Take Your Endurance Training to the Stairs

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Howe Stairway: Seattle, Washington

With 388 continuous stairs, Howe Stairway is the longest outdoor public stairway in Seattle. The concrete stairs connect Franklin Ave. East on the lower end with 10th Ave. East on the upper end and it passes through the City of Seattle Mountain Bike Skills Park.

Suggested Workout

PJ Glassey, XGym, Seattle, Washington

  • Remember, when descending stairs to alternate pigeon toe, slightly turned to the side, heel first and duck feet patterns.
  • Run up the stairs using the rail two steps at a time to warm up.
  • Run up the stairs at your running pace two stepping without the rail.
  • Run up the stairs at your running pace three stepping using the rail.
  • Sprint up the stairs as fast as possible without using the rail.
  • Take a break at the top and stretch.
  • Frog jump up the steps two steps at a time—no rail
  • Do some bench dips on the concrete car barrier.
  • Slowly ascend three stepping—no rail—to involve the hamstrings.
  • Finish with pushups to failure on the concrete car barrier.
  • Total workout: around 45 minutes, 1,422 steps up, 1,422 steps down, and modest chest exercises.

PJ Glassey's XGym Bootcamp on Howe Stairway

MoreStair Workouts for Endurance Athletes

Mt. Tabor Summit Stairway: Portland, Oregon

While many of Portland's stairways are on the west side of town, the Mt. Tabor Summit Stairway is in the southeast residential section. Of the stairways the Beyerleins discovered, "This is one of the most beautiful stairways, and it is the biggest and best because it is in a park surrounded by trees and lawn." The wide stairway with 282 stairs was built for heavy traffic, and the six sections are perfect for sprint repeat workouts.

Suggested Workout

Doug Beyerlein, publicstairs.com, Mill Creek, Washington

  • Sprint up the first section, rest for 15 section and continue with this pattern until you reach the top.
  • Walk down to the bottom and repeat the workout two to three more times.
  • Total workout: about 20 minutes, 846 steps.

More: Meet the Elite: Male Stair Climber Justin Stewart

Dipsea Stairway, Mill Valley, California

The Dipsea stairway is a group of three flights of stairs that contain 688 steps, or the equivalent of a 50-story building. The three flights are Cascade Way with 313 steps, Ocean Way with 223 and Hale Lane with 150 steps. The series of climbs provides a good opportunity for a climber to push their endurance and strength levels as they make the ascent and decent. Explains Doug, "From the bottom at Cascade Drive to the top at Edgewood Road is a relentless eight minutes of pain."

Suggested Workout

Doug Beyerlein, publicstairs.com, Mill Creek, Washington

  • Climb the three flights three times up and down.
  • Total workout: about 25 to 30 minutes, 2,064 steps.

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