Mileage and vertical feet

  • Creator
  • #48668

    I know this is an asinine question and may not have an answer

    What is considered good milage and vertical gain per week for a mountain / peak hiker?

    I know stats do exist as benchmarks for running and I’m trying to get a sense for my sport.


  • Participant
    Jared Casper on #48744

    The main variable you aren’t specifying, which makes this (I think) unanswerable, is what you mean by “mountain / peak hiker”. Are you hiking your local peak with 1-2000 ft of gain on a nice trail. A CO 14er with several thousand feet of gain at elevation? Up Rainier with 8-10,000 ft of gain? A technical peak in the Sierra with less gain but more technical aspects? Going up an 8000m in the Himalaya?

    The answer to your question is going to be very highly dependent on your objective(s), and that’s just the first order variable. It’s also going to depend on a lot on your goals (1 day ascent or 3 day ascent?), your history with endurance training, etc. etc.

    I think your best path to an answer is to choose an objective, look at the distance and vertical gain involved, then look at the parts of the books that talk numbers or check out one of the plans available on this site, plug in the numbers and see what pops out.

    Anonymous on #49091

    First, it’s not an asinine question. Finding a measuring stick is always a good thing (IMO).

    Second, I’m not aware of any such standard other than the fitness tests in TftNA.

    Third, and most important, make your own and only measure your performance against your own progress. People get too caught up measuring themselves against professionals and then attach a value judgment to it. If you can do the former without the latter, I think you’ll find your progress very rewarding.

    For example, when I started skimo racing in Canada, in my first race I finished with a time that was ~65% of the winner’s. (If he won in two, then it took me three.) After a year or so of proper training and practice, I was finishing in the mid-70s. (If a race was won in two hours, I would finish in ~2.5h.) After six years of training, I was able to get into the mid-80s. (2h vs 2.3h)

    A couple of things should jump out:

    * I was never going to win, but I was able to make a lot of progress; and
    * More and more training leads to less and less improvement as you approach your absolute potential.

    Progress is relative and should be measured as such. Enjoy the process!

    AshRick on #49147

    My personal benchmark is to reach fitness over a goal distance/elevation no worse than 2x the FKT for that route. If no FKT, then maybe a Strava segment if there is one.

    FWIW…I’m 60 and am new to mountain running.

    AshRick on #49148

    Oh…to address your question about weekly goals…no simple answer. Newbies…6-8 hours a week. Veteran, experienced athletes…9-12 and up. Good guidance in the books.

    Think in terms of hours, not miles and Vert. The latter numbers are driven by your fitness/speed and the terrain you’re on.

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