Stair Climbing For Beginners

Posted: January 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

Race season will soon be upon us and no doubt there will be lots of newcomers to the sport taking on their first tower. With Vertical Rush for Shelter just two months away training should be starting now at the latest, so we have put together some stair running tips to help those new to the sport.

Why stair climbing?

Stair climbing is the perfect workout as it’s free, low impact and high-intensity, which means you get a great fitness boost in a short space of time. No big long runs or expensive fitness classes here. You’ll likely burn as many calories doing a solid 15-minute stair workout as you would doing an hour long steady state jog.

Where to run stairs in London?

If you’re in London your best bet is to go to the Tower Wing of Guy’s Hospital. There you’ll find 700+ steps on a quiet stairwell (if you go in the evenings) that’s open until 10pm. If you’re not in London, you should be looking for hospitals and hotels as your go to training venues. If you work in an office with 6+ floors, or have access to a block of flats, that will be perfect too. Find out more ideas on where to run stairs in London.


Guy’s Hospital, London – tallest hospital in the world and TRUK training venue!

Take two steps at a time

If possible you really want to be taking two steps at a time while your training for a stair race and when you’re racing. If you’re hoping to make a fast time at Vertical Rush this is essential. It can feel harder but try single stepping the same distance and you’ll see you actually expend more energy, especially if you’re not just walking.

Use the railing

We see a lot of newcomers to stair climbing not touch the railing, but it’s far more efficient if you do. Not only does it keep you stable and straight, thus focusing your energy on going up, but it also helps you to take the turns on each landing a little quicker, which will save you time overall. Add to that a decent upper body workout and pulling on the railing is a no-brainer.


US stair running legend Kristin Frey demonstrating a great rail technique – hand over hand like a pulling a rope

Coming down the stairs

Ideally you always want to get the lift back down after you have done your stair climb training sets. All the non-impact benefits are undone if you have to keep descending stairs once you reach the top. It will leave you with sore calves and quads for a couple of days after too. If getting the lift down is simply not an option then try and spread the load around your muscles by using different descending techniques each time (sideways, backwards, feet turned in and then out), or even each flight.


Should have taken the lift – avoid descending the stairs when you can and be careful when you can’t

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, for more training tips and insights in the run up to Vertical Rush.

Like us on Facebook for updates on upcoming events and all you need to know about tower running here in the UK.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s