3-Day Wet Weather Walking Advice

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event staff is in Michigan, getting everything ready to kick off our first 2014 event. On Monday, we (and everyone in the greater Detroit area) were deluged by a record-breaking summer thunderstorm, resulting in flooding and a whole lot of very wet Komen 3-Day staffers. Naturally, this got us thinking about tips for walking in rainy weather, and while the forecast looks clear for the 3-Day® this weekend (fingers crossed, knock on wood, wish on a star)…

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk michigan rain wet weather walking tips detroit forecast

Tuesday morning’s NBC 4cast. Looking good!

…we thought it would be a great time to talk about some strategies for staying as dry and comfortable as possible so you can keep moving. So I put out the S.O.S. (Save Our Shoes!) to the coaches and got some fantastic advice for how to trek through the tempests.

Keeping Feet Dry – Plastic Bag Method

  1. Heavily coat your clean, dry feet with your lubricant of choice (Vaseline, Hike Goo, Body Glide, etc.). Friction causes blisters, and friction increases in wet conditions; lubing up your feet well will help prevent this if they do get wet.
  2. Put on clean, dry socks.
  3. Put a clean, dry (are you sensing a theme?) plastic bag over each socked foot. Plastic grocery bags, small trash can liners or freezer bags work well. It’s best to use something that will cover up over your ankles and won’t bunch up in your shoes.
  4. Some people like to secure the bags around their ankles using duct tape, or by pulling a terrycloth wristband over their feet up to their ankles. The latter is easier to get off than tape.
  5. At this point, I also like to put on a second pair of socks over the plastic bags to keep them in place. It’s a matter of preference, and how comfortable you are with a thick layer inside your shoes.
  6. Put shoes on over bags (or over the second pair of socks).
  7. Bring extra bags, lubricant and socks so that you can reapply and change them along the way.

Your shoes will still get wet, but this method works great to keep your feet dry from the rain. That said, they may get a little sweatier than usual since they can’t “breathe” as well. The lubrication step and changing your socks/bags throughout the day are both really important.Komen_3day_rainy walking

Keeping Feet Dry – Duct Tape Method

Some walkers swear by duct tape as the best tool for keeping shoes and feet dry. I’ve personally never tried this, but one coach clued me in to the technique: “Just ‘mummy wrap’ your shoes. Start at the toes and wrap circles around the shoe (including the bottom) until you get up to the top. Wrap around the ankle and heel, doing the best you can to cover everything. You are basically covering every part of the shoe that might soak in water with a water protected cover. The water will bead off of the tape. Eventually as you are walking, the tape will wear off the sole of the shoe, but the top will stay on because it’s stuck on there. (It takes a long time for the tape on the bottom to wear off). It is surprisingly effective.” Obviously, this method would be a little tougher to replicate 2 or 3 times a day, but if you find something that works, go for it!

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk michigan rain wet weather walking tips duct tape

A version of the duct tape method

General Tips

  • Disposable ponchos will run you about a buck each, and can be found in the camping section of any sporting goods store or Target/Walmart, so grab 2 or 3 for each day and tuck them into your pack. If it starts raining, pull out that poncho and wear it!
  • Bring two pairs of shoes (recommended even if it’s not raining). If you soak one pair one day, you’ll at least have a dry pair to start with the next day.
  • Speaking of soaked shoes, if your shoes get wet, cram them full of crumpled newspaper at night. They will be dry in the morning. Really, stuff as much newspaper in your shoes as you can. You may have to change it during the night once the paper absorbs the water; have some crumpled up and ready, and when you have to go to the bathroom during the night, swap out the newspaper. Ya know – since you’re up anyway.
  • Wearing pants—weatherproof if you can find them—is recommended to help keep the rain from running directly into your shoes.
  • If you wear glasses, wear a hat with a bill to help keep your glasses dry, and bring a cloth to dry your glasses so you can see clearly when moving down the route.
  • Just because your skin is being rained on doesn’t mean the water is going where it needs to. Remember to keep hydrated.
  • No cotton! Wear clothing made of dry wick material (including undies!).
  • High quality, seamless tights will prevent wet pants and thighs from rubbing and chafing.
  • A tight, long-sleeved base layer top will help keep you from chafing under the arms when wet.
  • A rain jacket that extends longer than your torso will help keep the majority of chafing-prone areas dry and comfortable.
  • Wear reflective gear, bright colors, vest or LED head lamp so cars will see you through the rain.
  • Beware of freshly painted curbs; they’re slippery.
  • There are a couple other rainy walking tips in our 3-Day Walking Hacks blog post.
  • Camping in the rain? There are a few good tips in our 3-Day Camping Hacks post too.

Like with everything, it is ideal to test out any of these methods or products before you get to your 3-Day event, but that’s not always possible. Do what you can, keep an eye on the forecast, and be as prepared as possible. This is a good time to remind you that the 3-Day generally continues whatever the weather, so you should be ready to walk and camp in inclement weather. If the weather gets so severe that it might compromise safety, the 3-Day has a thorough back-up plan for evacuating camp and relocating participants.

When all is said and done, just remember that your safety and health should be your number one concern (they’re our number one concern!), and don’t ever forget that your part in the 3-Day is invaluable – rain or shine!

Double Duty: Raise Funds WHILE Training for the 3-Day

Summer is a busy time of year for Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers, most of whom are right in the thick of their training schedules, while also continuing to raise money toward their fundraising goals. But with only so many hours in the day, wouldn’t it be grand if there was some way to knock out your Komen 3-Day fundraising and training all at once?

Look no further! We’ve got a few fantastic fundraising ideas that incorporate training right into them. Talk about efficiency!susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog fundraising

Get Down to Business – When you’re heading out for a training walk, put on a 3-Day shirt, hat or wrap and tuck a few of your personalized 3-Day business cards (The3Day.org/cards) into your pack. When folks on the street take notice or ask about the 3-Day, hand them your business card and tell them why you’re walking. Whether it’s a neighbor you know or a complete stranger, remember that most potential donors simply need to be asked, and they’ll be happy to support you.

Smile and Say “Pleeeeease!” – You know all those selfies you take on your training walks then post to Facebook or Instagram? Include your personal fundraising URL on every single one. Need help setting up your personal web address? The coaches can help with that! Call them at 800-996-3DAY.

Work is Exercise – Seek out donations in exchange for services such as dog walking, babysitting, house cleaning, yard work or washing cars. These tasks will require some physical exertion on your part, so guess what: you just did some cross-training. Donations for services is an especially good strategy for young walkers who may not have as big a network of potential donors. (Think about it: if a teenager showed up at your house with a bucket, sponge and soap, wouldn’t you let them wash the car in your driveway for a $10 donation?)

You Train, Donors Gain – Set a date for a training walk where you’ll be covering an impressive number of miles (10 – 15). Advertise the training walk date on your Facebook page and/or by email. Ask people to pledge $1 – $5 per mile you will walk, and to make their donation to you online before your training walk day. Everyone who donates will be entered in an hourly drawing with a chance to win some prize of your choosing (a donated gift card, home baked cookies, etc.). Write the names of all entries on your training shirt (or on something else you are wearing) and post a Facebook or Instagram photo of yourself at the beginning of your walk. Also write their names on individual pieces of paper that you will carry with you. At every hour mark (when you’re stopping to stretch anyway…you are stopping to stretch every hour, right?), draw a winner and post updates on Facebook. Your donors will be excited about following your progress throughout the day.

“No, no, don’t get up. I’ll come to you!” – Reach out to friends and family members who live reasonably close to you, and tell them you’ll walk X miles to their homes to pick up donations from them. That way, you get a few minutes of face time with a friend or neighbor, you log some training miles and you collect money toward your fundraising goal.

Get Moving in One Place – If you have access to a treadmill, ask a local business if you can set it up outside by the front door, hang a donation bucket on the front and walk on the treadmill for a few hours. This will be a training walk and a fundraising event all in one. Of course people will want to know what you’re doing (or just gawk), and that’s your cue to tell them about the 3-Day. Share how much money you’re raising to fund a cure for breast cancer, and show them where the bucket is. If they don’t drop any money into the bucket (even if they do), hand them your 3-Day business card and ask them to read your story online (where you have personalized your fundraising page) and make a donation from their computer or smart phone.

 

What other ways can you think of to combine training and fundraising?

3-Day Training Tweet Chat Recap!

We came, we saw, we tweeted.

After the success of our Fundraising Tweet Chat on May 29, we followed up on July 9 with another Tweet Chat all about training. Dozens of 3-Dayers and coaches met in cyberspace to tweet about training schedules, blister prevention and other walking-related tips and tricks. The hour-long conversation flew by, and we all came away with some fantastic ideas and inspiration.

Some highlights are posted below, and you can see the whole conversation by visiting the 3-Day Twitter page (www.twitter.com/the3day), or searching for the hashtag #the3day, then scrolling to the July 9 posts.

Keep the training conversation going on all of the 3-Day social media sites!