How to Train for a Vertical MarathonPosted on Feb 24th 2010 12:00PM by Joe Dowdell
How do you train for [a vertical marathon]? I live in a 28-floor tower and I don't want to win the race, just finish -- any pointers?
I actually participated in the one of these races a few years ago. "Men's Health" sponsored an event called the Urbanathlon, which was a total blast, and part of the race was to run up and down 7 World Trade Center, which is 52 flights. Obviously, the best way to train for a vertical marathon is going to be stair climbing. In addition, you need to make sure that you are also doing some strength training work in the gym -- especially for your lower body and core.
As for the actual stair climbing work, if you've never done a stair workout, I would begin by walking five flights at a comfortable pace. Use a stopwatch to time yourself and make a mental note of it. Then, take the elevator down and rest for a total of three or four minutes, which includes the elevator ride and repeat two more times. After the workout, make sure you perform some light static lower body stretching especially the calves. Also, write down how long it took to perform each working set.
Perform this workout two to there times the first week depending on how sore you feel the day after. Over the course of the next few weeks, focus on increasing the number of flights that you climb per work set rather than the speed at which you are climbing. Try adding one flight each week to the work sets. In other words, in the second week, you'll climb six flights for each work set.
Once you can climb 10 flights for all three sets, drop back down to five flights and increase the speed of your ascent for each set. Work your way back up to 10 flights and repeat the process. After you can do three sets of 10 flights, try testing yourself and go for the entire 28 flights in one shot. Write down your time.
Then, I would perform to two sets of 15 flights as my new starting point and follow the same progression system as above until you work up to 20 flights per work set. After you are able to perform two sets of 20 flights, try doing the entire 28 flights again, you should notice a significant decrease in your time from the first time you tested yourself.
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