I throw in my running shoes, when we go on just about any trip and so far, I’ve always managed to squeeze a run in. For example, just recently, I paid a surprise visit to my sister on the East Coast to attend her graduation ceremony (she completed her MA in Anthropology). I left early on Saturday morning and was back on Sunday night. I managed to get a run in. But I was more certain of not getting a run in when I recently visited India. Usually, I squeeze runs during my stay in Shanthala’s parents’ house, because of the close proximity of their house to a 400m track. Optimistically, I packed my running shoes anyway.
I was travelling alone with Maya to India and based on her behavior the previous times we were there, I didn’t think there would be any way I could go running. Being optimistic, I packed my running shoes. But, before I left, I spoke to a friend about some way to get some aerobic workout that didn’t require me to leave Maya. He suggested something he called box steps. You can do it just about anywhere, he said. Pick a stool or find a pair of stairs. Climb up the step with one foot first, then bring the next foot up, then step down with the first foot and then the second one. Find a good rhythm and do as many repeats as you can, he said, and switch which leg you go first with every so often.
The first day I tried it at my friend’s house, using two steps of their stairway, I was done in about 15 minutes or so. The next two days, my legs felt sore around my ankles and my calf. Over the course of my stay in India, I quickly worked my way to doing 1000 steps in about 27 minutes. I’d try and do this at least twice a week, if not more. I managed to slip a workout wherever I stayed, thanks to the ubiquity of stairways. I couldn’t unpack my running shoes at all.
Yesterday, I ran across an article in NYT called “Glory at the Top Flight for Runners“. The article covered a new and upcoming sport called tower running in which people dash up the stairs of really tall buildings. Buildings such as Chicago’s Hancock Tower or NY’s Empire State. The sport is called tower running. The article states that there are over 160 races all over the world that involve climbing up large buildings. The longest single staircase climb is in Switzerland, a heart-stopping, quad screaming 11,674 steps.
How does my 1000 steps in 27 minutes (it’s really 1000 up and 1000 down the way I did it) compare with the competitors in these races ? 9 minutes and 33 seconds is the record for running up the 1576 steps.
- List of all Tower Running races, sorted by the number of stairs