos.
See the full details in the article below from TELLURIDE INSIDE & OUT.
– OR –



The Truth About Mountain Biking in Telluride: Get a Guide

“The (Boot)Doctor is in the House” is a series from beloved Telluride retailer BootDoctors, The subject is mountain lore and stories in which the good guys always gets to ski powder or bag summits. The Big Idea is to share the power of mountain life: style, gear, community and community outreach, and adventures of all kind.