I recently completed my first ever stair climb and I can’t wait to do another one! Mine was one of the Fight for Air stair climbs which raises money for the American Lung
Association (see this link for one of their stair climbs near you).
A “vertical road race” has been on my runner’s bucket list for awhile, and the
one I did was to the top of 3 Logan Square in Philadelphia (photo above). That’s 50 flights and 1,088 steps if you’re keeping score at home. I really didn’t know what
to expect – except for a lot of stairs – so I had no time goal, but I was fortunate
enough to finish in 9:06 which put me in the “elite” competitor’s category.
I had been seeking stair climbing advice from some of the runner’s I’ve been
interviewing for my next book, and the advice came in handy. Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World magazine, warned me that one can become anaerobic very quickly on the steps, so he recommended some short-distance speed work (like repeat 220’s). Pam Reed, two-time winner of the Badwater
Ultramarathon, said to use the handrails once in awhile to pull myself up and
give the legs a rest. She also said not to take two steps at a time, but to try
and get into a nice patient rhythm.
If your running has been getting a little stale or you want to try something
uniquely different, a stair climb should definitely be on your running calendar.