Get Your Climbing Shoes Ready Chicago!

Good Monday Morning Chicago!

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Well we may not be able to have outdoor races all year long like those spoiled southern Californian's but what we do have are some of the best indoor stair climbing races in the world.  Out of the 15 tallest stair climb races in the world, Chicago is the proud home to 4 of them and 2 are in the top 5!

The 4 Presidential Towers race is the 4th tallest in the world,
followed directly by the Sky Rise Chicago race at the Willis Tower in
5th place. The Aon Center Step up For Kids Race is the 14th in the
world followed directly by the Hustle Up Hancock in 15th place

Stair climbing is one of the most challenging types of physical exercise you can do. It incorporates several major muscle groups and it challenges your body both aerobically and anaerobically. Training for one of these races requires you to not only train in the aerobic heart rate zone (50%-80% of your max heart rate) but also in your anaerobic heart rate zone (80%-90% of your max heart rate). Check out the following link to calculate your heart rate zones. Training Zone Calculator

If you're looking to enter one of these races you should definitely take a few weeks to train appropriately. There are stairs everywhere so finding some shouldn't be a problem but you can also train on a treadmill by experimenting with the incline. A good resistance training program for your legs will also benefit you as your legs will be used much differently than running or biking. 

If you do get a chance to train in a stairwell, here are some quick tips to make your training safe and effective:

Warm-up and stretch prior to starting
Bring water
Where running shoes or cross trainers
Be conscious of your foot placement
Pace yourself
Cool-down and stretch following your workout

All races except for the Sky Rise Chicago race are coming up within the
next 3 months. The Sky Rise Chicago race happens in November of every
year. Below is a list of the 4 stair climb races in Chicago, the date of the race, the beneficiary, the number of floors the race will cover and the cost of the race. 

January 31, 2010
Step Up For Kids - Children's Memorial Hospital
Aon Center

Full - 80 floors - registration still available - $45
Half - 38 floors - registration still available - $45
-    Commitment to raise a minimum of $55

February 28, 2010
Hustle Up The Hancock - Respiratory Health Association
John Hancock Center

Full - 94 floors - Sold Out
Half - 52 floors - registration still available - $110

March 28, 2010
Fight For Air Climb - American Lung Association
Presidential Towers

1 Tower - 45 floors
2 Towers - 90 floors
3 Towers - 135 floors
4 Towers - 180 floors
$25 registration plus $100 minimum donation by race day

November, 2010 - (specific date not yet set)
Sky Rise Chicago - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Willis Tower

103 floors - Registration information will be available in early spring

This is a great way to see Chicago in a whole new way and get in shape while doing it. I hope some of you give it a shot. I'll be at the Step Up For Kids race at the Aon Center January 31st, hope to see you there!

Have a great Monday everyone and Happy Birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!

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