Run Up Like ... November Project
November Project, the popular fitness group based in Boston, meets for weekly stair workouts of all kinds in Harvard Stadium. One is "The Gilroy" (named for November Project member Scott Gilroy), which reverses the expected: You go slow up and fast down. "This builds mid-distance endurance because you put out a more consistent effort," says Evan Dana, a coach who has been attending November Project since July 2012. "It's also a great calf burner, since you rely on your calf muscles to soften your steps as you come down."
Warm up for 10 minutes. Then climb 20 to 30 seconds up the stairs at a tempo effort—slowing as needed to keep your ascending pace consistent—and without pausing, run back down. Repeat the cycle for 30 minutes. If you're in a stadium, run from section to section at the tops or bottoms of flights, maintaining tempo effort.
Run Up Like ... A Gym Rat
If wintry weather forces you indoors and you can't find a stairwell to run, you can use your gym's StairMaster to perform an interval workout (20 to 30 seconds hard, then 30 to 60 seconds of recovery, repeating for 20 to 30 minutes) or a tempo workout (30 minutes at a comfortably hard effort). Or use a treadmill. "Set at a steep incline, the treadmill is very similar to running stairs because you use many of the same muscle groups to propel yourself," says Honerkamp. Obviously, adjust your speed accordingly—you may find that a fast walking pace is the most you can handle.
After a 10-minute warm-up, crank up the incline (slowing your pace as necessary) to 15 percent (or whatever the machine's maximum incline is—the higher, the better).
Do one minute at the hardest pace you can manage, then reduce the incline to zero and recover for one minute. Follow with two minutes at maximum incline and two minutes of recovery, working your way up, minute by minute, to five minutes of each. Then work your way back down to end with one minute hard and one minute of recovery.fitness class.