It’s about the climb.

Here is my stair training / cross training article to improve your run.


Originally published at


As runners we are always looking for that edge. That little extra something that will increase our speed, distance, endurance or just make the long flat roads a little more exciting. Here’s what will give you that extra kick, along with a welcome diversion from pavement pounding when you’re battling the open road.

Stair Training
Runners require strength and power and a stair workout will deliver both. Plus stair training will also improve your aerobic conditioning, core and flexibility along with improving your VO2 Max. Let’s face it, who couldn’t use a little VO2 in their lives?

Did you know?: Stairs are steeper than most hills! In fact, most staircases are at approximately a 65% grade, while Boston’s Heart Break Hill is 4.5%.

Workout #1: The Scarlett O’Hara Workout
1) Run up and down the stairs.
2) Run the stairs, using every other step up and single steps down.
3) While holding onto the railing, descend the stairs by taking two jumps onto each single.
4) Turn your body and ascend the stairs sideways, then descend taking forward facing single steps.
5) Turn your body to the opposite direction and ascend the stairs sideways.

Repeat: 2 to 3 times.

6) Perform forward lunges on the ascend and face forward coming down.
7) Jump up onto each stair, landing into a squat position.
8) Perform a side lunge onto a stair lowering your body into a side squat, then side lunge onto the next step into lowering your body into a side squat.
Repeat this 2-3x

Finish this workout:
1) Push-ups: 20 reps
2) Triceps Dips: 20 reps
3) Knee Tucks: 20 reps

Repeat: 2 to 3 times.

Depending on the amount of time you have for your workout, repeat the entire workout two to three times. Then stretch.

Workout #2 – The Stairway to Heaven Workout

1) Run the stairs three times.
1A) Ten burpees at the top and 10 burpees at the bottom.
2) Run the stairs four times.
2A) Twenty push-ups at the top of the staircase and 20 push ups at the bottom.

3) Run the staircase five times.
3A) Thirty ski jumps (or alternating jumping lunges) at the top of the staircase and jumps at the bottom.

4) Run the stairs six times.
4A) Hold the plank for one minute at the top and a one-minute plank at the bottom.

Repeat this entire sequence 3 to 4 times, then stretch.

Incorporating stair training into your running program will help develop your strength, improve your cardiovascular fitness, which ultimately makes you a better runner.





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