Challenge Yourself to the Red Rocks Stair Climb

When you live in Colorado, there’s no need to keep your training inside the gym or rink at all times. The weather is generally great and the views are gorgeous. So why not head up to Morrison for a workout at Red Rocks? (Note that this workout is suited to adult and teen hockey players—not to mention the parents of players, who may be tired of waiting around rinks. Younger athletes need to moderate based on their ability.)

Red Rocks is known nationally for its famous music venue. For athletes, it is a haven for pushing the limits in the altitude. (Click here for details on exercising there.) Sitting at 6,000 feet high, Red Rocks has two staircases on either side of the amphitheater that rise from the lower parking lot to the upper concession level, each with about 380 steps. There are two interior stairways on either side of the bleachers each with 138 steps from the stage to the top. Red Rocks features 69 rows of seats in the venue, which equates to running approximately three miles on an ascent or descent of the bleachers. Add in 21 planter boxes for plyo jumps, side stairways that climb from the stage to the upper parking lot with 83 steps, which then connect by way of an ascending quarter-mile ramp to 62 steps straight up to the upper concession area; you have a challenging workout amidst some of the best scenery in the Rocky Mountains.

All climbers agree that the climb up is exhilarating, but the descent can wreak havoc on your joints. Stresses Lisa Zeigel of Health Fitness Corporation, “Going down the hill takes a bit of time and I prefer to take trails down rather than the stairs as the eccentric resistance can cause excessive muscle soreness and wear on the joints.” When climbing stairs, keep the following injury-prevention training tips in mind:

  • Warm up and cool down for five minutes.

  • When stair climbing in a building, always take the elevator down to avoid injuring knees, ankles and calf muscles.

  • Incorporate three days of H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training).

  • Stretch after every workout; use the foam roller on your IT band and glutes.

  • Rest for one day.

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Kathy Smith for this story. Kathy is a freelance writer, who has been published in many local Denver magazines and was nationally published in Her Sport. She has a keen interest in writing about athletics. She is a chef, mother of four and a fitness enthusiast. Kath recently picked up stair climb races as her new favorite sport, and while she isn't the fastest, she is passionate about competing in more races and getting better times.

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