Stairway to Heaven

Every Thursday, WOOT meets to run the stairs that climb up and up, seemingly all the way to Heaven, otherwise known as The Stairway to Heaven. Why run stairs?

Oooooh, makes me wonder…

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Stair running introduces a whole new level of fitness. The steepness of the climb up pushes your heart rate through the roof quickly, which pushes you to breathe harder. Your body responds and begins to change to allow for greater V02 max, which roughly equates to your cardiovascular strength. The higher the number, the better in shape you are.

A greater VO2 max means you can run harder and for longer durations. A study in theBritish Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair-climbing five days a week for eight weeks improved VO2 max by 17 percent among young women.


Also, the motion of pushing up and off the stairs, uses muscles that we don’t use enough in regular paved running. It’s plyometrics at its best, and your butt, quads and calves will thank you for it later (by complaining about being sore for a few days).

Our WOOT run on Thursdays includes a warm up hill run of about 1 mile. Then we each take on the stairs at our own pace and ability that day.

A few different workouts to try:

  • Go up as many as you can, as fast as you can. Repeat.
  • Climb the grassy hill next to the stairs, run down as fast as you can (talk about adrenaline rush and quad crusher!).
  • Tabata: 10 seconds climb as hard as you can with 15 seconds easy or rest X 8 or to the top.
  • Run to each landing, do 10 pushups, burpees, squats, lunges, crunches, jumping jacks, anything!

When you get to the top, enjoy the view as you start back down. If you haven’t tried this run yet, I hope you will say yes! and come out for a real treat.

References:

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/why-stair-climbing-is-good-for-runners

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plyometrics

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