TGO Challenge 2014 The Statistics

TGOC 2014 statsclick to enlarge

Out of idle interest, I’ve put my Challenge on a spreadsheet to analyse distance each day, ascent and average speed. The first surprising thing is that I actually only spent an average of five and a half hours each day actually walking. This is an approximation as I didn’t religiously time how long I was taking for lunch and breaks, but I did note when I started and finished a day. If you add in somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half for lunch and breaks, my average day was between six and a half and seven hours. Four days were basically half days (days, 7, 9, 11 and 14). The longest day was day 8, which was eight hours walking and nine and a half from start to finish.

My average daily distance was 19.5km and ascent of 499m. Even on a relatively low level route with only one Munro, my total ascent was nearly 7,000m. My total distance was 273.1km. It would be interesting to know what the average  distance is for all Challengers.

Average speed for the whole trip was 3.6kph with a high of 4.7kph on days 7 & 13 and a low of 2.8 on day 2. Day 2 included the very slow first section of Loch Monar, while days 7 & 13 were on tracks and roads.

What this analysis suggests to me is that my route was actually quite unambitious, even though it was very enjoyable. Much of the walking was on tracks and paths, rather than over rough ground. On any future Challenges, I think I would plan a more ambitious route with some slightly longer days.

Having said that, I would be careful in taking to account the terrain. It is sensible to factor in quite slow speeds on rough ground (2kph), while on tracks and roads, faster progress can be factored in (4kph). In future route planning I will split any day’s walk into three categories: rough (2kph), path (3kph) and  track (4kph). This should make planning times more accurate.

Although at times I felt tired, at no time did I feel fatigued. Perhaps by accident, no day was too long or over-ambitious. Also, I had a good mix of days in terms of length with some flexibility. The ability to have a late start or early finish occasionally helped to make the walk more enjoyable and appreciate the landscape more.

Weather was also a factor. The only adverse weather was on the first three days and on days 8 and 9. Clearly, wind and rain slows you down and saps your energy. While there is a limit to how much flexibility can be built into a schedule, some flexibility helps. There are times when you really don’t want to have to rush through the landscape just to keep on schedule, but to linger and savour it.

 DSC01365Loch Monar


8 thoughts on “TGO Challenge 2014 The Statistics”

  1. My route was something over 220 map miles (352 km) with about 8900m of ascent (~29,100 ft). So an average of 27 km/day (although on two of those days I only walked for a couple of hours, so the actual average for full walking days was higher). My route also felt pretty easy and didn’t really stretch me. This had been deliberate; when I planned the route i didn’t think I’d be able to get much walking done over the spring as prep. As it was fitness didn’t seem to be an issue.

  2. 288 km / 180 miles for me, with 7,416 m / 24,330 ft of up, over 13 days. Shortest day was 14 km; longest 31km.

    I’ll plan a bit more of a high level route next time 🙂

  3. I think for a first TGO it is wise to keep things low key, just to get a feel for the distances involved. I think when I do my first one I will end up doing the same. At the end of the day, if you enjoyed the walk, nothing else really matters 🙂

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