General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Running Stairs vs running hills Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2010-01-24 11:27 AM


2

Subject: Running Stairs vs running hills
Good afternoon to all!

I have a quick question regarding running hills vs running stairs. I don't have many hills to run in my area and was wondering if running up stairs (at a local football stadium) would provide the same benefit as running hills?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


2010-01-24 11:32 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Master
1598
1000500252525
Leicester, England
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
It's certainly going to work your legs more than running on the flat so if you don't have any hills then I would think that stairs would be the next best thing.  Just don't fall down them!
2010-01-24 11:40 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Expert
774
5001001002525
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
Exact same benefits? No. Running stairs employs different muscle groups than running. But, you still work most of the same leg muscles and the cardio benefits are the same, if not greater with stair climbing. Just don't run stairs to fatigue for safety reasons. Don't ask me how I know this.
2010-01-24 11:44 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Coach
8741
50002000100050010010025
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
Yes, in your situation, runnign stairs is a great substitute for running hills. But just like adding any intensity session to your training, start gradually and build slowly. I have my advanced collegiate athletes running hills about once a week in the form of 1 minute to 3 minute hill repeats (progressing thorugh the year) at a pace that allows them to maintain good form.

Start with 1 minute climbs (if the stairs are even that long) and do maybe 5 or 6 repeats at a pace that allows you to keep decent form, then call it quits for that workout. Be certain that you are adequately warmed up, at least 15-20 minutes of muscle activation, dynamic warmup and Zone 1/2 jogging with a few strides before doing the stairs (or hills).
2010-01-25 2:26 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Master
2665
20005001002525
The Whites, New Hampshire
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
I wonder if running shallow stairs, like the steps between the rows, might be better than running like office stairs? It might get closer to running form and not have as much impact? I'm totally guessing here, and would love comments.
2010-01-25 4:46 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Champion
9052
5000200020002525
Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
Do you have any low traffic on/off ramps or overpasses?  If so, I would highly recommend running these as opposed to stairs.

Failing that, I would find a treadmill will variable incline and use that for hill work.

Shane

Edited by gsmacleod 2010-01-25 4:51 AM


2010-01-25 7:49 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Extreme Veteran
576
500252525
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
I have an uphill stride that's about a stair and a half.  If I do every step it's too short and if I do two is a little too long.  For me it translates more to hill climbing in cycling than for running.
2010-01-25 10:46 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Expert
1960
10005001001001001002525
Boise, Idaho
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
I've had good success running in Parking Garages.  They're covered from the elements, usually warmer than being outside and you can run hills up/down the ramps or up/down stairs in the stairwells.  Just make sure you clear it with the garage operators.
2010-01-25 10:55 AM
in reply to: #2633201

Expert
950
5001001001001002525
Ann Arbor
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
jeffnboise - 2010-01-25 10:46 AM I've had good success running in Parking Garages.  They're covered from the elements, usually warmer than being outside and you can run hills up/down the ramps or up/down stairs in the stairwells.  Just make sure you clear it with the garage operators.


That is a great idea!
2010-01-25 10:57 AM
in reply to: #2633231

User image

Champion
6461
500010001001001001002525
NOVA - Ironic for an Endurance Athlete
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
carlwithac - 2010-01-25 10:55 AM
jeffnboise - 2010-01-25 10:46 AM I've had good success running in Parking Garages.  They're covered from the elements, usually warmer than being outside and you can run hills up/down the ramps or up/down stairs in the stairwells.  Just make sure you clear it with the garage operators.


That is a great idea!


A great idea until an descending driver is struggling with their cell phone and fails to see you running up the ramp.
2010-01-25 11:42 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Veteran
280
100100252525
Glens Falls
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
I always use the stairs while at work--during the slow times, I will run the five flights as much as possible--makes those legs burn!  When you can't find hills I think they are the next best thing.


2010-01-25 3:51 PM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Elite
2646
200050010025
Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
2010-01-25 4:28 PM
in reply to: #2633240

User image

Expert
1960
10005001001001001002525
Boise, Idaho
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
pga_mike - 2010-01-25 9:57 AM
carlwithac - 2010-01-25 10:55 AM
jeffnboise - 2010-01-25 10:46 AM I've had good success running in Parking Garages.  They're covered from the elements, usually warmer than being outside and you can run hills up/down the ramps or up/down stairs in the stairwells.  Just make sure you clear it with the garage operators.


That is a great idea!


A great idea until an descending driver is struggling with their cell phone and fails to see you running up the ramp.


Sorry-I should have mentioned that I usually do this late at night.  Find a hospital or university-some place that get quiet in the latter evening.  However, the same risk exists on a blind corner in town. 
2010-01-25 6:54 PM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Coach
8741
50002000100050010010025
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
Cut/paste from Friel's blog:

Uphill strides workouts for force are done on either a short, very steep hill or on something like the stairs you find in a football stadium or basketball arena. If you have had some Achilles, calf or plantar fascia injuries then you are better off using the stairs - if you do this workout at all. The ankle flexion is significant when running up a steep hill and puts a tremendous load on those soft tissues. For this reason I prefer stairs for this workout for most runners but they are harder to find than hills.

The uphill strides workout is simple. Warm-up well and then do three sets of three intervals up the hill or stairs. Run as hard as you can on each interval – but not so hard that your technique breaks down. If running stairs you may need to take two or even three steps with each stride depending on the width and rise of the stairs. Count 12, right-foot strikes stopping on the twelfth. Turn around and walk back down the hill or stairs. Do not run down. Jog easily for five minutes after each set.

This is a very risky workout. Be cautious with its progression. Do this no more than twice a week with at least 96 hours between them. Once a week is better for most athletes. Start with one set and add another each week for three weeks. If you have “glass legs” you would be wise not to do it at all. In that case just continue doing the downhill strides for speed skill. Not all of the athletes I coach do the uphill strides workout. I’m very conservative when it comes to risky running workouts. You must avoid injury.
2010-01-26 3:52 PM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Veteran
813
500100100100
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills

It's different form and different muscles.

When you're running stairs you're really reaching up and forward with your leg.

Efficient uphill running is shortening your stride. 

Here's Dave Scott explaining it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu2qocvfCzE

So, with stairs, you'd effectively be doing the opposite of what you should be doing.

Finding some hills, or a parking garage seems like a much better option to me.

2 cents.
2010-01-26 11:07 PM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Coach
8741
50002000100050010010025
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
Specificity is always best.

Given all options, running hills similar to your goal event is ideal. But lacking them no harm in stairs once a week or so.

Edited by AdventureBear 2010-01-26 11:08 PM


2010-01-27 7:00 AM
in reply to: #2631580

User image

Extreme Veteran
440
10010010010025
Subject: RE: Running Stairs vs running hills
I have been running up the stairs in my house, when my hubby is not home i have to use the bike trainer, each time i come off the trainer i run up our stairs 20 times so my legs get used to using other muscles off the bike, had my first brick session on monday and my legs felt great going into my run, so for me all the stair running has paid off, oh and the brick was a run-bike run. out doors.
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Running Stairs vs running hills Rss Feed