T Nation

Reaching Max Conditioning

I searched the forums and only found one other post on the subject so, I figured I would start a new one. The last couple of years I have slowly gotten into Tower Running with a couple of friends, I have climbed the U.S. bank in Los Angeles twice (73 stories). My first time at it I finished in 31 min, second time I finished in 22 Min.

Both times I never really did any type of conditioning work I just added a bit more cardio in addition to my weight lifting. Now I want to really focus on this type of training, having never trained for max conditioning I really need help. There is no info. on training for this and the top climbers never want to give you their secrets. Most people I have talked to usually say just run alot of stairs, go for long runs and add in some push ups, bw squats and pull-ups.

These are the same people that finish in 25-30 min. Most of them say you need endurance but since the top climbers finish in 10-12 min record was 9:30 min, I believe it has more to do with conditioning and sheer will power because the last 25 stories or so for me were fucking brutal. So does anyone have any ideas on a weekly schedule that will help me achieve elite staus?

From my experiences I believe that to be the best one needs great coniditoning, lower body strength and also pulling strength (most climbers use the railing to assist them while climbing).

would like to know also…

I seem to start losing the speed on the 8th storey… every time I try… Is it the number paying around oin my head? Why am i not improving? It is my lactic limit?

I would have to think that training using the event and style itself is important. Conditioning yourself to run fast upwards, you wouldn’t want to train far away from that type of energy system. Since you are also traveling up, and in large measure doing a series of step ups, muscular endurance beyond just cardiovascular endurance is important.

In terms of technique to decrease time:

Do runners take multiple steps per stride? IE, do you hit each step on the way up, or do the best take 2-3 steps at a time? If so, power endurance to launch numerous steps in repeated efforts would be needed.

Do you hug the rail on one side or do you run in the middle?

If you run in the middle and use both sides of the railing to help pull yourself up, then I also have to believe muscular endurance for your back is essential.

Like anything else in life, in order to get better you must practice the craft as much as possible. So get out and run as often as you can, and keep a few of these idea in mind when developing training.

Well first off, if you are approaching this as a sport, it is the most lopsided sport I have ever heard of since you are running up stairs in the same direction again and again and again. I would imagine that doing enough of this could result in some major imbalances. Obviously being light is going to help you tremendously, do you know what your bodyfat percentage is?

Also have you tried adding a weight vest to your stair climbing? You will want to go very conservative with this at first because adding alot of dead weight to your body and trying to do something you have been doing for awhile can be a huge shock to the body, especially from a joint standpoint.

Weighted stair climbs… really.

They help me tremendously but I really don’t like to stair run/climb in buildings too much; makes me f’ing dizzy. My stair training is pretty much 2-3 times a week outside mixed with hill sprints. I perform 6-20 long and short climbs/runs at the fitness park stairs with my 40kg Thai wife on my back.

Regarding the step stride: usually in the beginning you are taking longer strides skipping over one or two stairs at a time… then it soon decreases to single steps… gravity sucks!

When climbing a stairwell I make a quick grab of the rail on the corners/landings in the beginning and don’t use it too much as it brakes me… I find myself swinging the rail at around the 10th floor or about the point I have stopped skipping stairs. I grab and swing myself around forcing my legs to continue to sprint until I have to pivot on my toes.

I just completed a stair run with some UN SOs the other day and shaved 8 seconds off my best time. UN ESCAP Main Building in Bangkok (21 Stories; 358 Steps): 01.45

It seems like the duration of this event is rougly equivalent to running 4-5k. Perhaps you can reference off of running sites for ideas about duration and intensity (i.e. what length - in time - of intervals, how long should your endurance efforts be etc.). Obviously you would want to do a large portion of these training sessions climbing stairs instead of running or some other type of cardio.

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
Well first off, if you are approaching this as a sport, it is the most lopsided sport I have ever heard of since you are running up stairs in the same direction again and again and again. I would imagine that doing enough of this could result in some major imbalances. Obviously being light is going to help you tremendously, do you know what your bodyfat percentage is?

Also have you tried adding a weight vest to your stair climbing? You will want to go very conservative with this at first because adding alot of dead weight to your body and trying to do something you have been doing for awhile can be a huge shock to the body, especially from a joint standpoint.[/quote]

Speed skating is the most lopsided sport IMO ;))