Blister Prevention Advice for 3-Day Walkers

Walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® can take a toll on you physically, and the most commonly affected body part is sure to be your feet. Blisters are one of the most frequently treated medical issues on the Komen 3-Day, and a bad blister (or two, or ten…) can sideline an otherwise healthy walker.

The good news is you don’t have to resign yourself to living with blisters. There are steps you can take to stop a blister before it starts and further actions you can take to deal with a blister if you do get one.susan g. komen 3-Day walk breast cancer blog blister prevention tips

What is a blister? – The type of blisters that most 3-Day® walkers experience are friction blisters (as opposed to, say, a blister from a burn or an insect bite). When part of your foot rubs up against something—your sock or shoe or another body part, such as toes rubbing against toes—repeatedly, the top layer of skin will separate from the underlying layer. The separation will fill with fluid, causing a painful blister.

Stay Dry – Moisture can exacerbate the friction that causes blisters, so it’s important to keep your feet as dry as possible. If you’re prone to excessive sweating, consider using foot powder to minimize the moisture. It’s also a good idea to change your socks midway through a long walk (calculate the halfway point of a 10+ mile training walk and stop there, or swap socks at the lunch stop on the 3-Day).susan g. komen 3-Day walk breast cancer blog blister prevention tips

Socks – Speaking of socks, choosing the right ones can mean the difference between blister-free tootsies and a painful walk. Stay away from 100% cotton socks and opt instead for socks made with some sort of moisture-wicking material (look for names like Coolmax® or Dri-Fit on the packaging), which will draw moisture away from your skin. Also, make sure your socks fit snugly and don’t bunch up inside your shoes or around your toes; folds in fabric are a common cause of friction blisters.susan g. komen 3-Day walk breast cancer blog blister prevention tips

Shoes – Good shoes might well be the most important gear for 3-Day walkers, so take the time to get yourself fitted with shoes that are right for your feet. We recommend that you buy shoes from an outfitter who is knowledgeable about athletic footwear, as they will be able to see how you walk and put you in shoes that are right for your particular stride. Consider shopping at a store that specializes in running/walking shoes, as opposed to a “big box” sporting goods store. Taking the time to find the right shoes could ultimately make the difference in whether you get blisters or not.

Preventive Treatments – Aside from the foot powder mentioned above, there are other pre-walk treatments you can apply to prevent blisters before they start. I’ve had great success with the “foot lube” method. Lubricating products such as SportSlick™, HikeGoo BodyGlide® or even regular old petroleum jelly can be applied directly to the skin; slab it on your heels, the balls of your feet, between all your toes and anywhere else that’s prone to friction on your own feet. Put your clean, dry socks on over your gelled-up feet, and you’re good to go (and of course, you’ll repeat the process when you change your socks at the halfway point of your walk). You’ll feel like you’re walking through Jell-O for the first few steps, but before long you won’t even notice it. Meanwhile, the lubricant will keep a slick layer between your skin and your socks, never letting enough friction build up to form a blister. I’ve been using this method for over 10 years and have not gotten a single blister in that time.susan g. komen 3-Day walk breast cancer blog blister prevention tips

Ouch! – What if, in spite of your best prevention efforts, you still find yourself feeling pain in a particular spot on your foot? We use the term “hot spot” to define these pre-blister points, because it will literally feel like a little area of localized heat or irritation on your skin. This is not a full-blown blister yet, so as soon as you start to feel a hot spot coming on, stop walking and treat it by applying more powder or lubricant, or bandaging the spot to protect it from further friction. Many walkers prefer bandaging products like moleskin or molefoam over other adhesive bandages, but as with all of your 3-Day gear and products, you should try them out during your months of training to discover what works best for you personally.susan g. komen 3-Day walk breast cancer blog blister prevention tips

 

You can find more information about blister care and prevention and blister treatment can be found in your 3-Day Participant Center.

Join us for our second 3-Day Tweet Chat on July 9 – Training Tips!

With the first Susan G. Komen 3-Day® rapidly approaching, we’d love to hang out with you on Twitter and chat about training. Training is one of the best ways to ensure your success on the Komen 3-Day, so let’s share our best tips and strategies for successful training.

Join us on Wednesday, July 9 at 6:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. EDT, and 8:00 p.m. CT) for a Tweet Chat all about training. Never done a Tweet Chat before? That’s okay! Some people call them Twitter Parties or Twitter Meet-Ups, but whatever the name, it works like this:

  1. Sign on to Twitter at 6:00 p.m. PDT (or a few minutes before).
  2. Make sure you’re following @The3Day on Twitter.
  3. On Twitter, search for #The3Day, which is the official hashtag we will use for this Tweet Chat.
  4. You can also use the website TweetChat.com. Sign in, enter the hashtag #The3Day, and you’ll be able to watch and tweet in real-time with us.
  5. We’ll ask some questions to get things started, and we will also share tips and tricks from 3-Day veterans and coaches. This will be a great way to meet your fellow 3-Day participants, ask your questions, and motivate yourself to keep your training on track. Our 3-Day Social Media Team, Alyssa and Erin, can’t wait to tweet with you!SGK_3-Day_Twitter

Not on Twitter yet? Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  • It’s free and easy to join at Twitter.com.
  • Go to twitter.com/the3day and click “Follow” to make sure our messages show up in your feed.
  • A hashtag is a way to “file” tweets and collect them under a certain topic, so you’ll be able to see everything everyone is tweeting under this hashtag. Just search for #the3day in Twitter and you’ll be able to see everyone’s messages about the 3-Day, not just ours.
  • When writing your own messages, keep in mind that tweets can only be 140 characters at a time, so it’s best to keep things short n’ sweet.

 

If you can’t make this Tweet Chat, you can always search #The3Day on Twitter to see all of the tweets that came from this Tweet Chat. Do you have any questions? Ask here, and remember, the 3-Day coaches are only a phone call away at 800-996-3DAY!

June Meet-up Round-up!

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is halfway over! Here in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® world, this means that we’re even closer to the start of the event season, and Komen 3-Day walkers and crew members are busy preparing with training walks, meet-ups and clinics. The 3-Day® will be here before we know it! Take a look at some of our local events from June.

Michigan

Members of two of Michigan’s largest teams, The BC Babes and the Hines Pink Pathers, joined forces to get to know each other a little better on a beautiful June training walk. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june training michigan

Twin Cities

Twin Cities walkers came out on June 28th to attend a Packing Workshop held at TC Running Co. in Eden Prairie. They learned some tips to make their 3-Day camping experience easy, comfortable and fun! New friendships were made, tenting partners were found and all enjoyed some delightful discounts off clothing and gear. They are ready to go!Komen_3Day_june_twin cities_get packed clinic

Seattle

The Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure took place on Sunday, June 1 at Seattle Center. There were over 7,000 participants this year, and 3-Day coaches Aubrey and Jon saw lots of 3-Day faces there. The weather held out and we had a beautiful event with lots of sunshine and plenty of friends. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june seattle puget sound race for the cure

Atlanta

Stone Mountain Park – the site of the Atlanta 3-Day Opening Ceremony – was the setting for a beautiful morning training walk. Coach Tara enjoyed some company with a great group of motivated ladies who walk there almost every weekend. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june stone mountain training walk

We discovered a new Walk & Talk path and some wonderful new walkers to join us. It was a very humid night, but we all made it and even enjoyed getting some training in on the hills. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june atlanta training lawrenceville

Dallas/Fort Worth

Coach Gayla rocks her signature selfie at this Walk & Talk in Richardson. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june dallas fort worth training

Eight walkers showed up for a Get Prepped Clinic in Rockwell, hosted by our friends at New Balance.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june get prepped clinic dallas fort worth rockwall

Nothing could dampen the spirits of Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day team Pink Soles in Motion, who trained right through the North Texas flooding rains on June 22nd. On their walk, they met a young woman who was holding a rummage sale to raise money for her friend who was recently diagnosed. It was a poignant reminder of why they walk.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june dallas fort worth pink soles in motion rain trainingsusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june dallas fort worth pink soles in motion rain training rummage sale

We had a great casual meet-up with new and veteran walkers at The Londoner in Frisco.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june dallas fort worth meet up londoner frisco

San Diego

Thirty-five wonderful walkers attended a Walk & Talk with Cliff’s Crew and friends in Fullerton. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june san diego fullerton cliffs crew

San Diego 3-Day coach Kim hopped in on a training walk in Daley Ranch. As Kim put it, “Sometimes we just want some dirt under our feet!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june san diego daley ranch training

We had a great Walk & Talk in Encinitas – gorgeous day, 6 amazing miles and 15 fabulous people. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june san diego encinitas training walk

Bonus Meet-ups!

Chicagoland – As a special thank you for their dedication to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, coaches Jennifer and Eileen hosted a Chicagoland 3-Day gathering on Thursday, June 5th in Park Ridge, IL. It was a night of fun, friendship and laughs. We had a wonderful time celebrating with our Chicagoland 3-Day community.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june chicagoland reunion

Tampa – Atlanta coach Tara ventured further south to the Sunshine State for a Walk & Talk with some Tampa Bay walkers, including members of Team 211. It was a morning walk along the Bayshore with 20 amazing women, and the morning included a beautiful sunrise, muffins, stingray sightings and a surprise birthday party for Team 211’s captain Sylvia—cake included, of course! Tara shared, “This team really is family, and I was so honored to be welcomed in and even invited back. They are working hard to keep the Tampa walkers engaged and excited to make their travels to other 3-Day cities.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june tampa team 211susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk june tampa

 

Looking to find a meet-up in your area? Check out the 3-Day calendar of events here.