Do Stairs Count As Cross Training?


Because if that is the case I should be covered for awhile!  I have been lucky in all of my years here in New York City by living on the first or second floor of most apartment buildings.  The one time I lived several floors up I was spoiled by having an elevator.

Our new apartment is on the 5th floor of a walk up.  Every time I haul myself up those stairs I have to laugh when I finally reach the door.  Your would never guess I am a runner by the puffing and panting when I get to the top.  What is it with a few flight of stairs?!

I am certainly not complaining.  In fact I like to think that this is my booty toning exercise each time I make the trek up the steps.  I am actually a big stair climbing advocate.  Whenever I get a chance to take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator I go for it.  I just add that extra time on the steps to my frozen yogurt budget.  Just kidding (sort of)!  Although I can’t be the only one who adds a bit more to their workout or does a workout in anticipation of dessert or some fun meal, especially come the weekend!

I find myself tempted to but avoid counting the steps as I climb them.  As a runner I know that this will turn into some weird pattern where I count them down and up, backwards and forwards, and so on.  For instance, when we were last training for a marathon I used to play random games on our long runs.  I would hear my GPS beep at a mile and I would think ok that’s 2 miles down, if we turn around now we have four miles covered.  Imagine how crazy this can get out a 20 mile out and back.


I heard Hoda Kotb say that she thinks of each mile as 3 songs on her iPod and I started doing that.  It is scary when you start a long run and realize that 22 times 3 songs equals 66 songs.  Do I even have that many songs on my shuffle?!  And then I start counting songs on my run and figuring out how many times I beat the quota of 3 songs per mile.  Take that numbers game!

The same goes for a typical out and back run of 7 miles or any other distance.  I will look at my watch and see 3.15 miles and without even thinking tell myself to go .35 miles more.  It turns into a crazy numbers game.  The way I think in numbers during the day due to my running makes me think I should have gone into accounting or at least paid more attention during math class (although I have to say all those college Calculus classes have still not paid off for me and if they do when I am out running then we are in some serious trouble).

This is exactly why I am trying my hardest to refuse to count the steps up the five flights of stairs to our new place.  If I start now I know that it will turn into, “Ok that’s 20 steps down, only 62 more to go.”  Next thing you know I will be figuring out just how many seconds that will take me to cover the steps up to the door or just how many songs I can listen to before I am home.

Running makes me go numbers crazy!



43 thoughts on “Do Stairs Count As Cross Training?

    • I just burst out laughing. I did think about this and will make certain to not go out for a drink before coming home for sure. I can’t even bring myself to look over the side to downstairs!

  1. These stairs definitely count as cross training – and getting a big load of groceries could be an entire workout if you just moved one bag at a time!

  2. I totally see extra workouts whenever I look at some kind of tasty snack or dessert. “How many calories in those cookies? Ok, that’s an extra half hour on the bike tonight.”

  3. Yikes, you’re going to be so fit from going up and down those stairs all the time! I’m pretty sure they count as cross training 🙂

  4. OMG! You reminded of something! When I lived in Ukraine, they were used to turn off electricity in the evening (I still have no idea why, it’s pretty random and weird). But anyhow, we were used to live on the 14th floor!!! IMAGINE!!! Those stairs really seemed never ending after my daily 3-4-hour rhythmic gymnastics training. LOL! That being said, going up 5 floors seems like a good extra workout. We’ll even consider it cross-training 😉 xoxo

    • I think it is pretty normal. I think it comes from when I first started running and used numbers to distract myself from the misery of beginning running. Now it is just a habit.

  5. I’m all about the numbers while running. I try to guesstimate my distance through. Convert to percentage. Get current time. Extrapolate current time and percent complete to give me an estimated end time. If I’m not happy with it, try to workout how many half mile segments I need to do at a faster pace and what that pace should be. Then I compare end time to the calc’d number to see how close I was. Good fun, honestly.

  6. omg, I’m such a numbers person. I’ve figured out how many steps are in a 1/10 of a mile and a 1/2 a mile and will count them at various times throughout my run.

  7. I some times go mad with counting but I know can control it. 🙂 Its the silly kids songs that I can’t get out off my mind!

  8. Yes, to everything you wrote!!! 😀
    I don’t listen to music when I run but I do look at my watch and think, “Oh, once I get to 5 miles I can turn around. It’s only 5 miles.” Umm, it’s actually ten total Helly lol!!
    I also do the stairs thing at home. It’s 5-7-5 (steps) haha!!

  9. Stairs – definitely. I’d consider myself pretty fit but I can’t cope with stairs. And I’m always doing math in my head when I’m running – counting down how longs is left to go especially if it’s a crappy run!

  10. hahahaha, I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only person who does that! And I hate numbers… I avoid any kind of number-related task at work because they get me all frazzled. But put my running shoes on and I’m all about the numbers.
    I have to give myself serious talks sometimes otherwise my numbers brain gets completely fried on a run LOL
    Great post 🙂

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