Friday, December 12, 2014

Fight for Air Training Plan

Another training plan! After the NYE 5k, my next upcoming race is the Fight for Air stair climb, which benefits the American Lung Association. It takes place January 25, so starting last week I had eight weeks to prepare for it.

There are actually two pieces of preparation needed - one, fundraising, and two, physical training.


In order to participate, we have to each raise $100 for the organization. If you are so inclined to make a tax-deductible* donation to the American Lung Association, you can do so here to have it count towards our fundraising goal. 

*Tax-deductible if you itemize deductions and maintain the proper documentation; please speak with a qualified tax adviser who is knowledgeable about you specific situation for additional information.


Obviously, one should train to climb stairs by climbing stairs. Apparently while stairs should benefit running, running won't benefit stairs, so though having some cardio base will be useful, for the leg muscles being used I'm more of a beginner.

The race website has this "Stairclimbing 101" guide but it's not really a training program or even suggestions to building up endurance or muscles, it's more tips and tricks, especially for race day. 

One really crucial piece of info from that guide (that makes sense but I wouldn't have thought of it), is that unlike running - where you stay to the right if you're slow, and pass on the left - for stair climbing you stay to the outside if you're slow, and pass on the inside.

But aside from that, I didn't see any "training" type of advice, like how often or far you should climb per day or week, relative to the race distance, that sort of thing. I did, though, find this guide from the same race in a different location (and slightly shorter, 70 flights). It also has some great ideas for stretching and strengthening exercises to complement the direct training.

I'm not planning to specifically follow any of the exercises in that program, though I am working on my strength training in general! Actually, that's going to limit my stair climbing this week, as my butt and legs are still sore from doing deadlifts on Wednesday.

But for the stair climbing aspect, as the above linked guide recommends, and similar to how one would for running, I'm planning to do one "long climb" per week, of increasing distance approaching race distance, plus one or two shorter climbs per week, along with complementary strengthening and stretching. Though I didn't plan my 5k training to coincide with this, I think the speed intervals will likely be a benefit here as well.

Long climb distances (in # of floors)
Week 1: 40 (last week; actual = 48)
Week 2: 50 (this week; actual is unlikely to actually be there)
Week 3: 60
Week 4: 50 (cut back week, and to taper slightly for a 5k the following week)
Week 5: 70
Week 6: 60
Week 7: 75
Week 8: 80 - race!

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