We’ve assembled great training tips for Hustle Chicago® stair climb, provided by our friends at Fleet Feet and climbers, past and present.
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
Cough drops or dissolvable lozenge strips
A tested (not brand new) pair of running shorts
A tested (not brand new) t-shirt or singlet
Warm-Up & Recovery Tips Presented By
As the Official Provider of Physical Therapy for Hustle Chicago℠, Athletico is happy to provide the following stretches to ensure a healthy climb. Give these stretches a try before and after your climb! Also, be sure to visit the Athletico booth at the Aurelio’s Pizza Hustle After Party and allow our experts to stretch you out after reaching the top!
- 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
- 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.
- Incorporate Dynamic 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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Pre-Climb Warm-Up Stretches
Post-Climb Recovery Stretches
If you experience any aches or pains as you train or after you reach the top, Athletico offers complimentary injury screenings at all locations. Click here to request your screening and let one of our experts evaluate your pain or injury – for free!
Have questions? Contact us via email at [email protected] or call (312) 628-0200.