HealthTraining & Performance

I'm planning to run up the Sears Tower. What's the best way to train?

I'm planning to run up the Sears Tower. What's the best way to train?
The Editors
Santa Fe, NM


For any stairway race, it's important to train in a real stairway, as opposed to just hopping on the stair climber at the gym. You can mix up your training with an occasional machine-based workout, but seek out stairs for the majority of your training so you're prepared and feel comfortable on race day.

Two or three times a week, perform intervals in which you run up several flights of stairs, walk down, and repeat. Each trip up and down is a repetition. Depending on your fitness level, start with a minute ascent, repeated for 4-6 repetitions. Add 30 seconds to your ascents every week to keep improving, and build up your total time based on the length of your race.

 Running stairs will help you build leg strength, but you also need to work on endurance for a long race. Go for a longer run at an incline of 5-8%, or ride hills a couple times a week. You'll boost endurance for the race while giving your mind and body a break from the stairs.

Paul Robbins

More from Core Performance
3 Tips for Running Stairs
The World's Greatest Stretch
Get Back in Playing Shape

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Performance InsidersRunningLegsEndurance Training
More Health