Top tips for Yorkshire Three Peaks training


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If you’re walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks for charity, we’ve got you covered. Our CEO, Natalie Moran, is hiking the Yorkshire Three Peaks this August for Simon on the Streets. We’ve included her top training tips in this blog post.

The key to training for the three peaks is preparation. Give yourself enough time to train for the challenge and build your training up slowly. And use our CEO’s tips to get ready for the ultimate Yorkshire challenge!

What is the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge?

The Yorkshire Three Peaks is a popular walking challenge in Yorkshire. It takes on the three peaks of Pen-y-ghent (694m), Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (723m) – some of the biggest and best hills in Yorkshire.

The challenge is 24 – 26 miles with a total ascent of 1,585 metres. To put it in perspective, it’s the distance of a marathon with an elevation higher than Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. Every year, thousands of people attempt to conquer the three peaks.

Top tips for training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks

Now you know how challenging the three peaks is, let’s discuss our top tips for preparing for this hike. Please note, we advise anyone looking to take on the three peaks to seek guidance from an appropriate professional (e.g., your doctor) before undertaking training.

Improve your fitness level

While hiking the three peaks, your body needs to maintain fairly strenuous activity for prolonged periods of time. So, improving your overall fitness level is important. Work on your general fitness with cardio and aerobic exercise. Increase the duration of your exercise week-on-week to slowly increase your intensity. This training will improve your body’s ability to process oxygen and maintain higher energy levels throughout the hike.

You also want to practice exercises focusing on your legs, core and upper body strength. Your legs will carry you throughout the challenge, whilst your upper body will carry the weight of your pack. Your core will help you maintain balance on ascents and descents on the hills.  

Train on hills

That’s right, hills. Get yourself walking up as many hills as possible.  Hill walking is a specific type of hiking that requires both mental and physical fitness and perseverance. Start to include a few small hills in your walks. Work your way slowly up from small hills to bigger peaks. You need to be training for this challenge far in advance to give yourself time to adjust to hill walking. If you can practice on the three peaks themselves, do so.

Walking on hilly terrain is also important. The peaks are a rugged, high mountain hill walk. Some of the ground is boggy and difficult to pass. Walking in the countryside will help you acclimatise to this terrain.

It’s a great idea to train with the backpack you’ll be using on the day. You’ll be carrying your food and water for the hike , so replicate the weight you will carry on the day of the three peaks. That way, the weight won’t be a shock on the big day.

Use the right equipment

There is nothing worse, then turning up on the day of the challenge in brand new hiking boots. Or even worse, hiking in your trainers. Hiking boots will provide support for your feet and ankles. Make sure you train in them and they’re comfortable to wear and don’t rub. The last thing you want is an outbreak of blisters while walking the three peaks.

Speaking of footwear, hiking socks are a must. They’ll prevent rubbing and keep your feet warm and dry. Packing a spare pair is recommended, giving your feet a refreshed feeling when you swap them over halfway through the hike.   

Effective training for the three peaks is all about taking it slow and increasing your training little by little. Work to increase your fitness levels. Practice walking on hills. And always wear the right footwear. You’ve got this!

If you’re planning to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, you can raise vital funds for Simon on the Streets and provide hope for people experiencing homelessness in West Yorkshire. We’re asking people to walk with Simon this August and commit to walking 26 miles (that’s the length of the Yorkshire Three Peaks) to support the homeless. Find out more and take part today.  

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