3-Day Training Throwback: Cold Weather Walking Tips

January may still be a little bit early in the year to start your official 3-Day training, but if you’re eager to get started training your body to be able to walk 60 miles this summer, let’s chat about walking when the weather is not so pleasant. You may be wondering, “How can I get my 3-Day training walks in when it’s minus freezing degrees outside?”

Here are some tips for walking in a winter wonderland:

Dress for the occasion – Before stepping outside, you’ll probably be inclined to bundle up in your down parka, but if you’re taking a walk, it may be better to dress in lighter, thinner layers, and shed as you go if you need to. Moisture-wicking fabric is best for the layer closest to your skin. You may be cold, but if you’re moving, you’re sweating, and the only thing worse than being really cold is being really cold and wet. Also, don’t forget hats and gloves, and whenever possible, wear bright colors and/or reflective materials so you stand out against your white-grey environment.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog 60 mile training cold weather

Warm your digits – One 3-Day coach loves those chemical-activated hand and foot warmers (available in the camping section of any sporting goods store). They are a quick, inexpensive way to keep your fingers and toes toasty. They fit snugly inside your gloves and your shoes and will ease the shock of the freezing temps on your extremities.

Take care of your skin – Cold air and wind can really do a number on exposed skin, so don’t forget to put on moisturizer before heading out. Sunscreen, too, is a must have for training any day of the week, any time of the year.

Hydrate – Drinking water when it’s hot out is a no brainer. You crave the cool water to quench the heat. It can be harder to remember to hydrate in the cold, but it’s no less essential when you’re exercising. If you normally carry your water in a fanny pack while you walk, think about holding it in your hand while walking in the cold, as an ever-present reminder to sip as you step.

Cool it on the mileage – There are many reasons why the 3-Day events take place in the late summer and fall, and it’s not just about walking those 60 miles in nicer weather; it’s also because we know that many of you superstar walkers can’t even really start training until the ground beneath you thaws out. But if you’re the type of go-getter who just can’t wait until the mercury rises, you can at least be comforted knowing that it’s okay to keep your walks short and sweet at this point. Once spring comes around and mother nature is a more agreeable training partner, then you can start upping the distance of your training walks.

Choose your route carefully – Be certain that you’re walking someplace familiar, and be ready to pay close attention to the terrain with every step. If the sidewalks have not been cleared of ice and snow, walk in the street. (And on that note, make sure you’re wearing good shoes that have a little bit of traction on the sole.) Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If you get lost in a snow drift, they’ll want to know where to start digging!

Stay indoors – Wait, you’re not off the hook for training! But if it’s just too nasty outside, find someplace indoors to get moving. While we don’t recommend that you do all of your 3-Day training on a treadmill, it’s a perfectly good alternative to outdoor walking if you need it. No treadmill? Throw on your shoes and walk on an indoor track, through a shopping mall, or up and down the stairs in your office building. One of our coaches also suggested college campuses as places that often have large and/or interconnected buildings, and lovely grounds you can walk through.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog indoor track cold weather training

Twin Cities coach Stephanie’s selfie on an indoor track in her neighborhood

Tell us your favorite cold weather walking tips!

 

Ways to Get Walkin’ at Work

Preparing your body to walk 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® takes a lot of time and effort. If you have a full-time job, it may be a little more difficult to find time to devote exclusively to your Komen 3-Day training. There are certainly plenty of jobs out there that require folks to be on their feet anyway (we salute YOU, mail carriers, teachers, servers, retail salespeople, medical professionals and many more), but if your job is one that has you stationed at a desk, don’t worry: with some creative thinking, you can easily work some walking into your work day. Here are some ways to supplement your steps while putting in your 9 to 5.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training

Park Productively – Sometimes getting that extra bit of walking in is as simple as parking your car a little farther from the door. Don’t drive to work? Think about getting off the train or bus one stop earlier than normal and walking the rest of the way.

Go Out of Your Way for Face Time – No, not the FaceTime app. Just the opposite, in fact. If you need to chat with a co-worker in another office or cubicle, get up and go directly to them instead of calling or emailing.

Take the Stairs – Not much more to say about that one!

Start a Workplace Walking Group – Recruit some of your co-workers to join you for walking breaks. They don’t have to be long; even just a 10-15 minute mid-morning or post-lunch stroll will help get you moving. Having other people who count on you to join them will keep you motivated to keep moving.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training

Put it in the Books – Most working professionals keep a detailed calendar or datebook with all of their appointments, meetings and conference calls. Use that time-management tool to schedule some walking time too. If it’s slated on the calendar, you’ll be less likely to get caught in the “just couldn’t make time for it today” rut.

Walk and Talk – If you can make conference calls or join virtual meetings from your mobile phone, think about taking a walk while you’re on the call. This practice can have the dual benefits of getting some walking into your day, and also help you stay focused on the conversation when you’re not distracted by everything at your desk.

Work-from-home? – Good news! The options may be even more plentiful for you in the work-at-home community. In most cases, you can easily take a stroll around your neighborhood during break times (once you’ve put it in your calendar, or course). If you’re like me and want to stay in your pajamas as you work from home, think about making it a priority to get yourself dressed every morning; you’ll be more inclined to actually step out of the house if you’re wearing actual clothes.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training

What other ways can you get creative about walking during the work day? Post your ideas in the comments below.

Keep Moving When You’re Not Officially Training

January. A time for new beginnings and new opportunities. But for those of you whose 2015 plans include participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, January may not seem like an ideal time to be thinking about training just yet. Hopefully, you’re using the early part of the year to focus on getting registered, starting your fundraising and recruiting teammates to walk with you (and for many of you, you’re also just trying to keep from freezing). But that doesn’t mean that your physical activity has to be neglected, even if you’re not “officially” training for the Komen 3-Day yet. Here are a few ways that you can keep active before you dive into your 3-Day® training in the next few months.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training

Get Online – So you’re stuck at home, not able to get out and walk. Cross-training (adding a variety of physical activities, besides walking, to your training plan), while enjoyable in the great outdoors, can just as easily be accomplished inside a home, gym or even your office, especially with the help of the internet. There is no shortage of fitness websites and YouTube videos that will guide you through a heart-pumping work-out, no matter how much or how little time you have to do it. Not interested in the constraints of a structured work-out? Just fire up you favorite music and treat yourself to a 10-minute dance party. Goodness knows there’s lots of dancing on the 3-Day, so it really is a form of training that will benefit you directly when your event rolls around.

Snow Fun – Much of the country has been hit with some pretty intense snowfall this month, so if you’re stuck in one of these winter wonderlands, the snow can be a great source of physical activity options. Nordic sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are outstanding cross-training possibilities, or even snow-play like sledding or building a snowman will get the heartrate up. And though no one likes the chores associated with the snowy months, think about how many muscles you use shoveling the walk!

Walk! – Okay, so even if you’re not following the 3-Day training schedule yet, walking is still an outstanding way to keep yourself moving any day of the year.

 

How do you like to work in some physical activity when you’re not officially training for the 3-Day?