Given that the WR for vertical kilometer is about 30 minutes — achieving that is going to be pretty tough.
No disrespect to Messner, but it’s doubtful he accomplished that. And certainly not on a snowy slope hauling gear.
In the first book there is this list of goals Steve wanted to reach, among them the goal to ascend 1000m in half an hour, like Reinhold Messner (and Peter Habeler) back then.
I know there are fitter, younger, stronger people out there … today I did a rather steep hike and achieved around 700 m ascent in around 45 minutes. OK, multiple parameters here, for example snowy underground, flatter sections etc. And it wasn’t my primary goal today to go full speed / Anyway, my speed might be only half of the quoted speed of Reinhold.
Did Steve do it? 😉 I also wonder which track to choose, which gradient (?), what underground … It’s very likely I won’t be able to get that fast anymore, given my age and weight etc … I am just interested in the speed people achieve and how I could improve here.
Posted In: General Training Discussion
I would like to know Steve’s record;-)
The WR is 28:53min set in Fully. (that seems to be the best location)
It’s very doubtful that Messner and Habeler came even close to 30min. But they had other limits to break!
I must be crazy to recommend a podcast by Jason Coop (the man against ADS;-) https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/suggestion-renaming-ads-to-fods/
But he has actually some really good content. Although he is too smart for everyone else;-)
and this recent podcast is perfect for the topic:
Meters per hour is a meaningless metric unless the slope of the terrain is specified and constant. Without that, it’s an apples-to-donuts comparison.
For example, on a 1% grade, you will never achieve 1,000 m/hr because you would have to run 100 km/h.
Vertical speeds are only comparable in the same terrain–i.e. in a race format–or on a calibrated treadmill. (The treadmill needs to be calibrated because most treadmill accuracy is a joke.)
Assuming reliably measured speeds and inclines, the most efficient angle is between ~10 degrees (~18%) (for someone untrained) and ~14 degrees (~25%) (for someone well-trained.) Both above and below the most efficient angle (per person), the climb rate will be lower. (On treadmills, angles are measured in percent, and most don’t go above 15% or ~8.5 degrees.)
Also, your comparative climb rate will be affected by what you are more practiced at and thus what movement pattern is more efficient. For example, I’ve seen two people of similar fitness in a skimo race (one climber, one skier) go back and forth depending on terrain. The climber was faster on bootpacks (steep terrain similar to alpine climbing) while the skier was faster on skintracks.
So when someone says “X meters per hour” out of context, either get more information to make it useful or ignore it.
Thank you for the very good explanation. But don’t be a poor sport;-)
I’m pretty sure that all the guys ran on similar terrain with similar inclines. So let’s say we are comparing grapes to raisins (depending on their age).
Reinhold will most likely not join this discussion, but maybe Steve will…
My goal was 1,000m/HOUR not /30 minutes. That was also Messner’s goal. I have bested that but it is really hard to find the right slope/trail/etc. I used to run the Vertical Kilometer course in Chamonix from time to time. I’m not able to remember my times with any kind of precision but I was definitely under one hour. As long as I was hitting that (and not feeling too wasted) I was good.
Thanks for the clarification, Steve.
1000m/hr is way more reasonable to me and also in the range of what I am able to do, even now, a bit older.
I took the effort to find the mentioning of that goal in my ebook of TftNA and it really says:
“To match or better Messner’s 1,000-meter-per-half-hour uphill running time.”
So it was quoted wrong there, wasn’t it? (just feedback, no rant …)