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Fitness &Training

It´s important that all participants taking in the Prostate Cancer Research Centre (PCRC) − Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge are reasonably mountain fit before starting the challenge and this is best achieved through regular hill walking. Fitness programmes at your local gym will also help.

We strongly recommend a "training" visit to one of the Welsh 3 Peaks or a mountain closer to where you live. This provides an opportunity to improve fitness, brush up on navigation skills and ensure that walking boots and all your other kit works well.

How fit do I need to be ?

It´s difficult to define exactly how fit we need to be to successfully complete the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge. We all have different levels of basic fitness depending on age, lifestyle and the level of physical activity normally undertaken on a day by day basis. But whatever your level of normal fitness it´s fairly important to be "Mountain fit" in preparation for the Challenge. This is your body's ability to cope with steadily climbing paths and tracks, on rocky and uneven ground, for a few hours, then to spend a further few hours descending, carrying a rucksack, climbing over styles, scrambling up steep sections, walking over wet and boggy ground, and then being able to recover in a reasonable period.

The more 'mountain fitness' you can achieve before your challenge, the higher your chance of success on the day..! Not only does training in the hills and mountains prepare your body, it also helps prepare your mind. If you've managed to encounter wind, rain, muddy footpaths, long steady climbs, and short sharp climbs before your actual challenge, then you will have better mental capacity to deal with them.

Training for the Challenge

Training days in the hills and mountains also enable you to test all of your kit (especially rucksacks, waterproofs, and of course - walking boots), practise your basic navigational skills, decide what snacks and drinks will suit you best, give you a realistic expectation of what your Welsh Three Peaks Challenge may involve. So the best training you can do for the Welsh 3 Three Peaks Challenge is to organise t a few challenging day walks and hikes in the 2 or 3 months leading up to the Challenge!

Regular gym workouts will help to build up your endurance, stamina and aerobic capacity especially if a qualified personal trainer provides you with a training programme designed specifically to help you reach your goals or objectives.

If you are not into gym workouts there are lots of other ways to improve general levels of fitness. You could for example take part in some other activities:

Swimming. A great low impact activity for all round improvement.

Jogging: Gentle jogging - perhaps mixed with some brisk walking and some uphill sections - can not only help increase your endurance and stamina, but also tone some of the muscles required for mountain walking.

Cycling or Mountain Biking: Great for endurance, especially when cycling uphill or into the wind!

Walking: And lots of it! But you will need to make it harder than your usual stroll in the park to feel any benefit. Finding local hills, sections of steps, or muddy paths will also help.

Developing your own training programme will depend very much on your starting levels of fitness and the time you have available to undertake various fitness activities. A Typical 3 month programme might look like:

A typical 3 month Training Programme

Month 1

Take 2/3 mile walks once a week over flat ground (or with some gentle slopes) − walk as briskly as you feel able

Gym workout once a week or instead swim, jog or ride a bike for say 30 minutes.

Month 2

Increase walks to 5 / 6 miles once a week but try to get out into any local hills for one or two of them.

Gym Workout once per week (or twice if you can manage it) or instead swim, jog or cycle for up to an hour if possible

Month 3

Continue the walks programme as in Month two except on 2 occasions try to get out into hills / mountains in your local area and plan to walk 10 miles and include as many steep sections as you can.

Gym Workout once per week (or twice if you can manage it) or instead swim, jog or cycle for up to an hour if possible

If there is no access to mountains or higher hills in your locality then try to make use of any hilly area and go up and down several times to simulate a higher hill. Also make use of any stairs or steps − going up and down several times will greatly improve fitness levels.

Supporting the Snowdon 500 and Welsh 3 peaks challenges.

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