The winter running season (otherwise known for this year as the 'off-season) is a good time to try other things, for fun and for variety of training. The weather outside is cold, and the footing is pretty slick. In other words, sometimes it's difficult to get motivated to run as much as we might like. Fortunately there are plenty of workout alternatives. One of those is the increasingly popular sport of stair-climbing.
As you may have seen, I shot the on-air promos for ABC-7's sponsorship of the AON stair climb. It's about the 6th year for our involvement, and we have watched it grow substantially in that time. They set a record for participants this year, and raised more than $540.000 for Children's Memorial Hospital. More on the fundraising part of it in a moment, but first let me tell you about this year's climb.
First, it was hard! Ever one of these I do, I vaguely remember from the last time how it makes you feel, but the memory is always hazy. In the future I guess I can refer back to this space. Anyway, if you are a conditioned runner, going up the flights of stairs is really not a big deal. But unless you are doing a lot of cardio work (speed training), you are in for a lot of heavy breathing. In my case, that began about three flights up the stairwell.
I obviously brought a camera along with me this year with the intention of taking some shots for this space. So that gives you an idea about how seriously I was taking the competition part of it. But I tried to keep a steady pace, and limit the water stops. But my goal of taking two steps at a time the whole way quickly went by the wayside.
I was at a pre-event for the Hustle Up the Hancock a week or so ago, and Doctor Terry Nicola, a veteran of numerous stair climbs put stair climbs in perspective by saying it will be quicker than your 5k time. In my case it's about 4 or 5 minutes faster, and my stair climb is probably six minutes slower than the winner usually.
There were lots of other people talking at that event, giving tips about stair climbing. I kind of tuned most of that out. But what I do know is this: your cardio fitness is the most important factor.
I don't know my finishing time, but I do know one guy passed me in the stair case. And I started a few people after the really fast guys. As he usually does, Terry Purcell won the event this year. He set a new record of 9:28. Incredible.
But events like this are really just as much about the rare experience of getting to climb the stairs of a skyscraper downtown, and raising money for a good cause. Children's Memorial does amazing things for kids, and their stories will break your heart. So good for them!
Meantime, I mentioned cross-training earlier. Below is information about a good seminar on that topic. See you on the roads....