But there are a number of things that you can do to make life easier for yourself.
Firstly, prepare your body for the Challenge ahead. Walking up and down mountains for extended periods of time puts a strain on specific muscles which aren’t often used. For example, the hip flexor which comes into use to raise the leg can really take a pounding and we have seen people withdraw after Ben Nevis as theirs have become too painful. Many people purely concentrate on Cardiovascular fitness, which is a key part of your preparation but you need to see the bigger picture. We would advise at least 16 weeks of specific preparation in order to prepare your body adequately. We also provide all our customers with a personalised fitness progamme to follow, which targets all these areas of the body before they get on the mountain!
Secondly, Navigation. We never cease to be amazed by the number of people who approach us at Wasdale Head to ask us “which way is Scafell mate”? Scafell Pike is a navigation nightmare in poor weather and good map and compass skills are essential. Don’t be tempted to rely on a GPS either – they are notoriously inclined to give false readings in the area of Scafell Pike summit! You shouldn’t assume that because your Challenge is in mid-Summer that the weather will be clear; some of the worst weather we experienced last year was in mid-July! If you are in a team don’t just rely on one person to navigate, it’s very much a team effort. Get one member to “check navigate”, another to count paces, another to “tick off” features on the ground as the team passes them. A group effort like this won’t go far wrong if everyone has the necessary skills and knows what they should be doing. The best advice we can give is to always prepare for the worst conditions possible – anything else is a bonus!
Finally, you really need to check out every piece of kit, equipment and clothing you’ll be using on your challenge well before the day of the event. This will also increase your self-confidence. The best way to do this is get your team, colleagues or friends together and head for the mountains. Doing this will also have the added bonuses of getting used to walking with weight on your back, walking in boots, eating and drinking on the move plus improving your mountain-specific fitness.
We are running a number of Three Peaks Challenge training weekends during the summer. All participants will be given a personalised fitness programme in addition to valuable navigation training whilst getting a close look at the route for the Three Peaks itself. Why not get yourself booked on one and give yourself the best possible chance of success?