Weekly round up
Well, after saying I needed to up my miles last week, it hasn’t really happened! Instead I’ve climbed stairs, done burpees and found out just what 42 storeys looks like.
Monday morning I set off for London to train with the Women’s Running and Men’s Running Vertical Rush team. I arrived at Tower 42 nice and early and met the Women’s Running fitness editor Anne-Marie Lategan who was leading the day’s training. Anne-Marie is not only a fitness trainer and running coach she is also an experienced ultra runner, so she knows her stuff!
Once both teams had arrived we were taken for team photos outside the tower, the photographer thought it best to photograph us before we got all sweaty from our training session. Then we were taken through the warren of Tower 42 to our training room. First up was a talk by David Castle, the Men’s Running editor, on his experience of doing Vertical Rush last year. He managed to run up in 6 minutes and gave us tips on how to tackle the climb. I have a feeling I’m going to be a lot slower than 6 minutes!
Next was our training session with Anne-Marie. The first thing she said was how important it is to do a proper warm up for this sort of running as it’s more like a sprint than a long and steady run. You have to make sure your body is all fired up before you start as there is no time otherwise. She then went through specific exercises to strengthen the muscles and ones to help with the explosive power you need to keep you going. This included calf raises, planks, box jumps and burpees. Hard going! And then we tackled the stairs.
To give us a taster we were set the challenge of running 15 flights, just over a third of what we’ll have to do on the day. 15 flights seemed doable and I started off by taking two steps at a time, by 10 flights I had to slow down and walk. I think single steps and a slower start might be the answer on the day. We ran the 15 flights in 6 minutes and I certainly felt it. We were warned that we’d be coughing and spluttering afterwards due to the dry and dusty air in the stairwell and we certainly were! The coughing lasted for a good while afterwards too. I was told the Shelter team will have plenty of water waiting for you at the top, I now know I’ll be needing it!
Attending the training day was a great aspect of being part of the team, I certainly realised just how much of a challenge Vertical Rush is going to be but feel that I now have the knowledge to better prepare myself. So a huge thanks to Women’s Running and Shelter for organising it.
The training day also made me do something a bit out of character when my local ParkRun was cancelled on Saturday due to icy conditions, I took advantage of a free pass to my local gym to try out some of the tips! The gym had a stair machine so after a warm up on the treadmill I jumped on that and got climbing. I can certainly confirm that stair climbing uses different muscles from running, my legs were quite jellified when I got off. I have a feeling I might be back at the gym to get more practise in before the run!
Have you ever done a tower run? Do you have any tips to help me prepare?