adding stairs to your workouts

Running is my frienemy. I love running for the way it completely exerts my whole body and mind, leaving me cleansed and refreshed. I love the way it gets me outside in the fresh air and shows me new streets and routes that I normally wouldn’t stumble upon on just a walk or a drive. I love how running is there for me at home and afar and I love boasting that I have ran in London and Paris. All of this love is great and wonderful, but sometimes running and I have a fallout. Sometimes I want something to entertain my brain rather than soothe me into meditation. Sometimes I need to run stairs. 

I generally only run stairs twice a month, but I really, really want to get myself into a regular weekly routine. I start with a 10 minute warm-up run, on level ground, then I hit the stairs for 5 minutes. Generally I will repeat a cycle of 5 mins of running at a recovery pace followed by 5 minutes of stairs until I get at least a 40 minute workout in. This interval style breaks up the repetitive force on the patella as well as gives the heart rate a chance to elevate with the stair portion and stabilize in the aerobic zone with the recovery run. Stairs are always capped off with an intentional stretch session, giving extra time and love to my hamstrings.

My favorite take away from adding stairs to my routine is the added strength in my glutes and hamstrings that comes from climbing. When I am on a run and it’s time to tackle a steep hill I am able to visualize the work that I’ve put in on the stairs and recruit my stronger, larger hip muscles to pull me up and forward.

Do you run stairs, and if so, what’s your favorite flight? I love the Ault Park Pavilion stairs here in Cincinnati.

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Jen CraftComment