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Beach training (part 2): stair running- the great fat burner, speed and power builder


Stair running at beach

If you are stuck in a rut and hit a plateau with your gym training, go outside to the beach and hunt down a long flight of stairs to run on before running in the sand. You cannot find that whole body - cardiovascular, power, strength, combination – workout on a stationary bike, treadmill, or any other piece of equipment in a gym. Moreover, you’re in the sun, have an ocean breeze, and a great view to take in.

In part 1 of beach training, we focused on sprinting in the sand. As an added precursor to sprints in the sand, try stair running. You will find a great pair of stairs at Avenue C in Redondo Beach. They are steep and present an outstanding physical challenge. And Santa Monica’s steps are also a good option.

Stair running offers a tremendous workout for your entire body, including primary isolation on the thigh and gluteal muscles, not to mention the cardiovascular benefit. If you sprint up the stairs one at a time, you will aid in quickening your stride rate. If you go two steps at a time, you will elongate your stride to pose a greater effect on your gluteal muscles. If you are already an elite athlete, you can hop on one leg up the stairs for added power and strength. Avenue C stairs in Redondo Beach or the Santa Monica stairs (illustration below) offer a significant challenge to the most well conditioned athlete.

A great fat burner: clinical studies have shown that when a high intensity burst of exercise, such as stair running, is performed, the body burns sugar at a rapid rate and continues to burn fat and calories after the workout is over. This effect can last from 15 to 48 hours.
Research has shown that a significant level of growth hormone is released through high intensity stair running. No matter what your age or fitness level, you can surely benefit from increasing the intensity of your workout with stairs.


Start with a thorough dynamic warm up before doing the steps. Make sure you worked up a sweat and lightly stretched your calves and Achilles, for a tremendous amount of force is needed to work your way up. If you have never done stair running before, walk up the stairs and back down for 10 minutes. As you get in better shape, you can start jogging up the stairs. And once you have achieved your wind and the lactic acid buildup becomes more tolerable, you can increase the intensity. Gradually you will be able to sprint up the stairs. Achieving five times as fast as you can up Avenue C is good. If you stay with it, you will be able to achieve 10 times within a reasonable time frame. As a word of caution, jog down the steps to the side where the hand rails are. Your legs should get heavy by the 7th or 8th attempt.

Euphoric feeling:
And as your body undergoes positive changes with your consistent training, you can transition to sprinting on the beach immediately after your stair running. In 20 minutes, you will conclude a beneficial workout that will be addicting at least once a week. If you are fortunate to live near a flight of stairs and a beach, stair running and beach sprinting will help create a sculpted body for you as a “must do” in your weekly training program.