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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Christine's Avatar
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    flight of stairs = how many miles?

    Just wondering b/c the BF has the luxury of working in a building where he chooses to walk 40 floors/day instead of taking the elevator.

    Read somewhere online that 1 flight = 0.1 mile, but that doesn't sound right. 10 floors = 1 mile? Maybe they're thinking about the effort involved and not actual distance since that's what, 100 feet or so.

    Most buildings have each flight broken into two sections, like a switchback. A bunch of steps, turn, another bunch, one floor, repeat.

    Anyway, I'm envious that he gets a workout like this during the day. In his work boots. No steps in my building, a one-story deal in the middle of a pancake-flat park.

  2. #2
    Non Non Cyclist
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    Next time I get on the stepmill at the gym I can answer this.

    IOW, I'm no help at all.
    Move along...nothing to see here.

  3. #3
    waterproof*
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    10 floors = 1 kilometer, which translates to 37 miles. He must have buns of steel.

    .
    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
    * not actually waterproof.

  4. #4
    Grey Manrod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees
    10 floors = 1 kilometer, which translates to 37 miles. He must have buns of steel.

    .
    No wonder I can't run a 5k.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Fine, all you lounge clowns I'll keep Googling until I come up with an answer. Bet the folks who stage that race up the Empire State Bldg. might know.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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  7. #7
    Now with a 5900SL P1
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    BTW, as a construction geek I can tell you a "flight" of stairs is a single run of stairs. Once it hits a landing, the next section is a new flight. In a typical commercial stairwell there are two flights per floor. There is your useless trivia for the day.

    A comparison of stairs and running distance is difficult in that it would differ if the running route was flat or had hills.

    40 floors is a good workout. That is roughly 500' or 750 steps.
    Last edited by 99trek5200; 05-02-2008 at 06:07 AM.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    He says it's about 8 steps per set of steps, with three steps between floors. So 24 steps x 42 floors or whatever it is = 1,000+ steps.

    My guess is that if the elite runners are doing 82 flights in 10min, that's less than a mile, like 2/3? Maybe it can be compared to a road run with a certain elevation gain?

    Boy, if I put this much thought into the work I should be doing right now.......

  9. #9
    No team-cest unless 8+!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    That looks mad cool.

    I wonder how a cyclist would do....

  10. #10
    Cannot bench own weight
    Reputation: Einstruzende's Avatar
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    I swear I ride a bike up hills better than I can run up stairs. I don't get any mechanical advantage on the stairs.

    I used to do 11 floors (22 flights as defined earlier), and if I ran up them my legs would be screaming and my HR would be through the roof.
    77th highest post count as of 9/4/2008

  11. #11
    waterproof*
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    yeah, stairs is good sub for hill repeats if you're stuck in a hotel somewhere.
    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
    * not actually waterproof.

  12. #12
    Back from the dead
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    I actually more curious to know if, in his building, are there people who wear scrubs and have locked steel cages?

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Better not! That sounds like the HQ for some S&M joint

    When I was about 14 or so, I took all the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty. Didn't want to wait 45 min on line with the family. Plus I think it was free that way.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    12 times up 36 floors in a local high-rise is considered a 'vertical mile'.
    I frequent the joint on rainy\snowy days and take the elevator back down
    to ground. It ain't as easy as it would seem.
    All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes, Martha being a cyclops, our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    By 12 times, you mean 36 floors with three flights b/w each floor?

    36 floors = 1 vertical mile either way?

  16. #16
    For president!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    By 12 times, you mean 36 floors with three flights b/w each floor?

    36 floors = 1 vertical mile either way?
    36 floors is going to be roughly 410-420 vertical feet.

    So 12 trips up 36 floors is roughly a vertical mile.

    For reference, that's the equivalent (at least in vertical) of hiking up to the top of half dome from yosemite valley, one of the harder day hikes in the country.
    Formidable Pharmacologically

  17. #17
    Cannot bench own weight
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoehn9111
    12 times up 36 floors in a local high-rise is considered a 'vertical mile'.
    I frequent the joint on rainy\snowy days and take the elevator back down
    to ground. It ain't as easy as it would seem.
    I couldn't do that non stop. Not at my current bloblular shape. I honestly wonder if I could do it even in 6 hours. I bet i'd take more than 30 minutes per try towards the end.
    77th highest post count as of 9/4/2008

  18. #18
    Just Riding Along
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    It's easier to compare to the altitude gain...

    The same amount of work (watts, joules, etc.) must be performed to raise your body a given altitude. So, climbing 40 floors worth of stairs at 12' per floor is a 480 foot altitude gain. 480 feet is 480 feet whether climbed up a hill on a bike or up stairs on foot. However, the body is probably more efficient at one than the other (e.g. must do more work to accomplish one of the tasks.) (The definition of work is based on the distance a given mass is raised; power is the ability to do work in a given time.)

    When climbing a hill on a bike, the losses to rolling and air resistance are small (perhaps 10%) so the work is primarily the work of fighting evil gravity.

    Climbing stairs has no aerodynamic or mechanical losses but is probably a little less efficient than riding a bike since you almost certainly have muscle movements which waste more energy when on foot than when on your bike. Also, step sizes are probably not as optimal for efficiently performing work as crank lengths.

    So, in my non-biometrically expert opinion, it's more work to climb stairs than ride up a hill, but probably not much.

    If you want to equate it to miles ridden on the flats, you must assume the speed and the mechanical and aerodynamic resistance to equate the energy needed to perform the two tasks. It takes more watts to travel a given distance at a high speed than at a low speed. Tom Boonen's 500 meter sprint probably uses more energy in the one minute plus it takes than the BF's 40 floors a day. However, my casual 5 mile ride with the family down the towpath uses way less.
    Bikes are like bottles of beer; as soon as you get one, you want another.....

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm confused about the "12 trips" part.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    SilasCL, exactly right. There is a guy (local fitness celebrity) who did
    101 climbs in just under 12 hours, and if my math is OK, that averages
    7.1 minutes per climb. Some guys run consecutive flights in under 5 minutes
    repeatedly. Let me tell you that running up is pretty GD awful after a couple
    of times.
    All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes, Martha being a cyclops, our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!

  21. #21
    For president!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    I'm confused about the "12 trips" part.
    Does laps make more sense?

    I think whoever brought it up is stair climbing in a 36 floor building. He gets to the top, takes the elevator down, and does it all over again for a total of 12 times up the building.
    Formidable Pharmacologically

  22. #22
    For president!
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoehn9111
    SilasCL, exactly right. There is a guy (local fitness celebrity) who did
    101 climbs in just under 12 hours, and if my math is OK, that averages
    7.1 minutes per climb. Some guys run consecutive flights in under 5 minutes
    repeatedly. Let me tell you that running up is pretty GD awful after a couple
    of times.
    That's crazy.

    I've been hitting the stairmaster at the gym (one of the ones with real stairs) to get in shape for hiking Mt Whitney this July. That **** is hard.
    Formidable Pharmacologically

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    12 times up 36 floors in a local high-rise is considered a 'vertical mile'.

    So 12 x 36 = 432 floors = 1 vertical mile? Wow, that seems like an awful lot.

    Although if a story = 10', then I suppose 432 floors would be a little over 10' per floor, hence 4,300+ feet. Sounds about right.

  24. #24
    jaded bitter joy crusher
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair
    I actually more curious to know if, in his building, are there people who wear scrubs and have locked steel cages?
    They have a stairmaster in one of the cages. They're doing research on how well this sort of hardware does on stair climbs.

    Fredke commented in your thread. You won't believe what happens next!

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