Posted on April 18, 2013
How to read an elevation map
Happy Thursday!! I hope you’re off to a great start.
This grandma was a party animal and didn’t go to bed until after midnight.
Sometimes I wonder about myself.
Actually, Simon & Reena came over for dinner and we had a great time catching up, we lost track of time. So it’s a slow start this morning.
In other news, I have big plans to do my first training ride for the California Classic today, so let’s keep the coffee coming mmmkay.
Yesterday was Mike’s last day of vacation so we spent the afternoon getting my bike dialed in and working on the patio. P.S does anyone else leave their bib on until their next race?
Mr. I want to dig my way out and be free like a hippy was not happy about this.
Mike put concrete around the stepping stones so now Mr. hippy wannabe has to dig through concrete to get out. Muhahaha
While he worked on that, I pulled weeds and repositioned rocks. So basically busy work to make him think I’m actually doing something.
Mike & I had a pretty interesting conversation last night about how to read an elevation map. Okay well it was more like him skooling me as we all know I don’t agree with math, but now I get it.
Coming from Fresno where elevation maps didn’t exist because it’s so flat, I never took that into consideration. Our “hills” were overpasses. <-not joking!
Mike’s advise: “when you look at an elevation map, don’t just look at the picture itself, take the math into consideration.”
Below is the elevation map for the SLO Marathon. I ran the half and the turning point was just past mile 7. The elevation numbers (on the far left) range from 60 to 380. At first the map itself didn’t look too bad, but of while running the course, it was so much harder than I anticipated.
The most important thing is to pay attention to the numbers on the left side. Don’t just look at the hills on the map.
There is about a 200 foot gain just from miles 2-4. Holy smokes, that’s huge for this flat land runner.
Here’s another example: I’m interested in running the Santa Rosa Marathon this summer, but after one quick look at the elevation map, I laughed and said something like hell no.
Mike explained that it’s not as bad as it seems. He did a little math and pointed out the last half of the race has a .0350% incline per mile.
Knowing I’m a visual learner, my nerdy husband actually measured the curb outside our house, which is 6 inches. So…
1 mile = climbing 31 curbs
On a totally random note:
Not gonna lie, us runners do the same. Ha!
Do you review elevation maps for race courses you’re considering?
What spring race are you training for?
Tell me something random!