Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skyscraper Run-Ups: What It Takes To Be An Extreme Athlete

Date:
July 13, 2008
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Scientists have recently become interested in the biomechanics of a very unusual activity: skyscraper run-ups. Competitors in this extreme sport ascend the steps inside the world's tallest buildings, the winners often scaling thousands of steps in just a few minutes. New research has shed light on the metabolic profile of athletes, as well as having a potential impact on studies of aging.

A model of Pirelli Building, where one 'run-up' race was studied.
Credit: Alberto Minetti

Scientists have recently become interested in the biomechanics of a very unusual activity: skyscraper run-ups. Competitors in this extreme sport ascend the steps inside the world's tallest buildings, the winners often scaling thousands of steps in just a few minutes. Impressive, yes, but why should these people be of interest to physiologists and biomechanists?

Related Articles


Professor Alberto Minetti, from the University of Milan, pioneered the study after previous work on walking and running at different gradients. His research has gone on to shed light on the metabolic profile of athletes, as well as having a potential impact on studies of ageing. He will be presenting his results on July 9th at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting in Marseille.

"The wide age range of participants, from teenagers to those approaching their centenary, has improved our knowledge of the decline in body performance as we get older," Professor Minetti explains. "Industries involved in cardio-fitness could also include the algorithms that we have developed in heart rate monitors, to help athletes maintain their best possible performance throughout races." Another very useful medical implication comes from previous work looking at differing gradients, which suggests that heart failure patients should rehabilitate by walking on a treadmill at a 10% downhill incline and at a slow, self-selected, speed.

Professor Minetti's research team used a very tiny but highly sophisticated digital altimeter to measure the speed of competitors climbing the Pirelli building in Milan. The results gave the researchers interesting insight into the best strategies run-up athletes should take.

"Because of the relatively short duration of run-up events, both anaerobic and aerobic energy resources are involved. By finely measuring the ascending speed during the race we noticed that some subjects had to suddenly reduce their speed somewhere in the middle of the race, suggesting that at this point anaerobic metabolism was negatively affecting aerobic respiration. Our studies suggest that the best athletes are those who do not show any sudden speed change, and therefore that athletes must wisely dose their initial effort in order not to jeopardize the rest of the performance," he concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Skyscraper Run-Ups: What It Takes To Be An Extreme Athlete." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708210852.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2008, July 13). Skyscraper Run-Ups: What It Takes To Be An Extreme Athlete. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708210852.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Skyscraper Run-Ups: What It Takes To Be An Extreme Athlete." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708210852.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins