General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Hill Running vs Running Stairs? Rss Feed  
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2010-07-30 7:31 AM

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Subject: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
Question for you all:

I am looking into doing a 50K trail race this late-November after I get back to the States that is supposed to be all ups and downs on a very tough trail.

I currently live at the base of a HUGE man-made hill with a palace on top. There is a wooden stair case straight up the hill that has 109 steps (I know b/c my last eployment here last year I had to walk them once a day for a meeting in the palace) and also has a 0.5 mile very steep road that runs to the top by curving around and up the hill.

My question is: Would I be better served by running hill repeats on the road once or twice a week or running the stairs once or twice a week to prepare for the super hilly trail race this Fall? I have been running 20-30 miles a week now for 3.5 months but almost all on flat roads and treadmill (at 1.5% incline). My logs are posted and up-to-date here on BT.

Thanks!
Buck


2010-07-30 7:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
Karl Hungus - 2010-07-30 8:31 AM Question for you all: I am looking into doing a 50K trail race this late-November after I get back to the States that is supposed to be all ups and downs on a very tough trail. I currently live at the base of a HUGE man-made hill with a palace on top. There is a wooden stair case straight up the hill that has 109 steps (I know b/c my last eployment here last year I had to walk them once a day for a meeting in the palace) and also has a 0.5 mile very steep road that runs to the top by curving around and up the hill. My question is: Would I be better served by running hill repeats on the road once or twice a week or running the stairs once or twice a week to prepare for the super hilly trail race this Fall? I have been running 20-30 miles a week now for 3.5 months but almost all on flat roads and treadmill (at 1.5% incline). My logs are posted and up-to-date here on BT. Thanks! Buck


IMHO you could do the steep hill 1 day and then the stairs 1 day if you were going to do 2 days a week.

Obviously spread them out but I have found when I do stairs that I lift more from the knee than when I am running a hill (unless I purposely focus on that) so it might help out by strengthening different leg muscles.

You could also plan on walking them all 1 day a week because I have heard of people training by walking for longer ultras since few run the whole thing.  Once again this is just heresay.  The one ultra I did was on a flat bike trial - I have not done a trail ultra yet.
2010-07-30 7:50 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
You can get a good aerobic workout on stairs but its not the same "feel" as actually running a hill. If it were me I would stick to the road. Also if you fall on stairs it tends to beat you up more than falling on the road!  Embarassed
2010-07-30 8:25 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
Controversial distinction ... personally I feel that stair running is beneficial in that it forces the runner to lift from the knee instead of pushing off from the foot while forcing them to lean forward with their stride - all the while forcing you to engage your core.

Others say that it does not mimic your natural footfall when running and therefore hill repeats are better.

The real answer is probably somewhere in the middle.
2010-07-30 8:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
"


IMHO you could do the steep hill 1 day and then the stairs 1 day if you were going to do 2 days a week.

Obviously spread them out but I have found when I do stairs that I lift more from the knee than when I am running a hill (unless I purposely focus on that) so it might help out by strengthening different leg muscles.

You could also plan on walking them all 1 day a week because I have heard of people training by walking for longer ultras since few run the whole thing.  Once again this is just heresay.  The one ultra I did was on a flat bike trial - I have not done a trail ultra yet."

I like this suggestion. I like to train on both stairs and trails. Different kinds of running make you a stronger runner.

Edited by monkeyboy64 2010-07-30 8:41 AM
2010-07-30 9:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
(Proviso:  I'm not a trail runner.  I've done long runs in hills, but not on trails.)

The hill running is obviously more specific, but I'd think you'd get good (albeit slightly different) benefits from both.  The one clear difference is the relative angle between your direction of travel and the ground.  (The step surfaces are horizontal; the road won't be.)  This fact has the potential to make a few differences in your stride and muscle recruitment; for example, you might find differences in how your calves are used.


2010-07-30 9:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?

you want to get better running hills, then run hills..............if you want to get better at stairs, then run stairs.........are there stairs on the course for your ultra?  and dont forget to work the downhill as much as the uphill to get ready for the downhill portions for your event as well.....

stay safe over there.

 

2010-07-30 9:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?

djdavey - 2010-07-30 9:12 AM

you want to get better running hills, then run hills..............if you want to get better at stairs, then run stairs.........are there stairs on the course for your ultra?  and dont forget to work the downhill as much as the uphill to get ready for the downhill portions for your event as well.....

stay safe over there.

 

oh, and only once per week if you are going to be doing hill repeats, give your legs time to recover.

2010-07-30 9:15 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs? Both
Ditto! I ran a lot of trail 50K's in '07-'08 (all over the USA).  It is so much fun! But now I am paying for it with my knee (old torn meniscus that didn't flare up until recently).

Hill running it good for strength and steps are good for the "rock-root" jumping.  You will not even think about all the high stepping you are doing until the next day.  You WILL have sore muscles you never thought about!  (Unless you are doing a Rails-to-Trails run.Tongue out
2010-07-30 9:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
Karl Hungus - 2010-07-30 8:31 AM
I currently live at the base of a HUGE man-made hill with a palace on top.

I thought you were talking about a McMansion down the street from me...

...until I saw your location. Stay safe!
2010-07-30 9:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
When I have races coming up that I know are super hilly, I'll usually run hills but also try to start taking the stairs instead of the elevator up to my 11th floor office a couple days a week.  I feel like that way I get some of the muscle work of climbing stairs without the 90% certainly that I'd fall and break my head.


2010-07-30 10:03 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
djdavey - 2010-07-30 5:12 PM

djdavey - 2010-07-30 9:12 AM

you want to get better running hills, then run hills..............if you want to get better at stairs, then run stairs.........are there stairs on the course for your ultra?  and dont forget to work the downhill as much as the uphill to get ready for the downhill portions for your event as well.....

stay safe over there.

 

oh, and only once per week if you are going to be doing hill repeats, give your legs time to recover.



Thanks everyone for the advice!!!

I think that I will probably only do hills once a week, esp at first, even though I have a decent run base I have not been doing any hills at all.

Also, if the race was a hilly road race, no question, I would run the road. But the race is all trail and is supposed to be very steep/scrambling/etc which I thought that the stairs might mimic better than running the road hill. Probably will do one type (hills) one week and the other (stairs) the next week. Does that sound crazy or okay?

One last question: Do you all run 10 or 15 minutes of warm up flats before tackling hills/stairs or just a quick warm up and then into them? How many minutes of hills/stairs do you all do? (I guess that was two questions! Sorry )

Thanks again!
Buck

Edited by Karl Hungus 2010-07-30 10:05 AM
2010-07-30 10:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
Karl Hungus - 2010-07-30 5:31 AM Question for you all: I am looking into doing a 50K trail race this late-November after I get back to the States that is supposed to be all ups and downs on a very tough trail. I currently live at the base of a HUGE man-made hill with a palace on top. There is a wooden stair case straight up the hill that has 109 steps (I know b/c my last eployment here last year I had to walk them once a day for a meeting in the palace) and also has a 0.5 mile very steep road that runs to the top by curving around and up the hill. My question is: Would I be better served by running hill repeats on the road once or twice a week or running the stairs once or twice a week to prepare for the super hilly trail race this Fall? I have been running 20-30 miles a week now for 3.5 months but almost all on flat roads and treadmill (at 1.5% incline). My logs are posted and up-to-date here on BT. Thanks! Buck


There's a lady in the Arizona forums (PauletteJo, yes, THAT pauletteJo) that does a ton of ultras. Drop her a PM and ask her. It does use the muscles in different ways, so the one day mix might be the best to go.

John
2010-07-30 10:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?
Also, if you're not used to running hils... get used to running downhills.  It sounds like your setup might have you running up a hill then walking down to recover?  But running downhill can be a world of hurt unless you're used to it.
2010-07-30 10:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Hill Running vs Running Stairs?

i actually rotate different workouts within my hill training.  one week i will do a hill workout where i run just up and down the hill for a set number of times (the main hill i use is just over a .25 mile long) and then another day that week i do intervals on the track.  the next week i do the intervals on the hill and then do a tempo (pace) day for the other speed day.  the following week i do the tempo on the hill and then do longer intervals on the track..........works well for me!

 

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