Monday, May 30, 2016


Charles, my friend... we're gonna have to do some serious revising for our competition. I'm glad I walked my building's staircase tonight: the trip was very informative.

I walked up to our building's 28th floor: the two floors above the 26th are for the apartment's huge water tanks and for other maintenance purposes.

Contrary to what I wrote I was going to do, I did indeed time my climb... and I was able to reach the 26th floor in ten minutes, thirty seconds. I stopped briefly three times, and at this rate, it won't be long before I can make the climb without stopping at all.

How was this short time possible?

Well, it turns out that my per-floor step count was way, way off, and the building isn't nearly as tall as Namsan. After about the 5th floor, the number of steps between floors evens out to about 18-20 steps per floor, with two flights of steps per floor (i.e., 9-10 steps per flight). Before the 5th floor, the reason why there are so many steps between floors is that the building's gym occupies the 3rd and 4th floors. The gym is huge; it has a vaulted ceiling, and on the 3rd floor, there's a full-size swimming pool. Once we're past the gym's upper level, though, the space between floors shrinks.

So if it's roughly 36 steps per floor from B1 to 5, then roughly 19.5 steps per floor from 5 to 26, the total number of steps to the 26th floor is about 590 steps ([36•5]+[19.5•21]=589.5), which is only 0.53 Namsan in height (590/1100 steps). It's both exhilarating and a bit discouraging to realize that, to get a true Namsan-scale workout, I'll need to walk up my building twice.

A ten-minute workout is no replacement for the immense effort I'm putting in during my long, 20,000-some-step walks along the creek, so I won't be doing the building staircase that often—twice a week, maximum, not three times a week... unless I decide I'm really going to do my building's staircase twice each session.

I've also learned that my legs and lungs are already close to Namsan-stair-climbing strength. If I'm stopping only three times now, then in another two weeks of training, I'll be able to climb 26 floors without stopping. A few weeks after that, I'll be able to do 52 floors, i.e., a tiny bit more than one Namsan, without stopping.

All in all, this is encouraging news. I've been making progress. But it does mean that, for Charles and my upcoming race (we talk about it in the comments of another post), we're going to have to revise the race parameters. A lot.



Charles said...

I did wonder how there could be that many steps between floors--it seemed like an awful lot.

And I suspected that you would do better than you thought you would. After reading about your recent stair adventures (stairventures?), I figured you would already be exceeding expectations.

However, if your building does turn out to have 590 steps, I'm pretty sure I could do that in under four minutes. As I mentioned in an email, at a vigorous but still normal two-step-at-a-time pace I can do the 56 steps to my place in 20 seconds flat, which would extrapolate to almost exactly 3:30 for 590 steps. Even at a relatively leisurely pace, I'm pretty sure I could make four minutes... and if I ran I might be able to crack three.

By the time the race comes around, though (we'll have to work on scheduling soon), who knows what sort of shape you will be in. I'm gonna have to step up my game.

hahnak said...

when are you both racing? which post are yall commenting on?

Charles said...

This post was a while back--probably on the next page now. It's the one with 9 comments on it.

As for when we are racing, that has yet to be determined.

(I did get your email, Hahna--will answer soonish!)

Timed myself running up the 56 steps to my place last night: 15 seconds. Faster, for sure, but not that much faster, probably because I have to negotiate six 180-degree turns along the way. At that pace my time would be under three minutes... but realistically speaking, I doubt very much I would be able to keep that pace up.