Stairs, schmairs! Great job everyone (and sorry dave- you left before post-stairs pics!)!! I know it was a tough workout but everyone did exceptionally well! It’s tough to figure out how to breathe and how to pace yourself on a workout of this intensity but that’s just part of what will make you a stronger runner.
I know it’s weird but i actually like running stairs. One of mine and Keith’s favorite saturday workouts is to ride our bikes downtown, run the stairs, and ride home. Don’t get me wrong- the first time i did this, i thought i had definitely ruptured both calf muscles. As sore as i was, i knew i had to get back there to do it again.
I didn’t, however, add the stair workout in last week just because i like it or to be a tough coach, but there are actually some serious benefits to running stairs. Running stairs improves muscular endurance and development, and your cardiovascular fitness. Running up the stairs and walking back down is a form of interval training, which quickly increases your heart and lung fitness. All of these improvements are ideal for cross-training and developing your overall fitness and strength. Running stairs is a high-intensity activity, and your body will learn to adapt to the buildup of lactic acid. Being psychologically prepared for burning muscles and fatigue is an excellent cross-training function when preparing for endurance events.
Running stairs is a great addition to any training regimen. It has been used by athletes for decades now, and the reason it has sustained is because of its great effectiveness in building lower body strength and endurance. Nothing builds leg muscles better. Because of the nature of the exercises the leg muscles are forced to work much harder than in normal running exercises. The mechanical trouble of pushing upward as you run causes them to push to the limit and increase in strength and power to overcome this problem.
Since we’re actually training for Nashville which has rolling hills throughout the race, i would like to try to incorporate more stairs over the next few weeks. Hopefully you all enjoyed this enough to go back!! I really think we’ll all benefit from it.