How long have you been sitting on the fence and making up lame excuses when friends bring up the possibility of running a vertical marathon? Maybe it’s time you grew some wings and climbed to success!
We’ve been collecting excuses runners have come up with for taking a pass on vertical marathons in and around Singapore and would like to share some of the funniest with you:
- I can’t do a vertical marathon because I might get claustrophobic, dizzy, fall and crash into everyone below me.
- What if I get lost, wind up in someone’s office all sweaty and smelly and can’t find the stairwell again?
- I only ride elevators. When someone comes up with an elevator marathon, I’ll be the first to sign up.
- My grandmother says I’ll be cursed if I try to climb too high and I always listen to her warnings.
- I’d have to go buy a new outfit and can’t find any fashion advice about what to wear for a vertical race.
Silly? Yup. These hare-brained excuses are mostly fiction dreamed up by runners fearful of trying something new. But for those who have said yes to signing up for their first vertical, there were lessons to be learned that you’ll learn, too. One of the biggest is the boost of confidence you enjoy because you took the risk.
Why a vertical marathon?
- Because running stairs, say cardiologists and coaches, is the perfect way to burn calories and condition your legs, core and glutes.
- Because a Harvard study has proven that sedentary people are 33-percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who run up just 8 flights of stairs daily. Imagine how many extra years you’ll live if you register to ascend 73-stores at the Swissotel Vertical on 19th November 2017?
- Because the British “Journal of Sports Medicine” has proven that women who run up stairs increase their “maximum aerobic capacity (VO2 max) by 17.1 percent.” Men do even better.
- Because running back down those 73 storeys offers surprising physical benefits, too. The body is required to double its balancing efforts when running down stairs so you use a different group of muscles.
How to train for a vertical
Assuming you’ve decided to explore both your fears and fantasies enough to consider running your first vertical race, you’ll want proper training so you stay on your feet from that first step to the last.
These six training tips are all you need to get your vertical race on:
- Find a partner train together and help motivate one another.
- Adopt a staircase that can serve as your training venue. If you live or work in a tall building—or have access to a stadium—you’ve solved your first dilemma.
- Set up a regular training schedule with a goal of repetitions that include climbing up and down. Don’t attempt the entire staircase from the get-go. Add stairs incrementally until you can tackle them all.
- Rest in-between staircase runs. The American Council on Exercise recommends resting periods that “equal 3 times the amount of time it took you to run up and down”.
- Limit your daily stair workout to between 30 minutes and an hour until that hour feels effortless.
- Before you compete, scout the entire staircase at the vertical competition venue so you’re comfortable on the day of the event.
Safety issues that are important to know
Follow a sensible training plan, it’s important to remember that there are certain safety cautions that come with a vertical that may not apply to other types of races. They are:
- Pregnant women are advised to stick to a ground run and most organisers have a legal right to refuse your registration if you are pregnant or have other health-related concerns that could endanger you or others.
- Don’t let flag-offs intimidate you. At verticals, waves of around 6 people are flagged off at intervals deemed to keep participants safely separated.
- Avoid hand rail disputes. You’re not the only competitor relying upon them to keep you balanced while competing in a vertical so be courteous and patient.
- Obey organiser’s rule for how long you can linger at the top before you turn around and head down or you could cause a traffic jam that impacts everybody’s timing.
- Don’t risk dehydration because you assume water will be provided by the event organiser. Further, ask volunteers where the medical station is located. You may not need it, but you should know where it is.
- Always have one hand free in case you trip and need to catch yourself. We don’t have to remind you to avoid frequent checks of your wrist device screen, do we? One glance may be all it takes to miss a step, so save your device viewing time for after you’ve completed your race.
An extra motivation to train for your first vertical marathon with your friend
Good things should come in pairs! The event is proud to have Creative as the Official Audio Partner for this year’s Swissôtel Vertical Marathon.
Follow these steps to win a pair of Creative Outlier sports earphones each for you and your buddy (worth S$129 each):
- Get your buddy and yourself to “Like” the Swissôtel Vertical Marathon and Swissôtel The Stamford facebook Page.
- Sign up as participants for Swissôtel Vertical Marathon in any of the categories at Spacebib or at the event website.
- Comment in Swissôtel Vertical Marathon Facebook why you should win an Outlier Sports (worth S$129) and hashtag #SVM2017 #Creativelabs #Outliersports together.
Contest ends on 31st October 2017.
What safety tip not mentioned here do you recommend for runners undertaking their first vertical? We’d love to add it to our list so readers stay even safer when they compete.