Training for the National Three Peaks Challenge
Start your training for the three peaks challenge as soon as you can, preferably as soon as you have decided to tackle the challenge. Ideally, leave yourself a few months to get in some gym work, mountain walking and to loose a few pounds as the less weight you have to carry the better!
In the Gym
Good CV machines to use are the stepper and the treadmill. The stepper is good for getting used to the climbing motion and increasing overall leg strength. The treadmill can be used on different inclines to replicate walking uphill, and it’s a good idea to change the incline every few minutes as mountains don’t have one constant incline.
It is harder to train properly in a gym for the descent, but a good exercise is to use the cross trainer backwards (so your legs are moving anti-clockwise). If you can, try to do about an hour of CV in each session.
Leg strength is important so use the leg machines as much as possible. Squats are a good way of building upper leg strength which will be important on the way up the mountain. Don’t forget you will be carrying a rucksack during the challenge, so it’s also a good idea to strengthen your back, shoulders and stomach for support.
If you’re a member of a private gym, ask the personal trainer for a routine specifically focused for the national three peaks mountain walking.
On the Mountains
Try and train as much as possible on the mountains themselves as this is the best preparation for doing the three peaks. If you can, train on all three mountains, however, it is unlikely that logistics will permit you to do this on a regular basis. If you can climb all three mountains before the challenge then great but if you can’t, try not to miss out Scafell Pike – its constant incline and uneven terrain make it quite tough. If you’re just starting out then Snowdon is the easier of the three.
Find out what alternative walks are available in your local area that involve some degree of ascent and descent. The less distance it is to travel, the more likely you are to train more often. Make sure on your training sessions that you pack your rucksack similar to how you will for the challenge, and even add some extra weight if you want to train harder.
Taking part in a professional training day is a great idea before attempting the 3 peaks challenge or any other mountain adventure. We can help to arrange a guided training day to help prepare you for your challenge.