Friday, 27 April 2012

Stairs for Lunch

Looking out my office window, not only do I see a beautiful view of the Bow River, I also stare straight at the "McHugh Bluff" (also known as the Memorial Stairs).  This well known Calgarian landmark is a series of 11 flights of stairs that will kick your ass, regardless of what shape you're in.  To make it even more painful, it's accompanied by a big hill, several trails and - little known fact - a pull up bar mounted on the bottom of one of the platforms.  Year round, hundreds of 9-to-5-ers flock to the Memorial stairs at lunchtime to take a sweaty reprieve from the daily grind.

Memorial Stairs, Calgary

Today was a particularly warm spring day and as such, the stairs were packed.  I had been looking forward to getting out all morning and had committed to doing intervals as part of my 10K training.  My training schedule called for speed intervals, but I modified it to suit the stairs.

Here's what I set out to accomplish (and when I say "ON", I really mean "UP"!):

5 min warm up (jogging or speed walking)

4 x 3 min ON (with 30-45 second rest in between each)
4 x 1 min 30 sec ON (with 30-45 second rest in between)
8 x 1 min ON (with 30 second rest in between)

5 min cool down (jogging or what ever you can manage!)

During the start I jogged during the breaks but near the end it was more of a walk.

I always check myself during my workout by asking "am I uncomfortable?", and aim to get as uncomfortable as possible for as long as I can stand it.  It's a simple philosophy and it works!

This workout was tough (read: very uncomfortable).  It took me about 40 minutes, as I extended some of the breaks so that I could get all the way back down the stairs. 

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