PREPARING FOR TREK UP THE TOWER
Together with YMCA of Greater Omaha, WELLCOM is pleased to present two training programs to help you prepare for Trek Up the Tower. Stair climbing events use a variety of muscles, so adopting a training program that includes both strength and cardio training is essential. Please consult your health-care professional before beginning any physical activity.
TREK UP THE TOWER BEST PRACTICES
- Be consistent. Even if you can’t adhere to the specific times and days outlined here, do something every day.
- If at all possible, find opportunities to train on stairwells at least once per week. Stairmill and inclined treadmill workouts are extremely valuable, but they are not quite the same as propelling your bodyweight upward.
- When training on stairwells, especially if you have a chance to train in a fairly tall building, take the elevator down. Running down stairs can be problematic on the knees.
- If your goal is to finish the Trek up the Tower as quickly as you can, then you can set a goal time and/or estimate your finish time and train within that time frame. As a general rule, your 1 mile run time translates to your Trek up the Tower time on the stairs. As you get deeper into the program, you may do your longer cardio sessions (Thursdays on the provided schedule) as intervals based on your goal time. For instance, if your goal time is 9 minutes, your Thursday 30-45 minute workout could be broken up into 9 minute intervals of harder work with 1-2 minutes at a slower recovery pace. This method would especially help with those participants running the “Vertical Mile” challenge.
- If you are participating in the “Vertical Mile” challenge, use the Advanced training program.
- Get miserable…for brief periods. If you’ve done the Trek up the Tower before, you know what we are talking about. If you haven’t, just know that the running this many flights of stairs can be challenging mentally as well as physically. Your lungs and legs will burn and there may be a moment when you will be wondering what you signed yourself up for such agony. The provided training schedule calls for incline sprints or other methods of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). During this high intensity work, you should feel as if you are scraping against the edge of your physical capabilities at that time. By the very nature of this type of training, you will not be able to maintain the intensity for very long. So, when doing HIIT, get to that miserable moment, slow down to an active recovery pace until you are ready for another round. If you are on a treadmill, stairmill or any apparatus which you could fall, choose an appropriately safe speed and make sure you are aware of the emergency stop.
- We know we just said “get miserable”, but seriously, have fun! Recruit a team to train with you and race with you. Experiment with the wide variety of exercises provided in the workouts. Make note of little victories throughout your training, not just on race day. Maybe you’ll find that the distance travelled in your 30 minute workout in Week 5 was much farther than Week 1. Build on that success and embrace the process.
See you on race day!