Stan’s Obligatory Blog


What I said last week…

Filed under: — stan @ 11:03 pm

It’s practice time at the Aon building in downtown Los Angeles, and like I’ve been saying a lot lately, “this is great!”

I was really not looking forward to this today. But I didn’t want to miss the chance to practice on the actual stairs where we will be racing in March. So I figured that I’d use this chance to pay attention some more to the layout of the stairs, and practice switching leads on the first and third sections of the stairway to balance the loading on each leg.

I paid close attention this time, and I realized that in the practice climb from 4 to 60, there are only three floors that are larger than the standard of 22 steps per floor. They are from 21 to 22 and from 41 to 43. Those three are 24 steps, where all the others are 22. It’s interesting how I’d noticed that the mechanical floors were larger than the standard, but at the same time, they seemed like they were a lot bigger. Two extra steps per floor really isn’t all that much. I think the illusion comes from the fact that from 20 to 24 and 40 to 44 the steps change and go from counter-clockwise to clockwise. So each of those interludes feels like one big floor, even though its actually several individual floors.

This also allows me to compute the number of steps in the practice climb:

56 x 22 = 1,232
1,232 + 6 = 1,238 steps
1,238 x 7.5 = 9285
9285 / 12 = 774 feet of climbing

Knowing the layout of the stairs has helped me to sort of mentally break up the climb into smaller chunks, which makes it easier to deal with.

So today, I was just going up the stairs, not really trying to set a blazing pace. I noticed that on the first section that it only took about four or five floors before I noticed that one leg was working much harder than the other. So I remembered to do a little stutter-step about every four floors to switch which leg was leading. That was also a useful mental diversion.

When I got to 50, I had a quick look at my watch and saw that I was on track for a good time. So I kept going, and managed to put on a little burst of speed from 57 to 60. I stumbled out of the stairs and flopped on the floor. When I looked at my watch, it said 9:59.74. This is the first time I’ve been under 10 minutes for this climb, although by the rules I’ve established, I really have to round that to an even 10 minutes. Still, this is 10 seconds faster than my previous best that I did last week. Nothing not to like there.

Working out my power production gives:

9285 x 2.54 = 236 meters
236 x 77 x 9.8 = 178,086 joules
178,086 / 600 = 297 watts
297 watts = 0.398 horsepower

Not too bad.

On the train home, I worked out another possible way to switch leading legs between floors. One that will not require any fancy footwork. I’m going to try that out on Thursday.

This is great!

One Response to “What I said last week…”

  1. Vern L Says:

    Nice breakdown of your session. I’m not going to think much about how many steps in each group and which foot is getting too much work… I’m just going to hack my way through the first stair climb race in Bangkok – The Bangkok Vertical Marathon, here in a few days. I can see where, if I really get into it – I’ll be emailing you or writing you on facebook to find out what the formulas are you’re using.

    Best of luck in your March climb.



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