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Running on long sets of stairs around Sydney may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea. But running on stairs can have so many beneficial effects on your running performance.
It’s also great when you’re injured and still want a hard session, without aggravating your injury.
Running on stairs changes a number of important biomechanical factors:
- Your stride length is controlled by the step length: you can’t overstride (if you stick to running one step at a time). That’s perfect for increasing your cadence. It’s also very handy when you’re recovering from bone stress injuries and hamstrings injuries.
- Your foot lands on a horizontal surface: you get the benefits of climbing a hill without the hill! That’s great if you’re recovering from a calf injury or have stiff ankles.
- You can test out your running and cardio capacity without the negative effects of fatigue: if you run long and reach the point of muscle fatigue, your running technique declines and you risk injury. On stairs, when your muscles fatigue, you just can’t go on and have to stop. So stairs are great when you’re keen to test your running capacity. (If you’re looking to test your running for a return to field sports, check out this testing protocol for return to play)
- You don’t have to rest from running: with altered gait parameters, we can keep you running while recovering from an injury. We’re anti-rest for most injuries, this is just another tool in the kit for keeping runners active.
- Great for training with limited available time: you can get similar benefits to a sprint session but with lower injury risk. That’s very helpful when you’re returning from injury, when interval training is desperately needed but still risky.
Where are the best stairs for running in Sydney?
Here’s a list of stairs around Sydney that are suitable for Stair running sessions. The number of steps is listed next to the location (if available). Click on the name of the street or stairs to open a map of the location.
If you have a great location that’s not on our list or an update on the number of steps at a listed venue, send us a message.
Sydney – North
- Seaforth (133 steep steps)- “Gallipoli Stairs“, next to 4 Battle Blvd
- Manly (60 steps + incline) – next to 42 Lauderdale Ave
- Mosman (concrete + trail) – Barney Kearns Steps
Sydney – South
- Kirrawee – 39 Gore Ave
- Kareela (120 steps) – 49 Siandra Drive
- Grays Point (140 + 40 steps) – southern end of Seabrook Ave
- Como (200 steps) – Carina Bay Reserve carpark
- Woronora (West side – 116 steps) – 4 Menai Rd
- Woronora (East side – 190 steps) – 8 Prince Edward Park Rd
- Royal National Park (1km bush stairs) – “Honeymoon Stairs“, just south of Farnell Ave carpark
- Gymea Bay (100 steps) – Casuarina Rd
- Miranda – 89 Forest Rd
- Carss Park (116 steps) – Gnarbo Ave
- Cronulla – Salmon Haul Bay
- Jannali (~100 steps + steep hill) – Box Rd
Sydney – CBD
Sydney – East
Pete has over 20 years experience as a Physiotherapist and specialises in running biomechanics and complex injuries. He believes that you must identify and fix the underlying cause of an injury, to recover faster, prevent recurrences and improve performance.