Key Elements to Tower Running Success

Posted: December 29, 2013 in Training
Tags: , , ,

At the competitive level stair running success is mostly mental. After that the lungs are most important, followed by the legs, core and arms. Making sure you have trained all those elements well will go a long way to helping you achieve a good time.

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at these five aspects in more detail, and pointing you in the right direction so you can start to build strength in each area. For now we will touch upon them briefly to give you an idea of the direction you want to be heading in.

Arms: Just as with flat-level running, the arms are a vital tool in stair climbing. This may be in the form of pumping back and forth to drive you up each flight of stairs hands free or more likely it will be through using the banisters as an aid to your climb. We will have more on using the banisters to help you climb soon, but it’s generally used like a rope to help pull you up the stairs during the climb. To build the necessary strength and endurance in the biceps and latissimus dorsi (the muscles on each side of your back), you will want to work on rowing type moves. This can be done on a rowing machine, pulley rack, or seated rower in the gym.

Core: There are loads of exercises to choose from to target this area of the body and it’s really a case of taking your pick. The classic crunch is a good one to start with, but we will point towards some more advanced techniques in upcoming posts.

Legs: These get overloaded pretty early on in a stair race so it’s vital to have a good base of muscular endurance in them to ensure you stay strong right onto the higher floors. Squats and lunges (both can be done with or without weights depending on your existing fitness level) are the key exercises for great leg development.

Lungs: Assuming you have a solid base of cardiovascular fitness, we would recommend you begin incorporating some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your schedule to get used to pushing your heart and lungs hard. Tabata is one of the most popular forms of this type of training and we recommend you try it on an upright bike, rower or inclined treadmill for best results.

Mental: Your mind will always tell you to quit, stop or slow down before your body is really ready to. When the lactic acid burn really takes hold you will want to stop, but it’s vital you don’t. Pushing yourself past this point in training is a great way of building up the mental strength to handle pain during the event itself. If you want to be competitive then this is the element that will separate you from the rest.

Interested in taking part in a tower running event? Check out our partners Total Motion Events or our race calendar to find out what events are happening near you.

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