Training for a stair climbing event

The beauty about stair climbing is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t take great coordination or expensive equipment. It’s just you and the stairs.

Stair climbing is great because it utilises both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, meaning your working your heart and lungs as well as your muscles. It requires strength and focus to complete a stair climbing challenge.

So what is it that you have to do to prepare for a stair climbing event such as Stadium Stomp?

We’ve asked the experts from Stair Climbing Australia, and they’ve suggested a minimum of 5 weeks conditioning and at least two additional weeks prior (just to focused on improving your general fitness), so what’s that? Seven weeks. They suggest that this is enough time to significantly improve leg strength, your heart and lung capacity and your mental focus to get you ready for your stair climbing event.

The number one rule in stair climbing is to train for specificity – you’re entering a stair climbing event so train ON stairs. The suggested amount is at least 3 times per week, the longer the staircase the better. There are many ways to vary your stair climbing workout but initially, just running up the stairs and walking back down is enough to get your body used to and conditioned for stair climbing. In the unlikely event that you can’t find a set of stairs, find a hill and use the incline there as your “stairs.”

You’ll also need to account for the length of the event you’ve entered. Stadium Stomp involves thousands of stairs so your training will need to replicate this (build up to it in the 5 weeks). You wouldn’t enter a 10km run and train yourself by running 2km would you?

“Leg strength is crucial for a stair climber as the legs are the major muscles used when carrying the body weight vertically. Getting into a gym and being shown how to squat, use a leg press machine and lunging with added weight will have you developing some serious muscle tissue.”– Stair Climbing Australia

If you’re fortunate enough to have a Personal Trainer or small group trainer then ask them if they can adapt your training to cater for the stair climbing event you’ve entered. If you do have a PT ask them to write you a program! For the rest of us though, we suggest taking a look at the training programs put together by Stair Climbing Australia. There are three different programs catering for all levels of fitness (beginner, intermediate and advanced). They’re free and downloadable. Just click on your preferred program and take a look.

If there’s one thing I can add to all this, it’s that any fitness event you enter, should be done on the pretence that you will enjoy the experience. For some, it’s more about the training, than the event itself. For others, it’s the reverse of that and training is just a means to the end. You’ll get out of the experience (training included) what you put in. Our Stadium Stomp events can be looked at as daunting and scary, or as exciting and different. We certainly think they are exciting and can’t wait to see our Aussie and New Zealand friends stomping with us soon!

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