Hustle Chicago® stair climb is Sunday, February 25, 2024. All Hustle participants are assigned to a 15-minute climb wave and start their individual stair climb within that window. The Full Climb sponsored by Omron ranges from 7:00 a.m. until approximately 3:00 p.m. The Half Climb ranges from 8:00 a.m. until approximately 10:00 a.m.
Every year people climb to the top of 875 N. Michigan Ave. (former Hancock Center) to raise funds for Respiratory Health Association’s programs, which support people living with lung disease and promote clean air. Both the 94 floor Full Climb, sponsored by Omron, and the 46 floor Half Climb are available.
As the Official Provider of Physical Therapy for Hustle Chicago, Athletico is happy to provide the following tips to ensure a healthy climb. Also, be sure to visit the Athletico booth at the Hustle Chicago After Party and allow our experts to stretch you out after reaching the top!
Warm-Up & Recovery Tips Presented By
1) Strengthen Your Hip Flexors
In addition to quadricep and gluteal strengthening, add “flavor” to your training with mountain climbers and standing hip flexor strengthening. Focus on fast, lighter weight repetitions to mimic the drive necessary for bounding up steps. Also make sure to incorporate calf strengthening. Train the explosive portion necessary to propel your body up stairs with exercises like wall jumps, skipping, jumping rope or rapid jumping.
2) Focus on the Task
Practice running stairs. While multiple flights are optimal, even a single flight will be beneficial. For shorter flights, perform multiple sets or train for a specific duration of time. Run up and walk down. Think creatively for places to practice – parking structures, football stadiums or local businesses are great locations.
3) Incorporate Explosive Training
Jumping rope, plyometrics and step taps all fulfill this criteria. Work to achieve rapid foot turnover. Your goal is to make rapidly negotiating stairs automatic. Form is key to plyometric training as injuries and increased joint loading occur as form fails.
4) Don’t Neglect Abdominals
Abdominal and “core” strengthening is essential to keep your body upright and provide a stable foundation for the lower chain. Optimally, train abdominals in standing to mimic race conditions – medicine ball throws and planks can both be effective.
5) Stay Flexible
Stretch hamstrings and calves for maximum force generation. Before training, use dynamic warm up inchworms and straight leg kicks. Following a workout, long duration stretching can be used. Incorporating daily stretching or foam rolling into any exercise program helps to balance strength and prevent injury.
6) Train Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing and proper breath control is essential to any endurance activity. Breathing with the belly rather than the chest is the key. Deep controlled breathing prevents side cramps and optimizes oxygen flow to working muscles. Alternate the exhalation phase between right and left foot strikes. Stairwells are dusty and dry, so breathing is especially important.
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No matter how your pain starts – from stair climbs to daily activities – we can help. Athletico would like to be your first option when seeking medical care. Through our free assessment, we can save you time, money, and instill peace of mind while recommending treatment options to get you back to doing the things you love. Free assessments are available at any Athletico clinic location or virtually from a mobile or desktop connection. Don’t delay the recovery process, schedule your free assessment today.
Check out these training and nutrition tips from our friends at GYMGUYZ!
Also check out the training series created by Fleet Feet:
We’ve also assembled great training tips for Hustle Chicago® stair climb, provided by past climbers.
- Once or twice a week punctuate your workout with a number of higher intensity bursts. This will help condition your body and mind for “the burn.” This type of workout also burns more calories than a moderate workout of the same duration. For example, complete a 10-20 minute warm-up followed by 10 x 1 minute hard & 1 minute easy and a 10-20 minute cool-down.
- Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
- Experiment with your clothing, shoes, and accessories before the event. There is nothing worse than finding out your lucky shirt chafes you on floor 35. You may want to try a dissolvable lozenge strip to aid in those dry stairwells.
- Be consistent. Working out 3 or 4 times a week the 4 weeks prior to the event will be much more beneficial than pulling two-a-days the 3 days before.
- Be smart. No one cares if you complete a world record time in practice, Leave something in the tank for the big day.
- Don’t neglect the upper body. Pulling on the handrails with your arms is perfectly acceptable and just as important as pushing with your legs.
- Fuel well. Try to eat some carbs and protein within a half-hour of your workouts. You’ll feel much better in the next workout because you’ve fueled your body for adaptation.
- Stay hydrated. Good hydration practices will speed recovery from workouts and prepare you for your best possible experience on the day of the event.
- Don’t get psyched out. Yes 94 flights (or 52 for that matter) on foot is crazy, but why would you be doing it if it weren’t? You can do it. We believe in you. Somewhere in the first 3rd you’ll start to feel like you’re drowning. Just put your head down and pull with your arms and you’ll be feeling better soon!
- Synthetic or Merino wool socks
- Body Glide!!
- Cough drops or dissolvable lozenge strips
- A tested (not brand new) pair of running shorts
- A tested (not brand new) t-shirt or singlet
Medical assistance is available throughout the entire event.
Medical staff will be on-site for those who may need assistance in various areas including the concourse level, stairwells and at the finish line in 360 CHICAGO. They are easily identified by their red shirts with white print. An ambulance with paramedic staff will also be on site.
Any volunteer can assist you with accessing medical personnel. If you must exit the stairwell in case of an emergency or you are unable to complete the climb, please seek security, volunteer or medical staff for assistance to be properly escorted. Do not exit any floor without 875 N. Michigan Ave. security personnel!
Yes, we have professional photographers on-site to capture the day. A variety of photo opportunities are provided to capture the climb experience including your individual climb!
Yes! We have several options available to you, all outlined below.
HILTON SUITES – GEAR CHECK
A small-bag gear check is provided at the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites, 198 East Delaware – the same convenient location as the Hustle Chicago After Party. While the gear check room is monitored by event volunteers, RHA cannot accept liability for lost items. Bring only necessities and leave valuable items at home.
875 N. MICHIGAN AVE. – COAT CHECK ONLY
A coat-only check is available on the Garden/Concourse level at 875 N. Michigan where you enter line-up for your climb. Space is extremely limited and you will not be able to store tote bags, duffel bags, phones, cameras, keys, etc. There are absolutely no exceptions at coat-only check. If you have small items to store on event day, visit Gear Check at Hilton Suites before coming to 875 N. Michigan Ave.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR YOUR GEAR
- To keep the walkways open and safe for all participants, items cannot be left unattended. Found items will be removed by RHA volunteers and/or security and will not be available for return.
- Use a bag that has unique marks, tags or other identifiable characteristics for easier retrieval from Gear Check.
- Keep checked items and size to a minimum.
- Event photos are provided so you can leave your camera equipment at home.
- Please do not bring other valuables to the event.
- If you park at 875 N. Michigan Ave., leave your gear in your vehicle.
- If you have guests attending the event, consider having your guests hold your small-bag items while you climb.
We are guests of 875 N. Michigan Ave., which houses both businesses and personal residences. Please be courteous to all. Security procedures must be followed and security personnel will be present in all areas. Car and bag checks may be done in the parking garage and other areas and is left up to the discretion of 875 N. Michigan Ave. security.
To ensure everyone’s safety, climbers are not permitted to leave the stairwells unless escorted by security, who will be stationed at 10 floor intervals (approximately). 875 N. Michigan Ave. security will be in radio communication and prepared to assist you in case of an emergency.
We are excited to partner with the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites! Extend your Hustle Chicago stair climb experience and stay pre- or post-event at the official hotel sponsor of Hustle Chicago stair climb. Keep an eye out in event emails for a special discounted rate for climbers!
CTA Bus Routes
We encourage you to consider public transportation due to the number of people present on event day!
CTA’s #151 and 146 bus routes will drop you off directly in front of 875 N. Michigan. Visit transitchicago.com or call 836-7000 (any area code) for CTA travel information.
875 N. MICHIGAN AVE. PARKING
Parking is available exclusively at the 875 N. Michigan Ave. Parking Garage. You may access the garage from the Chestnut or Delaware side of the building. As part of security procedures, uniformed personnel may check vehicles entering the Parking Garage. Please allow extra time for this security check and obey all instructions given by 875 N. Michigan Ave. staff. We suggest leaving your coat and belongings secured in your car. Please note your wave’s start time to ensure you select the correct time parameters for your parking pass.
Save up to 50% when you book a parking spot in advance at a nearby garage.
Parking garage located at 900 N. Michigan Avenue. Discount available with any purchase, e.g. coffee.
Water Tower Place Valet
Available at the Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites. Parking rate is $28 up to 2 hours and $36 for 2 – 6 hours.
Nearby Parking Garages
- Park at 100 East Walton
- East of Michigan Avenue on Delaware Street
- West of Michigan Avenue on Delaware Street
All prices are subject to change without notice.