The best way to train for mountain walking is by actually walking uphill
The best way to train for mountain walking is by actually walking uphill

Training for the National Three Peaks

The more you train, the more you'll enjoy the challenge - but what sort of training should you do?

Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon are all challenging mountains and you'll be covering more than 3,000 metres of ascent over a short period of time so you'll need to be fit.

You'll face a variety of mixed terrain with the occasional scramble - achievable to those with good levels of physical and mental stamina who have well-fitting boots and who have prepared well.

Steep crags, bog, unexpected weather conditions, tiredness, group dynamics and the fact that you're climbing three mountains, instead of the usual one, sets this apart from other challenges.

Sore knees, blisters, torn muscles and other niggles may make the difference between successful completion or not, so your training should be started early enough to flag up any weaknesses.

Train on hills

Getting started
Start off with short training walks on smaller hills at least three months before your challenge, then build up the length, height and difficulty as you get closer to your challenge date. Make sure you climb at least one mountain over 900 metres high before attempting the Three Peaks, so you aren’t in for a shock when you reach the foot of Ben Nevis.

Train in the gym

Train in the gym
At the gym, focus on the equipment which will help strengthen your legs - including quads, hamstrings and calves. Ask for advice on toning the muscles in the lower thighs to help support your knees for the long downhills.

Train with a backpack

Train with a backpack
You will be carrying a full rucksack on the challenge with up to four litres of water so replicate that in training by filling your pack with the same food and gear you intend to carry on the day, which should reduce issues like back ache.

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