Training for a triathlon? Here are 5 exhilarating walking routes to tackle
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When you’re standing on the first rung of a long training ladder, the journey can seem daunting. Your thoughts might turn to 5AM alarms, dark, cold mornings and gruelling hours on the road or in the pool. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.
Whether you’re tackling your first ever triathlon or endurance event, or you’re an Ironman veteran, hiking is the perfect low-impact activity to get those kilometres in. Plus, it’s a great way to maintain your sky-high fitness levels after an event, but in a slightly more leisurely way. Many athletes incorporate hiking into their regimes as a way of strengthening their legs and maintaining aerobic fitness and endurance with less risk of injury, as well as to relax and unwind mentally from all the exertion.
Whether you’re fell running, doing cross-country, cycling or hiking, Britain enjoys a stunning natural playground for lovers of outdoor exercise. So, get ready to swap your running shoes for a sturdy pair of hiking boots with these spectacular and physically rewarding routes from across Britain’s world-class walking network…
1. Stac Pollaidh, Scottish Highlands
If you want to combine the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Scotland with a brisk hike, this circular walk near Inverness includes a very steep summit climb, culminating in magnificent 360-degree views over Britain's greatest wilderness, with the added reward of possible sightings of golden eagles and red deer.
2. Class Tryfan North Ridge, Snowdonia, Wales
Though dwarfed by the nearby Mount Snowdon, Trfyan arguably presents a more fulfilling physical challenge. Qualifying as a grade 1 scramble, this exhilarating climb passes the mountain's most distinctive features, beginning with the Cannon Stone and, later, the twin Adam and Eve monoliths.
3. Kinder Scout, Peak District, Derbyshire
This is a route to devote a full day to, but you’ll be rewarded in spades with some of the finest views of the Peaks. This circular, high moorland walk runs along the Pennine Way from Edale station onto Kinder Scout, taking in panoramic views and the spectacular Kinder Downfall along the way. Adrenaline seekers will get their fix with plenty of steep, rocky ascents and descents.
4. St Ives, Cornwall
If you’re incorporating walking into your tri training, you could do a lot worse than a swim in the rolling waters off the southern tip of Cornwall, followed by this wonderfully scenic stroll. Heading out of the artists’ haven of St Ives, this exciting route joins a stretch of the South West Coast Path, following it along the rugged Atlantic shore. The route then heads inland, returning along an old 'coffin trail'.
5. Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
You can step back in history following this classically rugged trail. Starting at Housesteads, Britain’s most intact Roman fort, this walk showcases the most dramatic stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. You can look forward to fantastic views, particularly when snow settles on the moors. Allow plenty of time to look around Housesteads, as many of its walls are still standing almost 2,000 years on.
We’ve got ideas for hundreds of wonderful walking routes across England, Scotland and Wales, long and short, easy and challenging. Search for routes on our website. Or join a guided walk with a local Ramblers group. Find your nearest Ramblers group and choose a walk that suits your pace, fitness and interests.
Our simple tips on how to estimate your hiking speed considering factors such as different types of trails and terrain.
By equipping yourself with a few key first aid items you’ll be able to quickly treat any minor mishaps that occur when you are out walking.
A good pair of waterproof trainers or hiking shoes is essential for year-round adventures, especially given the UK’s notoriously unreliable weather.