How to Train for a Stair Climbing Event

Stair climbing works your quads, hamstrings and glutes.
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If you’ve ever felt breathless after a short flight of stairs, you know how tiring stair climbing can be. Climbing 61 flights of stairs demands a similar endurance as running 3.1 miles, but it requires less time. Stair climbing works the quads, hamstrings and glutes. It also improves cardiovascular health. Stair climbing events often raise money for charity, so by training for an event you will likely benefit not only yourself, but others too.

    Warm up. Prior to every training session and on race day, warm up by walking or jogging for five minutes.

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Stretch your quads by bending your left knee and bringing your leg behind you. Hold onto the left foot with your left hand. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg. To stretch your hamstrings, extend your left leg in front of you and bend your right knee. Lean forward and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg. To stretch your glutes, lie down on a mat with your feet flat on the floor. Place your left foot on top of your upper right thigh. Pull your right thigh toward you and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

    Run up a flight of stairs for one minute, going up two steps at a time if you can. Walk down the stairs. Repeat six times. Repeat this at least three times each week. Increase the time you run up the stairs by 30 seconds every week until you have climbed the number of stairs of the race. If you don’t have access to real stairs, do the stair machine for at least 20 minutes three times per week.

    Jog on a treadmill at an 8 percent incline or bicycle for 15 to 20 minutes two to three times per week.

    Do 20 squats, lunges and crunches at least three times per week.

    Cool down by walking or jogging for 10 minutes each time you work out.

    Opt to take the stairs when possible, rather than taking the elevator. The more stairs you climb, the more exercise and practice you will get.


    • Drink plenty of water on the climbing event day.


    • Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercises program.

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