Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Joy of Marginal Gains

The Pheifferhorn: parking lot to summit in 1:33:55. Previous best time: 1:38---about a 4% improvement over a month of training. First off, that time is not going to win any medals, given the known record time is around 1:05---about 40% faster than my best.

No matter. I spent all Summer mountain running in the Wasatch with one expectation: cover a lot of cool terrain with the engine running high. Over the course of the whole year I guess my top sustainable split time on mountain terrain improved about 20%. My main proving ground for speed is Wire Peak, where I was first clocking in times around 42 minutes, then inching down to a sub 35-minute time recently: exactly 20% improvement.

Knowing how marginal gains work, I bet another season of directed training at the same effort will yield 10% better time, perhaps less. That would net a 1:25min Pheifferhorn time, or a 31.5 Wire Peak time. Time will tell.