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Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Stairs Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:16 am 

So, a coworker of mine asked me to participate with him and some others in a team to do one of the local high-rise stair climbs. It's an 80 floor climb, and more of a sprint than anything. I guess it takes my friend 15-20 minutes. On the surface, it doesn't sound like a big deal. But i have no experience with such a thing. Anyone out there ever done one of these? i'll be in the midst of marathon training, and wouldn't want to devote too much time 'training' for the climb. it would more or less be a one shot deal. my main concern would be some kind of knee injury. what muscles would this target differently? quads/hamms/glutes/calves...?


Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Stairs Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:17 pm 

Oh man, inclines attack almost every muscle group in the legs/glute region. It will be hard on your knees, but if you incorporate hill runs into your workouks, you have already probably built up strong-ish tendons and ligaments there.

I would consider doing climb-specific workouts, like hills, or even step machines. I've heard/read too many times about runners doing their first trail races with steep ascents/descents and getting a DNF because their bodies are used to mostly running flats.

Have a blast! Which high rise is it?


South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Stairs Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:10 pm 

I agree with Rustyboy. When I first started running I started by actually running the stairs of the Ohio State University football stadium. I would start and one end of the horse-shoe shaped stadium and run up one section, over to the next section, run down, and then over to the next section. I don't recall exactly how many steps there were but i 'think" there were about 70 steps and about 24 sections. I started off with a combination of running and walking the steps and eventually worked up to being able to run up and down all the way from one end to the other. Then I worked up to runing to one end and then back again. I don't recall ever having any knee problems, but then I started off easy. Prior to this I had been running only about a mile on an indoor track, swimming a little, and lifting weights at the student recreation center (I was working at OSU at the time and had full accces to everything students have access to).

I finally decided I needed a change of pace and decided to start running on the roads around campus and figured that I should be in pretty good shape with all the stairs I had done. Well, I distinctly recall that first run. I found myself near exhaustion after about 3 miles. The stairs didn't seem to prepare me for the running nearly as much as I had expected.
I wouldn't have been able to go 3 miles without having done the stairs at all, but it just wasn't as good a substitute for training to run as running itself is.

But I would strongly encourage you to find some stairs to run. Doing hills is nice but just like stairs don't help your running as much, hills won't help as much as doing stairs will. If you have a high school stadium nearby or even a parking garage (near the elevator) with stairs you should give it a try. Resist trying to run bleacher seats instead of actual stairs. It's easy to miss a seat and come crashing down on your shin as you go up, or slip and fall as you come down.

Good luck! And remember, just like running, don't start out too fast.

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