OK.  I’m going to start this one out by saying that I have not yet found a photo that properly displays the pain, sweat, misery, and overall ass-kicking that I feel on the stair climber every week.  This girl looks too un-sweaty and happy!!

At the end of 2016, while out for drinks with a good friend he says to me “Becky, you have to do a 50k. Just do it!” After a few glasses of wine I can be talked into anything – even a 31 mile race through the mountains with 7,000 feet of elevation climb.

I agreed and told him he needed to be my coach.  I’ve done a ton of races, but never anything like this.  The Marine Corps Marathon I run every year through the flat city is NOTHING compared to this challenge.

“You’ve got to use the stair climber through the winter if you can’t get technical runs in” he says to me.  You could hear nothing else but me staring into his soul.  I didn’t even know what a ‘technical run’ was but it was cold and windy out in Northern Virginia so I decided to take on the stair climber.  “Go as fast as you can for as long as you can”  Once I started laughing I decided to give it a try.

Holy effing sh!t. I’m serious.  Like I’m really serious.

I’m in pretty decent shape. I had been running consistently and lifting a little, but the stair climber. FELICIA that was a whole different game!  The highest level it goes to is 20 and AT BEST I was averaging at 6 the first two weeks. Within 5 minutes I had sweat dripping off my face, my heart was in the ‘peak range’ and while I was convinced I was only doing 20 minutes the first day my friend says “only 55 minutes left to go”

I did the full 60 minutes. I was destroyed!

I’d like to say that the last 6 weeks I have progressed to averaging level 15 and going at that level the whole 90 minutes I’ve worked up to. But that would be insane!  I’m averaging between 8 and 10 and some weeks I do 60 minutes straight and other minutes I break the hour up with the bike and jogging.

Let me tell you what happened in the past six weeks since I started this torture:
–  My average running time dropped from 11 minute miles to 10 minute miles and under
–  While the stair climber is still a killer, my heart rate dropped from a 180 average to 160 during the hour
–  My ass has toned up and looks fantastic in my jeans (sorry.. couldn’t resist)

The most surprising part, is how much faster I’ve gotten.  I have been running consistently at almost an 11 minute mile for like two years now. And I run pretty consistently.  The ONLY thing I’ve changed is adding the stair climber once a week and in less than two months I dropped a whole minute off my average time AND my average runs have only gone UP in distance!

Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey I want you to spend the next month adding 60 minutes of stairclimber once a week. Change nothing else but that and I’d LOVE to hear if you had the same experience as me!

I’ll warn you, it’s humbling! Take a towel and lots of water. You’re going to need it!