INSTRUCTOR’S INSIGHT: How To Recover After The 3 Peaks Challenge

04 July 2019

HOW TO RECOVER AFTER THE THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE

The NY3P challenge is no easy feat. You don’t do something like this every day, and it’s going to take its toll on your body. So how can you tackle recovery best? We’ve put together a handy guide to maximise your recovery below.

A FEW STATS ON THE NY3P CHALLENGE

Here’s a few key stats to remind you of what the day entails…

  • You will be climbing the three highest peaks in Yorkshire. Three mountains in one day, you’ll be climbing Pen-y-Ghent at 694m, Whernside at 736m and Ingleborough at 723m high.
  • You will walk a total distance of 37km (24 miles). That’s the same distance as 7.4 Park Runs or 2 miles under a marathon!
  • You’re gonna ascend 1381 metres, or 4531 feet in total. That’s approximately 4 and a quarter Eiffel Towers (it is 324 metres up to its tip).
  • It should take you around 12 hours. 12 hours (of walking!) is the target time for the challenge. Most complete it in a little less than this.
  • Your body is going to work hard. It is expected that you’ll burn between 5,000 and 6,000 calories as you walk the 56,000-60,000 steps depending on your body weight. What a work out!

RECOVERY

While you might think that recovery starts as soon as you finish the challenge, there are ways that you can aid your recovery before and during the NY3P challenge. All of the below tips, informed by Pete @ NY3P will help you recover after you’ve ascended the last peak of this bucket list worthy achievement.

BEFORE THE CHALLENGE

“Recovery starts before you finish.”

  • Arm your body with carbs the night before. Have a carb packed meal like Spaghetti Bolognese or something similar the night before your challenge. As well as being delicious, this is going to lay a great foundation for the next day. Carbs are a source of energy; your going to be using it!

DURING THE CHALLENGE

“Don’t faff, keep moving.”

  • Stay in a rhythm throughout the day. Don’t faff around, keep moving throughout the course of the day. This will prevent you from getting cold or your muscles seizing up. You need to keep plodding along, even though it will be hard and all you want to do is have a rest. You can do this when you finish the challenge!

“Eat and drink right.”

  • Make sure that you eat right on the day. Stay hydrated and eat correctly on the day of the challenge. Start with a light, yet protein-packed brekkie like protein yoghurt topped with muesli (give the full English a miss). Now you are in the snacking little and often mentality, this is exactly what you’re going to do throughout the challenge. Pack a variety of bite sized snacks for consistent, optimum energy and nutrition, and dip into your stores regularly (while you are walking). You don’t want to risk getting cold or your muscles seizing up by stopping to have a picnic. Think trail mix, dark chocolate, avocado brownies, apples, Jelly Babies and peanut butter sarnies cut into pieces.
  • Don’t forget to drink right too. Keep your hydration levels up throughout the day of your challenge. Sip small amounts every 15 minutes or so. Tip: for an extra energy boost, and to replenish the salts you are losing through your sweat, drop in some High 5 Zero tablets.

POST CHALLENGE

“Be proactive and help yourself.”

  • Stretch it all out. After you’ve finished the challenge make sure to stretch. This needs to be a good 20 to 30 minutes of full body stretching or yoga. This may be the last thing you want to do after walking for 12 hours, but it’s going to really help your recovery.
  • Don’t stop. Whatever you do (and you are going to want to do this so bad), do not veg out post challenge. You need to keep moving, not at the same pace as you have been, but moving nonetheless. If you stop all activity, you’re going to seize up and this will be worse.
  • Take a regimented approach. Your body is not going to want to keep moving and eating/drinking after climbing three mountains, you’re going to want to crash out in bed or on the sofa. Your mind needs to take over and keep going through the motions.
  • Take the next day off work. If you are due to work the day after the challenge, maybe take the day off in advance to proactively help your body to recover with all of the above tips. You’re bound to feel a bit out of it the day after the challenge.

“It’s easy to be lazy when you’ve worked hard.”

  • If you’re driving home straight after the challenge…Don’t just get in the car and sit there all the way home. Some of you have a few hours to travel back home and this is not good for recovery. You need to break your drive home up, and stop for little walks to prevent your muscles from seizing up.
  • If you’re staying over somewhere the night of the challenge…The same applies to if you are staying over somewhere on the night of the challenge, before driving home the next day. Don’t just stop and chill like you’re on holiday, make sure you are staying active by either going for little walks too, or doing a spa day.

On a final note, recovery is not simply something you do after a major challenge like the NY3Ps, you need to start it before the challenge by eating a hearty meal the night before and packing the right things for the next day (a load of water and snacks). During the challenge you need to keep moving and keep your energy and hydration levels up, and post challenge, you need to take a regimented approach and keep moving even through every fibre in your body is screaming for you to crash out in bed or veg in front of the TV. All of these tips will massively reduce recovery time, by as much as two days. Think 1 day vs. three whole days of discomfort.

Good luck and enjoy the challenge!