Are you an runner and want to improve your performance? Are you entering a 10 km race, half marathon or marathon? Do you want some variety in your training workouts? Looking for a different type of "hill" training?
Stairclimbing is such a great tool for runners of all different calibers to improve their overall performance. Whether you are a beginner or advanced runner you will benefit from adding a stairclimbing workout to your training routine once or twice a week.
Maximize Your Running Potential
What makes a good runner great? It is not more running. In fact running too much may lead to overuse injuries and stress fractures which many runners over the years have faced. The key is to train smarter, and more efficiently.
In the lower body there five primary muscles that are used they are:
The quadriceps femoris (Front of the leg)
The hamstring (Back of the Leg)
The gluteus maximus - (Butt Muscles)
The iliopsoas (Also known as the hip flexors)
The calf muscle
Analysis of muscle activity during running action has shown that the quadriceps are the predominant muscle during the "drive" phase and the hamstrings are most active during the second half of the stance phase. This suggests that strength in the hamstrings helps to maintain a full stride even when an athlete is tiring, supporting the idea that strength can help delay fatigue. Generally speaking in most athletes the hamstrings are the weakest primary muscle in the lower body.
Stairclimbing aids in building strength around the Hamstrings and the Gluteus Maximus muscles.
For example when climbing a set of stairs an athlete would place their foot on the second step of a staircase. The athlete would push forcefully with the heel of the foot which will automatically contract the hamstring muscles and glute muscles.
***The athlete must concentrate on driving from the heel of the foot, not the toe. Pushing off from the toe automatically changes the mechanics of stairclimbing, and places more muscle contraction on the quadriceps.***
This means that stronger hamstrings should result in a longer more efficient stride with less tiring for the athlete.
Explosive Power when Running
To be an amazing runner an athlete must build up both types of muscle fibers. Athletes are blessed with two types of muscle fibers, Type 1 and Type II.
Type II muscles generate short bursts of explosive strength.Fast twitch fibers generally produce the same amount of force per contraction as slow muscles, but they get their name because they are able to fire more rapidly. Having more fast twitch fibers can be an asset to a runner since the athlete needs to quickly generate a lot of force over long distances.
Stairclimbing allows the athlete to build up the Type II muscle fibers, since at its very core stairclimbing uses approximately seventy percent Type II muscle fibers.
Check out Olympic Athletes training for their sport using stairclimbing:
Ready to become a better runner??? Join us at our Stair climbing meet-up group!
Ready to really challenge the body? Register for our Regina Stair Climb for Shelter happening March 13th 2011!
We look forward to making you a more stronger runner!
The Canada StairClimbing Association