When the 49ers have had back-to-back games on the east coast, they stay created a routine to adjust to crossing multiple time zones. Now that the 49ers have to play 7,200 feet above sea level in Mexico City on Monday Night Football, they’ve created another routine to help their bodies adjust - practicing at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
It’s not a perfect solution as the Academy is about 6,000 feet above sea level, but it’s about as close as anyone could ask. Kyle Shanahan spoke yesterday about the decision to move practice, and the schedule the team will be on this week.
“Just talking to a few other teams who’ve done it before. Then having all our guys here, starting with [head of player health & performance] Ben [Peterson], just research the science of it and give us the recommendation of what they thought helped the most. And they thought getting there earlier, getting acclimated to it earlier would help us on Monday night, so that’s why we made that decision.
We’re taking off tomorrow, so we got eight days. With the extra day, we treated today like a true Monday. We just finished reviewing all the game, just finished up with all the players. Tomorrow will be basically an off day, we’ll travel there and then that Wednesday will be a Tuesday and then we’ll be in a normal week there that Thursday, then I think we’ll head to Mexico City on Sunday.”
Shanahan also said the practices will be as normal as possible, while still looking out for individual players that may need a breather in the thin air.
“It’s just like we went to Denver and scrimmaged against them for a week back in ‘19. If guys are struggling, it’s practice so you stop and take a break or you take that guy out and have him not go, but you want to practice in that altitude because the more days you spend in it, the more your body gets used to it, so hopefully it’ll make it easier for us Monday night.”
Over the last three years, the 49ers are just 3-3 against Kliff Kingsbury and company, including a beat down from Colt McCoy and the Funky Bunch in Week 9 last season. With the added difficulty of the higher elevation on Monday night, the 49ers are doing all they can to prepare.
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