Monday, September 27, 2010

One Week Out For the Endurance Athlete

Well its one week out from the big event!

The last week is really what can make or break a performance. Your mental state should be at peak states. You should also have a solid nutritional game plan that you will not diviate from no matter what!

In this short introduction to Peak Week, I will discuss what is the best approach for an endurance athlete to get ready for the big race

Trial Run

What is most important to understand before putting your last weeks game plan together is that most of the information that is out there may not work for your body. Our bodies can be quite sensitive to the foods that are digested, so what may work for one athlete may not quite work for others. This is why its not a good idea to take too much advice from your athletic friends. It could end up hurting you in the end.

What is best to do is have a "Last Week Trail Period" where you do a mock last week preparation to see what your body can handle and what it cant. This should be done when your close to peak physical state. Anywhere from 3-6 weeks out from a major event. This way you have a better understanding of what may or may not work for your body.

Carbohydrate Loading Explained

Carbohydrate Loading is the process of loading more "energy supplies" (Called Glycogen) into the muscles by eating more carbohydrates then normal.

Unfortunately most endurance athletes take a wrong approach to Carbohydrate Loading and gain no appreciable results by trying this approach.

For many endurance athletes they will devour huge amounts of carbohydrates the night or day before the big race thinking that this will allow them to have a better race the next day.

The body does not work this way. It actually takes a full three to four full days for all your glycogen stores to fill up.

"Glycogen" is two or more glucose atoms binded together. Glucose is the bodies simplest form of energy to use and we get it from eating any type of carbohydrate not including vegetables.

Also another problem that most endurance athletes run into is that they eat plenty of carbohydrates already (55% or more in the diet) which means their glycogen stores are already maxed out or pretty close to full.

This means that the carbohydrate loading process will be wasted. Therefore doing any type of carbohydrate load this way will lead to a sluggish performance. There will be too much glycogen in the muscles already and any extra glycogen may be stored in the adipose or fat tissue. Also by eating pasta the night before you risk actually feeling bloated and holding water, which will decrease performance times.

The best way to actually do a correct Carbohydrate load is to actually do a small carbohydrate depletion for three to four days followed by the final carbohydrate load three to four days from the event.

You need to keep in mind that this can be very trial and error, which means that you need to do at least one mock trial run before your event. In addition you actually need to be TRAINING through the carbohydrate depletion stage for the effect to actually work. So lets break this down starting on the last long run before the event. (You long run at this point should be closer to 12-15 km for a marathon and 8-10 km for the half)

Long Run
Carbohydrate Intake - Drop to Half of normal intake. (no lower then 100 grams)
Increase protein intake, 1gram per lb of bodyweight
Lots water, intake of vegetables high

Day Off -
Drop Carb Intake to 50 grams total
Keep Protein Intake High
Drop down vegetable intake slightly
Lots of water

No more then 5km run or 30 minutes of cardio, stretching
Carb Intake - O grams

Tuesday -
30 minutes of light cardio (No running) go to a gym and bike or use a elliptical
Carb Intake 0 grams

At this point you should feel not that great. Grumpy and tired is normal. You really should feel lethargic. This is perfect, you have primed your body correctly.

Carbohydrate Load (Dirty Load first)
At this point you want to take advantage of the delicate enviornment that you have created in your body.

The blood sugars and glycogen should be low and your body should be craving all sorts of carbs. Start off the day with simple carbs, anything that will push your blood sugar level up quickly. Start off your day with simple sugars, then 30 minutes later go for your first meal. Oatmeal is a great choice, and mix it with honey or some simple sugars.

Stay with eating simple sugars till halfway though the day and then switch out to healthier carbohydrates. For example small amounts of potatoes, yams, beads, go light on the pasta. Try to mix each small snack with a small amount of protein. (Yogurt and cottage cheese, or rice and chicken.)

In the morning you need to be eating simple carbohydrates at least every hour and then in the afternoon switch your meal frequency to every two hours.

Carb Intake should be approx 150-175 grams
Reduce or limit vegetables at this point




Keep feeding the body healthy carbohydrates. You can still mix in simple sugars, but keep it only to the mornings. Eat every two hours. If you can, try to find something that is fast and easy to eat and you can eat over and over again.

Eliminate all vegetables from diet!


The day before the event is the best day of all! You have made it. My advice is to take the day off of work and kick back and relax, apart from doing a small amount of cardio in the morning (30 minutes max) spin the legs out, and do A LOT OF STRETCHING. (You should be doing stretching all along the training program, but at this point its important to stretch for at least a good 30 minutes.)

Carbohydrate intake should be past normal and you should be eating carbohydrates every two hours. No vegetables or fibrous carbohydrates. You want to make sure that you do not have "loose bowels" when you race. Keep up the carbohydrate and water intake until 6pm, then slowly taper off the carbohydrates. Do not have any carbohydrates after 6pm. Let your body relax at this point. Do some visualization and relaxation techniques. Stretch if you need to, and don't forget to smile when you think of all those athletes who are eating pasta to "trick" their bodies to fill up the night before!

What should you feel at this point in your body??? Your legs should be loose and not feeling heavy. You should have loads of energy and the body should be running like a machine! Hopefully from all the training you have completed you are feeling relaxed and confident. Trust in yourself, your training and your correct carbohydrate loading techniques and enjoy the race!

In True Fitness,

Trevor Folgering

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stay The Course...

Getting ready for a stair climbing, running or fitness competition? Great! Its exciting to train for such an amazing event!

Lets say you have trained for this intense event for over three months and its coming down to the final days of the event. This is the time for mental focus and it is so important! Many athletes prepare so much in the weight room or on the track that there mental preparation is not up to snuff.

The last week before any competition is the most important. It is really critical that you stick with your game plan that you have created.

No matter what happens never stray from the last week game plan. So many athletes freak out and lose mental focus the last week due to nerves or bad advice from friends or family.

You need to be able to stay the course, if you don't and try something new then you run the risk of not performing your best the day of the competition.

Do what you have to do, then sit back and relax.

If your worried or stressed out, remember all the other competitors are feeling the same way. Its normal. Visualize yourself winning, do some mental visualization to calm down your nerves.

Ill be writing more about the last few weeks before a competition...

This will apply to all athletes: stair climbers, marathoners, fitness competitors, bodybuilders, triathletes ..etc..

Remember to always Stay the Course!

Till Next time,

Stay fit and healthy!

Trevor Folgering
The Canada StairClimbing Association

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Focus on More Then Just Losing Weight!

Your weight loss journey can be filled with ups and downs, self doubts and despair. Ive seen it time and time again.

Weight loss is more then numbers on a scale. 'Well what do you mean"? you might ask. There is a lot more to weight loss then numbers on a scale and thats where people have a tough time at winning the game of fitness.

Lets say you have been working out for six months and you are really on a role and have lost a good amount of weight. But then you suddenly seem to have hit a wall. Each week the numbers on the scale do not move! Nothing you do will budge the numbers.

Feeling frusterated you go through the motions the next few weeks and then find the numbers on the scale moving back up!

Does this sound familiar to you? It happens to so many people and the easy way out of this trap is to do one thing not focus on the numbers.

Now wait a minute Trevor ...not focus on the scale do I know if I am losing weight??

Hear me out...

Lets say after you hit your wall you shifted gears and set new fitness goals. Ones that do not include the scale.

For example maybe its to run a 5k race or do a Triathlon or just as simple as having more energy throughout the day.

Your energy will be more focused on that one goal then on the scale, and guess what! If you stick with the fitness goals pretty soon after a month or two you will see those numbers go down again!

The point is....focus on more then just weight loss!

Sure in the beginning the scale may seem to be the only way of measuring fitness, but as you develop your own fitness habits you will find that the scale is not your friend. If you can, try to weigh yourself only once a month.

If thats hard then give your scale to someone who may need it more then you do. :)

Until next time...

Stay fit on the inside and the outside!

Your Fitness Mentor and
Founder of the Canada StairClimbing Association
Trevor Folgering

Friday, September 17, 2010

Great Stair Climbing Article!

Climbing Stairs Can Take You to New Heights of Fitness

Wayne Westcott, PhD
South Shore YMCA

Special from Bottom Line's Daily Health News
June 16, 2009

Every year since 1978, a group of intrepid runners gathers at the foot of the Empire State Building to compete in an event sponsored by the New York Road Runners. But this is no ordinary run -- these competitors will run up 1,576 steps, from the bottom level to the Observatory deck on the 86th floor. Most finish in under 20 minutes, while the record thus far is just under 10 minutes.

Crazy? Hardly. Stair climbing is an increasingly popular way to squeeze a great aerobic workout into a short period of time. According to fitness expert Wayne Westcott, PhD, author of Get Stronger, Feel Younger, climbing stairs is among the most vigorous cardio workouts you can find. "You’re lifting your center of mass vertically," he explained. Since your body weight is not supported -- as it is with, say, swimming or rowing -- you expend greater effort and burn more calories. Athletes have a long tradition of training by dashing up sports stadium bleacher stairs... and who could forget the triumphant scene in Rocky? You can get a great workout using the stairwells in hotels, office buildings, apartments or even your home, and many people find it is an inexpensive, convenient alternative to the gym.

Stair climbing increases cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular endurance and strength. It works most of the leg muscles, especially the quadriceps (front of thighs) and buttocks, and requires a tremendous outlay of energy. Some "tower runners" (as those who compete in events like the Empire State Building Run-Up race are called) use their arms on the stair rail to help pull themselves up, which gives the upper body a bit of a workout as well. Additionally, stair climbing delivers a good core muscle workout -- this, in turn, improves posture.


Intrigued? Here are a few tips to help step up your workout:

1. Wear running shoes or those designed for cross-training.

2. Take a few minutes to warm up first by walking around on level ground before you start your ascent... and cool down the same way afterward, followed by stretches (described below).

3. Stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves after your workout, not before.

4. As you climb, lean slightly forward from your hips while keeping your back straight.

5. Place your entire foot on each step. Allowing your heels to hang over the edges may injure your Achilles tendon. Look forward, keeping your head up. Don’t let it droop, which can cause neck strain, though it is fine to glance down when necessary to get your bearings.

6. Don’t lock your knees as you climb up.

7. Vary your pace for maximum fitness benefit. Start by walking... walk faster... then slow down and speed up again, and again.

8. Stay safe. Just as you wouldn’t jog in a dark alley alone, don’t use stairs in a remote stairwell where calls for help wouldn’t be heard.

9. Drink plenty of water before and after. Stair climbing is intense, so you should plan to rehydrate just as you would during a jog or a race on level ground.


Though it’s aerobically easier, Dr. Westcott warns that coming down has its own dangers. "Walking down stairs or running downhill puts incredible stress on the joint structure -- in particular the tendons, fascia and ligaments," he says. You can minimize this stress by descending slowly, perhaps even stopping for a moment on landings. Resist the temptation to bound down two or three stairs at a time and instead come down purposefully. Or, you could take the elevator down -- but first, walk around up top to let your heart rate return to normal.


There are plenty of ways you can change-up stair climbing workouts. You may feel a bit breathless when starting out. If so, walk around the landing (or down the hall of whatever floor you are on) and then return to the stairwell and climb some more. You can create an interval training program by alternating spurts of high intensity (climbing up fast) with periods of "active rest" (walking on flat ground). Vary your workouts by climbing higher, faster and/or longer between rest stops.

Another benefit: You don’t need to work out for long periods of time to take your fitness to a higher level. In fact, Dr. Westcott told me that climbing 10 flights of stairs at three different times over the course of a day is actually preferable to going up 30 flights all at once. The reason? "Some of the most important physiological adaptations, such as improvement in aerobic capacity, take place during the recovery period," he explains. "With three separate bouts of exercise, you get the benefit of three recovery periods." Also, you may find it easier to push yourself to do 10 flights at a time, rather than having to take on all 30.

A stair-climbing machine can deliver many of the same benefits, of course. Dr. Westcott noted, however, that the classic StairMaster machines aren’t as intense, since you’re not working against gravity -- they don’t require you to lift your feet off the steps but rather shift your weight from one leg to the other. He said that a better choice for gym rats is the type of machine that features an actual revolving staircase -- though I can tell you from experience, these are significantly harder.

If you’re interested in competing, you can get a listing of worldwide "tower running" events at, which sorts the races by number of stairs. For example, in Chicago you can "Hustle Up the Hancock" (1,632 stairs) or really high achievers could consider the pinnacle of the sport -- the "Sächsischer Mt. Everest Treppenmarathon" in Germany, climbing a nearly unimaginable (to me) 39,700 stairs. Also, Canada StairClimbing Association( has a list of stair climbing fundraising events.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dream the Impossible...Then Go DO IT!!

Life is such an amazing adventure isn't it? A close friend of mine once said life is a bunch of small decisions in a row.

How true. Life is choices, life is decision. Are you bored with the current routine that you drag yourself through? Do you wish for more excitement, more adventure but are not sure how to achieve this?

It comes down to one phrase:


Seems pretty simple doesn't it? You may be surprised to find out that most people cannot make a decision! Or they make a decision and then they worry if that decision was the correct one!

First what are you really passionate about? What makes your heart sing? For me its fitness, training and pushing my body to its physical thresholds.

My passion pushes me to make decisions that will fulfill my destiny which will allow me to live a full and juicy life. Sure I still have to do the mundane things, but my passion pushes me past these and I get to live in the moment with my passions.

Think about all the things that your passionate about. For just 5 minutes write down everything that you can think of that your passionate about.

Got it? You actually stopped and wrote things down right? I hope so!

Now, close your eyes and dream of doing that passion full time. Maybe your a painter and you have always wanted to paint in Rome! Or Maybe your playing in a band and you want to book some shows in L.A.

I don't know what the dream is for you, but what I do know is this ....


Its the only way to live in the moment and have a fulfilling life.

We are only here on this earth for so long, make every day count!

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Trevor Folgering
The Canada StairClimbing Association

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preparing for the CN Tower Climb!

Are you wanting to climb the CN Tower this year??? Here are some common questions that I get from my members on climbing the CN Tower!

1). What would you recommend we eat before the climb and how long before? Since the climb lasts somewhere around 20-40 minutes per person you do not have to do any carb-loading the week prior. However I would increase carb intake slightly Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Just increase you carb intake slightly each time you eat for those particular days. This will ensure your glycogen storage in your muscles are full and you will have the needed energy to complete the climb in the quickest amount of time possible.

The morning before the climb you should eat what you have always eaten in the morning. Do not introduce any new food at this point. It may cause GI distress or not agree with your system at all. Therefore if you have always had oatmeal, then stick with oatmeal, if you have always had toast in the morning stick with toast.

You want to make sure thou that the meal before your climb is small and light, with little to no fat, and more carbohydrates then protein. Keep it simple: Oatmeal, eggs, and some coffee to kick start you. Eat your meal within 30-90 minutes of the event.

2) Do we get to take the elevator down? - Yes. You will not be allowed to go down the stairs as this will create too much chaos. You will not be allowed to stay at the top for long either. They want to make sure the top of the tower does not get overcrowded.

3)How is the climb done, are people staggered up? - Yes for these climbs that have 2000 + people attending (For WWF its 5000+) they stagger everyone up. If you are one of the first people to make it to the tower then you will not have to wait long in order to climb the tower. You have to go through security checkpoints, but that does not take long. Usually they let 15-30 people go every few minutes.

4) What is the average time of the climb? Our group is regular fitness fanatics - The average time is 20 - 45 minutes depending on your fitness level. For elite females anything under 15 minutes is amazing, for males anything under 13 minutes is amazing!

5) Is it hot in the stairwell? - Depending on the weather conditions outside the stairwell can be cool and dry, or hot and muggy. I experienced this phenomenon last August when I attempted to break my PB. The weather outside that morning was humid and there was fog that day. Inside the stairwell it was humid and got even more humid as we reached the halfway point. I ended up being a minute slower then my previous time in April, even thou I felt I was more conditioned and in better shape. All of my friends experienced the same phenomenon! Lets hope its a cool day outside!

6.) What is the biggest challenge about the climb? - I would say the biggest challenge is being mentally ready to handle the pain of the climb. Especially if you are trying to beat a certain time or break a PB. The mental aspect of climbing stairs that have that much elevation and that quick is the pain factor. You must be tough enough to take the pain and not stop, no matter what. Of course you have to be physically ready to push yourself to that level, or you will be forced to stop. - Psychologically it helps if you know that the total amount of floors is 144.

7.) Can you see outside during the climb? No you cannot. The stairs are closed, with no view to the outside. This is a good thing for climbers. For people that are scared of heights, the stairwell is designed so that you cannot see the bottom when you climb. My advice for people that are scared of heights. Look up at the number of flights done, and keep your feet moving. If you stop you will have time to think...and thinking will get your mind racing!

8.One of the sillies wants to know if the bar is open at the top? - Ironically they do have the bar open early! A few years ago when I climbed the tower I was the first one up to the top. I actually went to the bar at the very top and they were having a ceremony with all the people from the United way that had put on the event. Of course there was no alcohol, but there was plenty of muffins, coffee and juice!

On a side note, if you are climbing to beat a record of if your climbing as fast as you can be prepared to cough for a few days afterwards. I have experienced this every single time I have climbed. It is sue to the rate of elevation and the workload on the lungs. Because of the quick elevation and the extreme workload on the lungs the aveoli sacs in the lungs become slightly damaged, causing you to cough. No worries thou, the damage is fixable and you should stop coughing within a few days!

For more stories on stair climbers climbing the CN Tower check out stair climbing stories from out members here

Trevor Folgering
The Canada StairClimbing Association

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Breaking the 12 hour Stair climbing World Record

Any Comments....?????

Dear Mr Trevor Folgering,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding your intention to attempt the record for ‘Cn Tower Endurance Record'. Your proposal is not of interest to us as a new category. However, we have searched our Record Database and think that the following record may be of interest to you instead: ’Stair climbing - vertical height (12 hours)’.

The current record (current as at the date of this letter) is: Russell Gill climbed the 835 steps of the Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus, Ohio, USA 53 times (a total of 44,255 steps and a vertical height of 8141.8m (26,712ft) in 9 hr 16 min 24 sec on 20 February 1994. He went down by lift each time.

You may wish to check with us again closer to submitting your full claim to be sure that a new record has not been set in the interim.

Please note that any current record information is provided to you to the best of Guinness World Records knowledge and belief as at the date of this letter and is based on the record information currently logged on the Guinness World Records database. This current record may change at any time due to a new record being approved. You are responsible for keeping yourself up to date with any new records as Guinness World Records will not inform you of any change to the current record.

We have attached specific Guidelines for this record category which detail the requirements you must follow to make your record attempt. You should ensure that all those participating and those witnessing the attempt are aware of the contents of these Guidelines. We would also draw your attention to the specific authentication we require when you come to make your claim for this particular category. This is in addition to the general authentication requirements as detailed in the Record Breakers Pack also included with this email.

These Guidelines will be appropriate for achieving a Guinness World Record as at the date of this letter. However, please be aware that as and when required, the Guidelines may be updated by us from time to time and without further notice to you.

Using the Guinness World Records ™ or logo is a great way to help promote your attempt. If you are interested in using our logo and trademarks during your record event, please log in the website, select the appropriate claim number and click on ‘Use our logo’.

Once the record has been attempted and you have compiled your claim and completed the Agreement Regarding Supporting Materials which you will find in the attachment, all the information should be sent to us here at:

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS LIMITED 3rd Floor 184-192 Drummond Street London NW1 3HP UNITED KINGDOM. Please ensure that your Claim ID (above) is clearly marked on your package and all documentation.

It is possible to hire an adjudicator to verify your record attempt on site. If you want to request the attendance of an official World Record representative, please log in the website, select the appropriate claim number and click on ‘Request an adjudicator’.

If you should require any further information, do not reply to this email, but please visit and log into our website, select the appropriate claim number and then click on ‘Make an Enquiry’. We will only be able to reply to enquiries regarding any of your pending claims, so if you want to enquire about a new record, please make another application. Please be aware that all tracking information about your claim is updated 24 hours. Now that you have received our specific guidelines and Record Breakers’ Pack you can proceed with the preparations for your event and then with the record attempt itself.

We hope the attempt goes well and look forward to hearing from you in the future

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Become Truly Great

What does it take to become truly great at fitness? How can you reach your goals in record time?

There are really a few different traits that you need to have in order to become great at fitness. To really have optimal health for life, you must focus on three key factors

1)- Knowledge - Knowledge is POTENTIAL Power, for knowledge that is not used is wasted. Have you ever read a great book and thought.."Wow this is great! I am going to use what I learned!" What happened? Did you use the knowledge of the book to get you the results you wanted? My hypothesis is no you did not. Study fitness, make it a habit to actually learn some basic anatomy, and a little physiology. (Basic levels) This way you have the knowledge to train correctly and begin down the right path.

2)- Dedication - I would have to say that dedication to health is a close second to knowledge only because you must be dedicated 24/7 to mastering fitness. Why 24/7? Why not just workout for an hour and go about our day not thinking about food, and the lifestyle choices we make? Because the body requires a constant influx of food delivered at optimal times throughout the day. Fitness and nutrition should be a 24/7 type of commitment!

3) - Intuition - In my humble opinion having an intuitive sense about your body and what it needs is really an amazing thing to develop. I see too many individuals follow routines out of "fitness magazines" and get latest diet from a friend or some over hyped book promising a 10 lb weight loss is a week. Intuition is your own way of reading your own body and what it needs at any particular moment in time. It is also thinking instead of following. If your going to follow the herd your going to get slaughtered! Educate yourself about correct eating and lifestyle habits, then over time develop your intuitive sense to recognize what your unique training and nutritional needs are!

The one thing I have learned from all my years of training is there is no such thing as bad genetics. The war on genetics can be beaten. If you think you are overweight because of a genetic factor....better think again.

Genetics are only a small portion of how we actually look like believe it or not, and I know that your genetic structure can be beated by following the three basic rules above!

Good luck and always stay strong inside and out!

Trevor Folgering
Founder of the Canada StairClimbing Association

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Appeal of Stair Climbing

What makes stair climbing so appealing? Why is this new form of exercise one of the best ways to get in shape? How can you correctly add stair climbing to your training routine??

Stair climbing is quickly spreading to become a great form of exercise because i is so efficient at getting the body into shape rapidly! You want fast results right?? Well 30 minutes of stair climbing 3x per week is equal to 6 hours of training in the gym!!! Yes! Talk about getting results without a lot of time requirements!! Think about how many calories your body burns as it climbs vertically!!

Another great appeal about stair climbing is it is easy on the joints. Much easier then running would be on the body. Running can cause a lot of injuries mainly because of misalignments with the hips which effects the rest of the body. Stair climbing in its gentle nature is not like that. The movement is so natural that your body will actually become more in line and become less prone to injuries!

Stair climbing is an amazing way to strengthen the entire body, not just the legs. Every single muscle is involved in stair climbing. From your legs to your arms to your back. Most people think of stair climbing as just something that involves the legs but over all the entire body gets a great workout!

So how do you start this great new form of exercise. Easy! Just find a set of stair anywhere that is longer then 3 flights. Many people live in an apartment building or even a condo. Use those stairs anytime! For those of you living in a large two story house use the stairs in your own home! Scour your city for outdoor stairs as well!

Begin slow. tart off climbing three flights, rest for 10 seconds then climb for three more flights. Do this until you body is conditioned enough that you can continually climb for the entire flight of stairs!

one to two stair climbing workouts is plenty for the beginner. You do not want to overdo it in the beginning. Make sure to stretch afterwards and drink plenty of water before, during and after your training session!

Good luck and have fun!

The Canada Stairclimbing Association