Training for the Three Peaks Challenge
For all our challenge events, we strongly recommend considering how much training you will require. In order of increasing difficulty, our Surrey, Welsh, Yorkshire and National events require a good level of endurance fitness.
Consult a medical professional before beginning any new exercise routine. Listen to your body, and take regular rest days for recovery.
We suggest considering your training in two parts - hillwalking, and a range of other exercise. Including hillwalking when possible will ultimately give you direct feedback on how your fitness is progressing to the level required.
If you're starting from a lower level of fitness, we suggest graduating up from the Surrey or Welsh events, to the harder Yorkshire and National events.
Any local hillwalking where possible will be of great help - small hills lots of times will work well. Also use this time to get used to your walking boots and backpack.
Check the kit list for your event to make sure you're appropriately equipped - walking boots are required on all events.
Speed & Pace
On our challenges, we're aiming for an average speed of between 3-6km per hour. That's a pace of 10-20 minutes per kilometre.
If you're tracking your training with an app or a watch, this is a common measurement to directly compare how you're doing.
These are averages - we expect to be slower on an ascent, and faster on a descent.
Any aerobic fitness will be beneficial - anything that you find motivating to do regularly. Running, cycling, swimming, rowing, etc - combined with some strength exercises for the lower body. Squats and lunges are great, no weights required.
If you have access to a gym, stairmaster machines are handy if hills aren't readily available.
Rest and eat well
Take regular rest days during training to let your body recover.
Reduce exercise during the last week before your challenge, so you're well rested for the challenge itself.
Frequent Training Questions
How fit do I need to be?
You need a good level of endurance fitness, not to require to stop often when walking uphill.
Check the speed detailed on this page, and see how your current fitness compares.
If testing your fitness in the mountains, we would aim to walk up and down Snowdon in 4 hours, an average speed of about 3km per hour, or 20-minutes per kilometre - slower going up, quicker coming down.
How much time should I allow for training?
Time required for training depends on your existing fitness level. See how your fitness stacks up with a couple of hours of hillwalking, aiming for the speed discussed here.
Training time could vary from 3 months or more, steadily building up a suitable level of endurance fitness, to already being in condition for your challenge.
How fast do I need to walk?
Our groups typically walk at around 2-3.5 miles per hour, on average, over the course of a typical challenge.
No running is required on any of our events.
What kit should I train in when hillwalking?
Check the event kit list for your challenge. Walking boots are required on all our events, so we suggest training in these to make sure they're comfortable.
National, Yorkshire, Welsh, Surrey.
Example weekly training plan
Here's an example of a simple weekly training plan suitable for preparing for the Three Peaks. This can be tailored to suit your ability and access to facilities - gym, swimming pool, bike, local hills, etc.
||1-hour brisk walking, or 30-minutes jogging + light stretching
||Bodyweight exercises (squats, lunges, split-squats, press-ups, jumps, calf raises, etc)
||30-45 minutes of cycling, swimming, or dancing + light stretching
||Repeat Tuesday's bodyweight exercises or try new ones
||2-hour+ walk or hike, or other longer cardio exercise