Training Tips and Advice for Completing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
Congratulations on taking on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge! This is no mean feat and preparing in advance for the big day can make all the difference during the challenge. Here are a few tips and tricks for maximising your success in the mountains.
Kit and Personal Equipment
These Boots Were Made for Walking
One of the greatest determining factors in your overall enjoyment and success on the Y3P is your choice of footwear. It is essential that you have the best footwear available – trainers just won’t do! Poorly fitted footwear can lead to blisters which are no fun at all whether you’re on mile 2 or 20 of this trek.
The first time you wear your boots should not be on this trek. Make sure you wear them in well beforehand and walk in them as much as possible. To the supermarket, running errands, around the house, this all helps. But the best way to work your boots in, is to wear them walking on variable terrain, preferably off-road and up and down hills.
Breaking your boots in makes you aware of hot spots, areas that are prone to irritation and blisters. This will allow you to find a solution that works best for you. Some swear by talcum powder and blister pads, others wear two pairs of socks (a thin inner sock and thicker outer sock). Either way, you’ll know how to treat’em before the challenge.
Find a good, breathable pair of trekking/walking socks and bring a few spare with you on the day. Make sure they fit nicely with the boots you’re planning on wearing during the challenge.
Pack Light, But Pack for All Weather Scenarios
Remember, you will be carrying your bag for over 5200 feet of ascent, across 3 peaks, over a distance of 24.5 miles. That extra item you thought was “essential” might not seem like it when you’re ascending Whernside.
When packing your rucksack put items that are frequently used at the top of your bag so they’re easily accessible, during the trek.
Divide your water into 2 smaller bottles to evenly distribute the weight in your bag. Alternatively a Camel Back or similar water bladder system is perfect for this challenge.
Rain, snow, sleet, wind… and sunshine can all occur in the space of a few minutes in the Yorkshire Dales. Don’t come ill prepared make sure you bring clothing that can accommodate all weather in the hill.
You’ll be much happier and comfortable if the kit you have fits you well. You’ll also spend less time fiddling with it, and more time enjoying the beautiful scenery… try before you buy!
The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge is a true test of endurance and ‘mountain fitness’. Training beforehand will give you the upper hand. Improving your general overall fitness levels with cardio and strength training is a good place to start.
Start Slowly, Increase Slowly
A beginner’s mistake is doing too much too soon. Slowly increasing your intensity over time is the key to injury free pre-training. It’s also recommended to consult your physician before you undertake any physical activity and training program.
Focus on strengthening your quads, calves and core. Squats work wonders for the quads, while heal lifts are great for the calves. Planks are perfect for giving an overall core strength workout.
Do these a few times a week, alternating strength training and cardio.
Take the stairs! Walking up hills can’t be replicated by walking on flat terrain; your quads and calves will thank you every step of the way!
A few times a week undertake activities that will raise your heart rate, which will increase your overall fitness.
3-4 months beforehand:
30-90 minutes of constant physical activity, 2-3 times a week.
Lower mileage walks
1-2 months beforehand:
60-90 minutes of constant physical activity, 3 times per week – this can be mixed between swimming, running, biking or similar activity.
Walks 8-15 miles trying for these distances once a week, increasing your distance as you progress. Increase your distance, and climb and descend as many hills as you can, over variable terrain.
If you’re in a group, go for a training walk together, this will also help to motivate each other and create a great team dynamic.
Head for the Hills
The best training tip we can give for undertaking a high endurance challenge in the mountains is to get out in the mountains!
Find as many hills as you can and get out with your rucksack on your back as much as you can. If there is the opportunity trying out one of the individual peaks or similar beforehand will give you a great flavour for the challenge ahead.
Food and Drink
As you increase your mileage, endurance and training intensity food and drink become ever more so important. When you’re in the hills, the best advice we can give is to eat, drink and rest little, but often. Foods that you can snack on, provide high energy and easily digest are recommended.
Have fun, stop and smell the roses, snap photos, take in the views and enjoy yourself!
Find out more information about what it takes to complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge. Join us on one of our open group Y3P treks running this summer or with our expert guides on your own private expedition.