I wonder: what's the fastest way to run down stairs? Taking every step, every second, or just jump down 4-5 and hope you land on a step without twisting an ankle?
Does anyone have an idea, or a special technique?
When I was around 20 I lived on the 5th floor, always took the stairs 4 at a time, up or down. That was very efficient at the time, but would not be feasible for me now. 2 at a time would be faster than 1, for sure.
I'll only take two at a time unless there are only 4-5 in total in which case I might jump the whole lot. Doing that multiple times on a staircase risks a misstep and serious injury.
How do you go up four steps at a time? I struggle with two, three at a pinch (not for an extended period) - maybe you are taller than me.
The fastest way, outdoors, is to hit the top step at full speed and land beyond the bottom step, assuming the drop isn't enough that you break a leg.
Otherwise, it depends on a lot of other details.
Charlie has the advantage of height and the long legs that accompany it. I think that might have helped.
Not sure if this is an answer but if the staircase has a cement wall on either side (most do), then jumping up onto this and running up or down this tends to be faster for me if there's a lot of stairs. It acts as a sort of ramp which is much faster than stairs in the long run unless it's slippery or there is a guardrail or if the ramp is just way too steep.
I initially read that as parkour style, running perpendicular to the wall or maybe bouncing from one wall to the other.
That might be how Spiderman does it... :)
I find this thread funny. A very, very long time ago a British TV host divulged how he entered the stage down the steps through the audience at such a rapid rate. Angle your favoured foot at the same angle as the stairs.... just land the other one. It allows your eyes to see where you step. It works. Fell Race, Urban, Sprint, catching a train..... its like magic.
Height may have been a factor. Being 20 was pretty critical, though.
Neat link ndobbs. How the heck could you find a four year old post on an obscure website?
So I have an idea. Let's all click on that link and leave them a quirky post. It'll have them wondering what suddenly got them all that traffic. I've done my part. C'mon tRicky it's right up your alley!
Funny you say that, I had been about to leave a post when I first clicked on it but couldn't think of anything witty at the time. Now you've motivated me to come up with something!
As a serious answer to the initial question...
Option a) run beside the stairs (assuming the stairs are on runnable hillside)
Option b) This really depends on the steepness, depth and height of the steps, etc. but I have always found that turning your feet sideways so you can land with your full foot on the step makes a big difference. You'll probably end up almost facing sideways to the stair and doing a half run half side shuffle down the stairs but it can give you the confidence to take the steps several at a time.
but I have always found that turning your feet sideways so you can land with your full foot on the step makes a big difference
Yes, I do this on wide stairs where you can run down at an angle.
Sliding down the bannister works in some circumstances. In others, having a hand on the bannister allows you to go at speeds that would be crazy without it. But it requires the right kind of bannister.
"The fastest way, outdoors, is to hit the top step at full speed and land beyond the bottom step, assuming the drop isn't enough that you break a leg."
That's what I did just before the finish at a sprint at West Point. Unfortunately, the spikes in the shoe on my landing foot stuck in the well manicured grass beyond the bottom step, while the rest of my body kept going forward and I got a high ankle sprain.
Regarding Canadian's option b above, I broke my right ankle when I was 17 and the right foot ending up pointing out more than it used to, and I broke my left leg badly when I was 21 and the left foot ending up pointing in. So for the last 54 years both feet have pointed to the right. Anyone who has seen my tracks while running in the snow can attest to this.
I had never realized that the general comfort I felt running down stairs at speed was due to this. It seems there needs an option c that is the best -- both feet point to the (same) side while the body stays aimed straight ahead. And then just let loose.
Reading this thread = can't cope. Can only see disaster. Glad my 6'3" orienteering son isn't on AP. I've seen him go down steep bush hills. It felt like he put one foot at the top, one in the middle and one at the bottom of a 25m incline.
I have massive feet (15 US/49 EU) but I've always been a good stair runner both up and down. What worked for me when I was young and crazy:
- run down at an angle (feet and body at 45 degrees to the right or left of direction of travel).
- 2 or 3 stairs at a time
- jumping 4 or 5 stairs of the last flight
- work on your ankle strength and flexibility. I used a wobble board a lot when young
- I think being fearless helps. I don't try and grab the rails just keep moving forward and in control.
With my huge feet I've occasionally caught my heel on the top of the stair above the one I intend to land on. No problem because my ankle can flex enough so my forefoot still lands safely on the front of the lower stair with my feet angling down I've never fallen (touch wood).
For years I’ve done stairs 2 at a time going up and have found that it really helps with running uphill. At home I have the opportunity to go up and down numerous times/day...mostly due to a waning memory and the “what did I come down here for?” situations. I used to do 2 steps going down but lately have been holding back unless there is a railing. Have gotten strange looks when Linds and I have raced up 5 floors to visit my mother in the hospital.
Was really hoping someone would mention a weird sideways flying techninque, where you hold on to the railing on one side with both hands, and then "fly" down 10 steps at a time...
... though the "gliding" technique by the TV host sounds cool too - something to practice. Wonder if that'd work with spikes...
Am I the only one to suggest running down one stair at a time. The time lost is a small price to avoid costlier medical bills.
Richard, did you purchase the full video on how to safely walk up stairs? I'm sure it has exciting bonus features, such as what to do when you get to the top.
Just reminded me of being told off in the Rio Tinto office in Brisbane for not having 3 points of contact walking down a flight of stairs.
This is interesting to watch. Skateboarding, but he does a test jump on from the full height on foot, though beyond the stairway. Also, his friend skips a lot of steps going down the steps sideways in celebration at the end.https://youtu.be/4GFIXrybfKg
And, a parkour guy front flipping down the same stairway:https://youtu.be/9_1QKiDtUqw?t=208
Maybe they should try it with a map in hand.
That parkour guy seems to have broken his ankle so not that great a technique!
Is there any correlation to running cadence? Fast runners use shorter strides and a faster cadence. Does that correlate to single or double steps not triple or quadruple?
I’m a fan of looking at the stair sides for runnable slopes. Also running Short stairs at an angle.
After testing some suggestions today: the fastest was to angle the feet at about 45 deg. to one side (both to the same side), and then jump/run down 2-3 steps at a time while loosely holding on to the railing for guidance and safety.
This was actually surprisingly fast, and way faster and safer than any frontal technique.
@andrewlee thanks for the video! The "angled" technique of the guy running down the stairs is indeed very fast!
(Compare to the frontal technique of other guy coming down the stairs behind him)
Here' s the link with the video starting at the right moment for those who want to watch it: https://youtu.be/4GFIXrybfKg?t=583
Stairs are a lot faster on a bike ...Fabio Wibmer - Urban Freeride Lives 3
Aussie elite Rob Bennett is creating a series of sprint training videos, and talks about stairs at around 12 minutes in the first of the series
. He mentions that Finnish orienteer Topi Syrjalainen takes stairs very quickly, sometimes a whole staircase at a time, sometimes 5-6 stairs at a time.
Is a whole staircase 38 or 40 +/- 1?
Aside: keep us in touch with Rob Bennett's videos will you Simmo? Can't find any more at the moment.
Loving the recent burst of comments on the old HelsinkiIn story that ndobbs linked to. All in familiar 'tone' and starting around about the same time as this thread. Purely coincidental, I'm sure.
This discussion thread is closed.