Seems to be the season for stair intervals again. I come and go in and out of stair phases. I’ll get into a habit of going once a week and then I’ll fall off and forget about it for a while. That, or I just won't admit that I get tired of the stairs and prefer to ride my indoor trainer sometimes over them. I don’t have a bike right now and it looks like it’ll be a little while before there’s a set of wheels hooked up to my trainer again. I’m not a runner currently and now is not the time to pick it back up. I’ve gone swimming a couple times with Ryan and although I really enjoy it, it makes me INCREDIBLY nauseous! I’ve resigned myself to avoiding swimming lengths although filming him underwater was a fun night.
Stairs are easy and free exercise and I don't take for granted how priviledged we are to have these giant sets of torture devices in our backyard! They are also a REALLY killer workout as I was recently reminded because I didn’t do it for a couple weeks. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the stairs for the most part but they are murder on my legs.
I thought I’d post some data to back-up my claims about good health benefits.
(I like how you can tell the spot where I ran to my car to check my beeg at the bottom and where we took a break for a picture at the top on the last rep)
Heart Rate Profile
I think these graphs really show the intensity of the stairs. I hit a max heart rate of 189bpm at the top of one of my climbs. On average my peaks were 186bpm and my recovering heart rates were about 145-150bpm. I gained about 40bpm per climb. This is pretty awesome for V02 max training.
It is not, however, excellent for blood sugar management if you treat it like a regular workout like I did. I should have known better. Before the stairs my beeg was at 9.1mmol/l (163mg/dl). I ate a small peanut butter and honey sandwich and bolused 50% for it. I didn’t set a temp basal because I rarely do that anymore unless I’m heading out for a multi hour road ride. Normally this would work for the workout. Half way through I was at 12.5mmol/l (225mg/dl). I hesitated for a good 5 minutes wanting to bolus 1.5units. In the end I chose not to even though my intuition knew I should. I’ve got 45mins more of stairs plus the sandwich is still going through my system. After the stairs my beeg had climbed to 13.2mmol/l (238mg/dl) which was all the indication I needed to know that the workout I had just completed was more anaerobic than aerobic. Therefore causing BG to go higher and not lower. Ah fuck. So I set a 150% temp basal and took a few units. All was well about 4 hours later.
Next time, new plan.
Next time also, maybe my legs will tolerate it better because I’m still hobbling around (It's Tuesday night). I don't know why I never learn my lesson. If I stick to it on a weekly basis, I can handle it.
It was sunny at the top but it was also sub zero temperatures and gale force winds. (sunglasses would prevent the intense squinting on my part, I know).