Gencon 2019 – The Physical Toll

Gencon 2019 is in the rear-view mirror and I made it home. I plan posts over the next few days covering what was at the convention, but first I wanted to share some analytical data about what it takes to complete Gencon physically.

Most websites give you helpful advice about getting hotel rooms or games. I think many of these sites overlook the most important element of Gencon; the physical effort required to attend. As a minor hobby, I keep track of my biometric data using a Whoop 3.0 fitness tracker and my Iphone. Combining these two devices I can calculate with reasonable certainty the following markers of my physical effort during Gencon 2019:

Sleep Performance (Based on heart rate and movement at night. 100% is a perfect sleep)

Heart Rate (Average and Maximum)

Steps Taken

Miles Walked

Calories burned

Strain ( a scale used by Whoop to quantify how hard you worked. 1 is couch potato and 21 is running a marathon)

I need to take a moment to discuss the technology measuring my physical effort. Though many people wear fitness trackers, the Whoop fitness tracker is unusual in that many professional athletes wear them and has a $30 monthly charge. Whoop crunches the data it collects in the cloud and returns actionable data about how hard you worked and how much you should rest. This is not a sales pitch, I just wanted readers to understand the data is likely better than a standard Fitbit.

Whoop is not designed for people that need to count steps, so it does not record that statistic. The Iphone I carry does, so I will use the step counter from the “Health” app for this information.

I gather data 24/7, but this post will cover data collected from July 31st, 2019 to August 4th, 2019. I break the data down by day and then will put a total at the bottom.

July 31st Travel Day

Calories Burned 2531

Sleep Performance 59%

Heart Rate (Average and Maximum) 65/157

Steps Taken 7,591

Miles Walked 2.8

Strain 5.3

August 1st Gencon Day 1

Calories burned 3094

Sleep Performance 45%

Heart Rate (Average and Maximum) 65/157

Steps Taken 20,987

Miles Walked 7.8

Strain 10.7

August 2nd Gencon Day 2

Calories burned 2930

Sleep Performance 47%

Heart Rate (Average and Maximum) 67/131

Steps Taken 12,026

Miles Walked 4.2

Strain 9.2

August 3rd Gencon Day 3

Calories burned 3426

Sleep Performance 28%

Heart Rate (Average and Maximum) 70/137

Steps Taken 17,076

Miles Walked 6.1

Strain 11.3

August 4th Gencon Day 4 and Travel Day

Calories burned 2665

Sleep Performance 47%

Heart Rate (Average and Maximum) 66/132

Steps Taken 13,250

Miles Walked 4.7

Strain 8.1

Gencon 2019 Totals

Miles Walked 25.6

Steps Taken 70,930

Calories Burned 14,646

The “miles walked” metric is likely higher than Gencon average. I have no physical limitations and tend to fidget, so I walk when I am not actively gaming. A friend who attended with me only had 34,000 steps, so somewhere in-between is likely the average for most attendees. It also greatly depends on your hotel location. Some of them were quite far from the convention center, but too close to justify a taxi/driving.

Other than answering a question no one thought to ask before, this post is my idea of a public service to the greater gaming community. Gencon is an amazing experience that all tabletop gamers should visit at least once in their lifetime. Given gamers as a group are not known as “fit” as a stereotype I wanted to make sure future attendees aware that Gencon extracts a physical toll. I am not saying you need Navy SEAL level fitness, but the ability to cover a few miles in a day will greatly increase your overall enjoyment. All while carrying you entire life/books/games/food/water in your backpack. People always forget about the pile of stuff you need to drag around with you.

Ok, health and fitness rant is over. I will post the games I played, vendors of note and some new board game technology I found that fascinating in the next few days. Might have a few reviews of the items I picked up as well.

Stay tuned.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer.



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

One thought on “Gencon 2019 – The Physical Toll

  • August 6, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Well my toll is the Con Crud I’m rocking.

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