The move I love to hate: Staircase racer Suzy Walsham's unique squat combo

AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Imagine racing a quarter mile -- vertically. As in: straight up the Empire State Building stairs, 86 flights from the ground floor to the observation deck.

Now imagine running it in about 12 minutes. Suzy Walsham, 43, has won seven of these races, and on Wednesday, she'll vie for a record eighth victory at the Empire State Building Run-Up inside New York City's most iconic building.

How does Walsham prepare for the demands of racing up 1,576 steps every February? Surprisingly, she doesn't just hit the Stairmaster. She showed us her go-to move, and it replicates how her legs feel at the end of a race. (In case you were tempted to sign up ... )

The move: A seated squat followed by squat jumps

How to do it: Sit against a wall, with your legs bent 90 degrees and your back fully against the wall. Stay in this position for up to 1 minute, and then launch straight into 10 squat jumps. Rest 1 minute. Repeat three times.

When I do it: Twice a week, either as part of my weight workout in the gym or in the evening at home.

Why I do it: It's great for building power and strength in the quads and glutes -- both of which are necessary for stair climbing.

Why it's so killer: The squat sit against the wall is a killer in itself; the longer you hold this position, the harder it gets. Launching into squat jumps when your legs are full of lactic acid just adds to the challenge. It reminds me of the last 10 floors of a stair race!

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