Last week, after much moaning about how boooooring the workout room is and how much I haaaaate the treadmill, D suggested that we run up and down the stairs in our building. I looked at him for whole minutes, blink blink blink, as this thought had never occurred to me before in my life. Stairs! Like running but HARDER and VERTICAL. Sounded like just the kind of challenge I needed to get my butt in gear this new year.
In case you have never run stairs, I will offer you a tutorial (because now I am experienced, having done this twice and all). You will need 1. workout clothes/shoes and 2. stairs. That’s about it. Isn’t that genius? Let me expand on those a bit: workout clothes should include a sturdy sports bra or two because of, well, you know. Shoes should have a fair amount of tread on them for grip. There you go, you’re ready to go.
I brought my iPod, picked a really upbeat song, and cranked up the music. D went without, content to listen to the thud thud of our tennies on the concrete and metal of the stairwell. He ran ahead of me because he is faster and stronger, and I lagged behind because I am weak and have chicken legs. Our building is five stories with a basement level so we have six flights to run up and down. There are four stairwells and we alternated between them for a change of scenery. Although they are stairs so the scenery didn’t change that much. We ran up and down the east stairwell twice and then jogged to the south stairwell and did that three times. And then my legs were so wobbly and tired I was worried about falling so I called it a day. D continued to run up and down, that overachiever.
Although I stretched EXTENSIVELY before and after, the next day I was so sore I could hardly walk. Lowering myself into a chair with minimal pain took upper body strength and much lamaze breathing. Doing anything that required my quads or calves was excruciating and I had more than a little trouble walking normally. So naturally two days later, when the soreness had only begun to abate, I decided it was time to conquer the stairs again. It makes your heart pound alarmingly hard and it will definitely leave you sore and tired but it’s totally worth it. I might be singing a different tune when my knees give out but for now, I’m a convert.