A stairclimb is a great athletic challenge for all fitness levels! You do not need to be a marathon runner or even a regular gym goer to complete a stair climb. You should prepare as you would if you were walking or running in a 5K race.
The best training is to start incorporating climbing into your weekly routine. You should aim to be comfortable with 15-20 minutes of climbing a few times a week prior to the climb. For your own safety, consult your doctor before training. Also, be sure to wear appropriate footwear (bring sneakers to work if you plan to tackle the stairs to and from your office) and pace yourself. A common mistake in stair climbing is ascending too fast. To avoid lightheadedness or leg cramping, take your time and stay relaxed. No matter how fast or slow you climb, reaching the finish is a huge accomplishment and feels great!
Here are some additional training tips to make you feel even more prepared for a stair climb:
Acclimate your body to moving vertical by taking the stairs whenever possible throughout your day. Even one or two flights can help with conditioning and muscle memory. Skip the elevator at work, the department store or your apartment building and opt for the stairs instead.
Increase the amount of stairs that you climb during your training sessions gradually. Injuries often take place when people become over-ambitious in their training and attempt too much too soon. Include stair climbing sessions in with other types of cardio activity, for example, jog for 10 minutes, climb stairs for five, jog for another 10 and finish with another five-minute stair session. Gradually increase the amount of time that you are on the stairs.
Climb a large number of stairs at a slower pace. Train on bleachers or a tall building that allows you to continually climb stairs for 15, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on your ability. Keep the pace moderate, as the point is to increase your endurance. Pick your pace up over time.
Spring up a flight of stairs, taking the stairs two at a time, then recover for 30 to 60 seconds by walking. Complete 10 to 15 repetitions, shortening your recovery time as you become stronger.
Incorporate other training exercises to increase the strength in your legs two to three times per week. Examples include squats, lunges and jumping rope, all of which have a vertical element to them and are effective at creating power from the waist down.
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