27. Juli 2019

The staircase up Mount Everest, an office workout

No need to climb the ladders up Mount Everest if you have the staircase of an eleven-floor office block to scale. This staircase is going to replace the hill training for me in the months to come. Around 8890 meters over 2068 floors in 17 weeks. Let’s see how difficult that is.

It’s only 17 weeks left until I make a renewed attempt to finish my second Wendover Woods 50. This foot race covers 50 miles (~80 km) of distance and gains a total of ~3000 meters of elevation. That’s the elevation gain from sea level to Germany’s highest mountain─to be scaled in one day. How do I train for this? Particularly: how do I train for the frequent and steep hills?

Clearly, with enough time to spare and enough willingness to sacrifice other things in my life, I could relocate for a few weeks of training to some hilly place in the UK and then focus on hill training. However, I do not have that willingness, so anything that fits into my everyday life is more suitable. Thus, why not repurpose the office staircase?

Let’s do the arithmetic. From the 17 weeks, I can only trainly in 14 weeks. Let’s say, I choose to have two rest days during the week, which thus leaves three workout days except for five weeks where I do four workout days. And let’s say I choose to climb the staircase up to the 11th floor four times per workout day. The building is 52 meters high, thus has about ~47 meters of staircase (52 * 10 / 11), with ~4.3m per level. This means I will climb around ~8890 meters over 2068 floors during my build up for the race. That’s about the elevation gain from sea level to the world’s highest mountain, just without the costs and risks.

Enough said. Here is my current progress on the mission to climb Mount Everest from sea level, as a build up for the race:

There’s obviously some caveats in this approach. For example, the training might not be ideal, and maybe fewer, more intense hill trainings will provide better outcome. However, I feel this is a good compromise to get fit at the expense of maybe 16 hours of staircase training in total.