Most runners prefer to stick to the flat and fast stuff when it comes to doing reps. Fair enough too, because generally it’s more specific to the racing we typically do and a major purpose of doing repeats is to develop speed. However it can also be hugely beneficial to throw in occasional stair repeats. While running up and down a bunch of steps might seem more suited to folks that do those crazy tower races, the reality is, there’s value in it for every runner. The benefits of stair sessions include engine building, increased glut/quad power and overall leg strength, as well as improved lactic threshold and running form.
How to introduce stair sessions:
Start slowly! Don’t go straight into doing 10 sets of sprinting up and down flights of stairs as it will only lead to injury. To begin with, just do 4 or 5 easy repeats of 20 to 40 stairs, alternating between doing two steps at a time and one step at a time. Focus on good technique and not speed. The recovery is the run back down. Take care and descend one step at a time as it loads your quads up a lot less and is much safer. Do this once a week for a couple weeks before slowly increasing the speed and number of reps. The end goal should be 10 to 15 sets of 30+ stairs, but it should take around three months to reach this point.