Setting StairMaster Records AND My Goal For Vegas

Scale the Strat is less than a week away! I’ve been training like crazy, and it’s paying off. I’ve never been more prepared for a stair climb race than I am for this one, and I’m glad that’s the case, because I have generous donors and my first-ever corporate sponsor – StairMaster! – and I don’t want anyone to think I’m slacking. Speaking of StairMaster, I’ve set some personal records at the gym, and I’m proud and excited about that!


As I explained in my last StairMaster training post, I’ve been using the StairMasters at the gym to work on two training goals, and I have updates on each!

1) Ten-Minute Warm-Up Challenge. I’ve been pushing myself to see how many floors I can climb during my StairMaster 10-minute warm-ups. My record from 2013 was 63 floors, but so far this year, I’ve only reached 59. Since my last update, I used the StairMaster two more times. On the first attempt, I made it to 60 – a high for 2014, but still a few floors shy of my all-time high. Then, on Friday, Feb. 21, I did it again, and I pushed myself hard. Check out the results:


65 FLOORS in TEN MINUTES! Woo-hoo!  And I set another personal record in the process: the highest speed I’ve ever achieved! Normally, I set the StairMaster speed somewhere between 9 and 12 during my workouts. During this outing, I was closing in on the 9-minute mark when I realized I might not beat my previous best of 63 stories. So I bumped it to level 14, a level I’ve only used a few times before, for short amounts of time. For the final 30 seconds, I bumped it up to level 16, which I’d never done before. It’s not easy, but it got me to 65 stories!

2) 91-Floor Time Trials.  The other training challenge I’ve been doing has been to see how fast I could climb 91 stories on the StairMaster, which is the equivalent number of steps as the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. I improved during each of my first three attempts, going from 18 minutes to 16:30 to 14:45. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to beat 14:45, because that was an exhausting feat, but I tried it again on February 19th, and… I beat it. I didn’t beat it by much – only 18 seconds – but that’s still beating it! My new record is 14:27.

So… I can climb the equivalent of the Stratosphere in 14:27 on a StairMaster… how fast can I do it in real life? I won’t make 14:27 my racing goal, because it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. The StairMaster doesn’t have landings. The StairMaster also sets the pace for you, and I’ll be solely responsible for that in the Stratosphere. While I can’t look at my StairMaster performance as a way to set a goal time, I can look at my past tower running times, and build a goal from there.

This will be my fifth tower climb, and while each building is a different height and contains a different number of steps, I’ve calculated my average pace during each one:

  • 2012 Aon Center (1,393 steps): 14.6 seconds per floor
  • 2013 Aon Center (1,393 steps): 16.5 seconds per floor
  • 2013 US Bank Tower (1,679 steps): 16.4 seconds per floor
  • 2013 Figueroa @ Wilshire (1,245 steps): 13.5 seconds per floor

Since I’m so well trained and prepared for this race, my goal is to improve upon my fastest pace, and beat 13.5 seconds per floor. Now to calculate that out into minutes and seconds. The Stratosphere claims to be 108 stories tall, but that’s bullshit, because it contains 1,455 steps, and that’s less than the US Bank Tower, which is 75 stories.

The US Bank Tower contains 22 steps per floor, so if you apply that ratio to the Stratosphere, it’s like saying the Stratosphere is 66 stories tall. Multiply 66 x 13.5, and you get a total of 891 seconds. So there it is.

My goal is to climb the Stratosphere in 891 seconds, which is 14 minutes, 51 seconds.

Man, that seems difficult. It’s only 24 seconds slower than my fastest StairMaster time trial! But I’m up for the challenge. It’s good to have goals!

Keep it up, David!

This post is part of my StairMaster sponsorship.

3 Responses to Setting StairMaster Records AND My Goal For Vegas

  1. Pat says:

    I Love the Stairmaster in my gym!!

  2. Dot2Trot says:

    That’s impressive! Good luck.

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