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Climbing Stairs

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby aemter » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:06 pm

Wow, thanks everyone for the tips! As for the smelly stairwells, DMT, it's North Dakota. Even though it's publicly accessible, we don't have huge populations of people pissing in every corner of our cities. :) (Although the public library recently had a problem with a dude pissing in jars and hiding them throughout the stacks, but that's another story.) But yeah, the view doesn't come close to the view from the back row in the gym!

As for the training advice, I know I need to take things to another level. The feedback here will be a big shot in the arm for me. My biggest problem is not having a training partner to keep me going like I did in college. Now I live out of town with no close neighbors, two young daughters and lots of distractions. I know, it's all BS excuses, but it is difficult to get in the swing of a serious training regimen!

Any good advice for kicking yourself in the ass? Caffeine before a workout? Hardcore punk in the iPod? Meth? I enjoy running, but I find it almost impossible to push past the hurt into the euphoria . . .
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Postby RayMondo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:01 pm

Some biking would help too. Work up to some distance and mix it up with pace at 1/4 to mile intervals. Make sure you set the seat correctly: Leg should be nearly straight when the pedal is at the bottom 6-oclock, otherwise the knees can be affected.
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Postby cab » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:58 pm

I did Rainier last year with RMI and was surprised at how slow the pace was. I had been training at a much faster pace (although without a backpack) on the stair climber at the gym and felt I could walk at the RMI pace all day without a break. Not sure if you are going guided or not.

So, IMO, as long as you take it slow (rest-stepping) you shouldn't have a problem at all with your current training regimen.
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Postby bodyresults » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:35 am

Stairs are definitely a good training option when you live in an area that’s very flat.

When preparing for a Mt Rainier glacier climb or something similar probably the most important thing is to train regularly with a weighted backpack. This will be the most sport specific training you can do for your trip. You’ll want to build up over time to be able to carry the weight you will carry up to base camp (camp Muir in this case). I wouldn’t suggest doing all your pack training on stairs though. Multiple hours on hard surfaced stairs may irritate the knees of back.

You could do 1 hour on the stairs mid week with a pack and then take a multi hour pack hike on each weekend. Even wearing a pack on fairly flat land will help. It helps prepare your body (feet, back, hips) for the similar stresses you will feel on the mountain. Add in a couple full body strength sessions and a couple more aerobic sessions and you’ll have a fairly solid training plan.

You would probably benefit if you could take a trip to the Black Hills about 2-3 weeks before your trip and hike back to back days with a heavy pack.

You can get more ideas of how to put together a training plan on my Mountaineering Training Plan Development page as well as articles like back to back pack training and flat land mountaineering training.

Good luck.
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Postby kevin trieu » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:24 pm

"whatever your limit is, it is actually half of what you can do" that's awesome.

stairs and running. half an hour of stairs and half an hour of running. keep it simple. really. training for mountaineering is different from training for climbing. choose the advice on here carefully. some will come from the perspective of a climber. stay for an hour on the stairmaster on the high level and tell me that you didn't get a good workout.
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Postby aemter » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:39 pm

F_Rhoderick wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g7DnGyYGnw


Good stuff.
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Postby BigMitch » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:17 am

This topic keeps coming up this time every year. Many ways to get very strong for mountaineering if you live in a flat area, you just have to be creative.

The important thing is to weight load the skeleton for 4-5 hours, about the time to hike from Paradise to Camp Muir.

1. Haul 40 lb backpack while dragging a tire or two: use trekking poles to reduce the load on the legs.

2. If you are short on time, but big on ambition: haul 40 lb pack + 5 lb ankle weights on treadmill at 15 degree incline at 3 mph. About 4000 ft of climb/hour if you remember high school trig.

3. for adjusting well to the altitude, do very hard but short intervals (does not matter which sport you do: run, bike, rowing, etc) with a couple minute recovery to raise your VO2max.

Last time I prepared for Rainier, I ran 1 minute intervals with two minutes recovery, about 15 times, once per week. I did not get a headache the first night at Camp Muir.

A headache showed up early the next morning and it was cured by two isoprofins. Something to be said for that.

These methods have worked very well for me many times in the past and I live in Minneapolis.

I expect Bird to chime in about jacking up the front of his treadmill.
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Postby BigMitch » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:23 am

Speaking of Rainier, the pace that the guides take is designed to be very slow, almost a crawl. Even at that, only about 50% of the clients will be able to go above Camp Muir.

I am always amazed how people will drop $2K on guide fees, plane tickets, etc, then show up untrained. Many will drop within the first hour or two and have to go back down.
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Postby BigMitch » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:25 am

Forgot to add that my intervals were at 10 mph at 2-4 degree incline.
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Postby Alpinisto » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:02 pm

BigMitch wrote:2. If you are short on time, but big on ambition: haul 40 lb pack + 5 lb ankle weights on treadmill at 15 degree incline at 3 mph. About 4000 ft of climb/hour if you remember high school trig.


I don't disagree with this technique -- which I plan to incorporate later in my Rainier training regimen -- but I think your numbers are off.

Using an online vertical gain calculator, punching in a 15% incline and 3 miles yields an ascent of 2,376' -- still faster than many of the guide companies, but not 4,000'/hour.
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Postby aemter » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:24 pm

FWIW, I'm not going with a guide. Going with my uncle and a few friends. We're planning on spending at least 24 hours at Muir to help acclimate.
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Postby BigMitch » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:04 am

This is how I got my number:

Sin = opposite/hypotenuse

(sin)x(hypotenuse) = opposite

[sin(15 degrees)] x [(5280 ft/mile) x (3 mile/hr)] = opposite

sin (15 degrees) = 0.2588

[0.2588] x [15,840 ft/hr] = opposite

4099 ft/hr = opposite

Therefore, 4099 ft/hr are climbed at 15 degrees at 3 mph.

Q.E.D.
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