Race Media


09 Jun, 2018

Road to Skyrunning world champs with Karen Cheung

Road to Skyrunning world champs with Hong Kong's Karen Cheung - MSIG Development Plan

Stair climbing might just be the best workout you’re not doing. It’s fun, free and massively effective. Karen Man-yee Cheung, racked up 208 total points in the MSIG HK50 Series, including finishing fourth woman overall (and first Hongkonger) in the Hong Kong Island leg. She said: “Even though I haven’t done many races, I tried my best in the series and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the MSIG Action Asia Development Programme. In order to improve my speed and fitness, I’m going to train more in the next few months. To gain more racing experience and improve my skills, I will join more competitions. I aim to have a good performance at the Skyrunning World Championships.”

That was in April and the full time Orthopedic doctor has been trying to increase her training, seeing Joint Dynamics on a weekly basis and was out Friday with Action Asia Events Michael Maddess to get a taste of hill training city style.

1. What did you learn in your 1 hour stair session ?

I learned the technique and method of stairs training. Relaxing on the uphills. And to focus on elevation and not so much on kilometers.

2. What was the hardest thing and why?

The hardest thing is the core muscle training part, because it used to be my weakness. Sometimes when i do similar training myself, I would cheat and use other muscles instead. (Michael had her doing leg extensions and leg raises at the top of each climb).

3. How will you implement this strength, cardio workout into your training?

I will try do core muscle training daily and after each run. I have 2 long stairs near my home as well, (one with big steps, one with small steps) and I can use them as practice, maybe once a week.

Stay tunned to hear more on Karen's training towards Scotland in September.


Climbing stairs is an awesome way to strengthen and tone your legs, from calves to your butt. The combination of simultaneous ankle, knee and hip extension against gravity means you work your legs naturally and without the impact commonly associated with jogging, running or sprinting.

Pushing your body up stair after stair against gravity is also a great cardiovascular exercise that burns lots of calories, while developing both strength and power. And as no staircase is never ending, once you get to the top and walk carefully back down, (or run as Karen does!!) you end up interval training without even realizing it. And interval training is one of the best ways to burn fat and take your fitness to a new level.

Beginners can get a good workout by walking up stairs one at a time while the more advanced will enjoy the challenge of running up the stairs taking two or even three steps at a time.

Stair climbing is free – all you need is access to a set of stairs in the public arena. Public stairs, apartment blocks, malls, bleachers and office blocks are all viable stair climbing venues and no special equipment is required – just some basic sneakers and comfortable clothes.

More information on the upcoming MSIG Action Asia 50 series is at http://www.actionasiaevents.com/our-events/upcoming-events/

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