Weekend Workout Review: Santa Monica Stairs

1 Jul

Part of my half marathon training involves a weekly run workout of either hills or intervals.

I’m used to doing HIIT at the gym but I’m not gonna lie, the hills are an @$$ kicker for me.

First of all, running up a treadmill isn’t my cup of tea. It’s boring and…I can’t think of any other real reason I don’t like it. I just don’t.

I’ve preferred running with friends since the training has started to become more challenging.  I’m happy to run alone for 6,7,8 miles but now that I’m up the double digits and the runs are getting lonnnnng, I want need an accountability buddy. In other words I’d strongly prefer that someone is there to make sure I’ll be totally embarrassed if I stop and throw myself face first onto the concrete.

Erin was feeling the same way and suggested we try the hill at the Santa Monica stairs together so off we went, bright and early.

Lately my workout attitude has been very “‘I’ve totally got this shit handled.”  Which is awesome I guess (confidence and whatnot) so I showed up at the stairs thinking…I’ve totally got this $hit handled. Well well well. It became quite clear up the first hill that I did not totally have this $hit handled. It was totally steeper and totally longer than I remembered. I was panting like a dog and out of breath by the top.

Joke was on me!

Ahem….keep scrolling for the real scenery.




View from the top



Lots of huge distracting homes to stare at as well




If you want to switch up your normal cardio workout and get legit sweaty, here’s the recipe. It’s pretty simple:

From the Lululemon Seawheeze training schedule:

Find a hill that’s an equivalent to a  3-5 incline level on a treadmill. You want this hill to be at least 50m long. Start at the bottom and run to the top at an 80-85% effort level. Jog back down at an easy, relaxed pace. Repeat for the duration of your workout.

Our workout varied slightly in that our hill was considerably steeper than a 3-5 incline level, so our (at least my) effort level was closer to a 90-90%. This baby was steep, no joke The hill is situated in that it begins near the bottom of the staircase, and you can run up the hill, which will take you to a flat stretch about a quarter mile (or less) away from the top of the stairs.

Instead of jogging  back down the hill as instructed, we jogged from the top of the hill about a quarter mile to stairs and took the stairs to the bottom and immediately started running back up.


Erin’s heart rate monitor said she torched about 450 calories in 45 minutes. It was an A+ free sweatfest with incredible views and left me sore for a few days following.  I think I’ll be adding this one back to my weekly schedule 🙂


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