StairMaster Training Update

My big stair climb race up the Stratosphere in Las Vegas is less than three weeks away, and I’ve been working hard to get prepared. I feel like my training got off to a slow start, thanks to my having to recover from a bruised rib, but it’s been picking up, and I still have a few weeks ahead of me.

I’ve spent a lot of time using the StairMaster at the gym. Check out what I did last night:


I climbed 113 floors in 20 minutes! More importantly, I climbed 91 of those floors in 14 minutes, 45 seconds, and that’s what I’m really excited about.  I took a photo of this while still climbing, so it’s blurry, but I provided some assistance in deciphering it:


For the past three weeks, I’ve been challenging myself to see how fast I can climb 91 stories. Why 91? Because of math. Let me explain:

FACT: The Stratosphere race as 1,455 steps.

FACT: The StairMaster that I use counts one floor as 16 steps. I figured this out using my powers of observation.

FACT: If I divide 1,455 steps by 16 steps per floor, I get 90.9 floors. I’m fine with rounding that up to 91.

THEREFORE, 91 stories on the StairMaster contains the same number of steps as the Stratosphere climb.

My first attempt at climbing 91 stories on the StairMaster was on January 29. I climbed those 91 stories in almost exactly 18 minutes. (I stayed on the StairMaster another 2 minutes, and climbed 101 floors total.)

Then, one week later (on February 5th), I did the same climb, but this time, I finished 91 stories in 16.5 minutes – 90 seconds faster! (I stayed on the StairMaster for another 3.5 minutes and climbed 110 stories total.)

This time around, I did those 91 stories in 14:45 – 1:45 faster than last week, and 3:15 faster than two weeks ago! It will be very difficult to beat this time next week, but I will try. I felt ready to collapse afterward – more exhausted than I’ve ever been on a StairMaster.  Despite the fatigue, I bumped the speed way down (from 12 to 6) and stayed on the StairMaster until I finished 20 minutes (and 113 stories) total.

In addition to these weekly time trials, I’ve also been using the StairMaster for many of my warm-ups.  I’ll warm-up before lifting weights for ten minutes, and during that time, I’ll push myself to climb as many floors as possible.

I did this same ritual before the Hike the Halo and CF Climb races last fall, and back then, I started at 43 floors in ten minutes and improved over a couple months to 63 floors in ten minutes.

I haven’t beaten that 63-floor record (yet), but I’m pretty close. Check out my 10-minute StairMaster climb stats:

  • January 17: 48 floors.
  • January 19: 53 floors.
  • January 23: 51 floors.
  • January 27: 52 floors.
  • January 30: 51 floors.
  • February 2: 55 floors.
  • February 3: 55 floors.

And check out my most recent attempt, from a few nights ago (February 10):


I climbed 59 floors – my best in 2014! My goal is to beat 63 stories by the time I go to Vegas… and I’m only 5 floors away!

Speaking of goals… I haven’t set a goal yet for my actual Stratosphere climb, so that’s definitely something I need to start thinking about. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Stratosphere… I want to thank Janet, Dana, Karen and my parents for donating and pushing me way past my fundraising minimum. I needed to raise $150 for the American Lung Association before I could climb, and these fantastic donors chipped in $195. Awesome! Thank you!

If you were planning on donating, I’m certainly not going to stop you, because it’s a great cause and I’d love your support. But know that I will be competing in two more American Lung Association races that I’ll announce next month. Would you mind holding off for now, so your generous contribution can help me reach those fundraising minimums?

The Stratosphere race is only 18 days away… I’m getting excited!

Keep it up, David!

This post is part of my StairMaster sponsorship.


6 Responses to StairMaster Training Update

  1. You’re a BEAST! Keep it up! 🙂

  2. says:

    You got some math skills!

  3. Glen says:

    I’m up to 60 floors in 10 min and that’s after my workout consisting of back and bench of 225# 3 sets of 8 in 12 min.
    What you are doing is fast but I’m 52 and weigh 255# keep going David I know I will.
    Did I mention I have a bad Achilles…

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