My Walking Must Haves

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog dr sheri productsAs the 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series draws closer, I hope each of you have been following the suggested training schedule to get you ready for what will be one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of your life. During my long training walks, I carry all of my essentials that I will use during my 60-mile journey. These are my absolute must haves:

  • Reusable water bottle so that I can hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  • Sunscreen so that I don’t finish the day the same color as my bright pink shirt.
  • Vaseline® or BodyGlide® to avoid those nasty blisters.
  • 2 pairs of broken in walking or running shoes and an extra pair of socks.
  • Kleenex tissues for my nose during those brisk cool mornings and because, well, I’m a cry baby.
  • Ibuprofen (400 mg every 8 hours as needed) because baby, at the end of 20 miles this nearly 50 year-old body hurts!

While you’re pulling together your “must haves” list keep in mind that the 3-Day can be a time to relax, slow down, take in nature’s beauty, socialize with friends and generally just enjoy being alive. Enjoy the peace of blocking out the world during those moments when you walk alone. Lastly, seize the opportunity to enjoy feeling your body in motion, observe your environment, and to see that the world is much more than the details of your life.

Six Things to Remember When an Injury Interrupts Your Training

Around this time of year, the air is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the natural result of these changes is that Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers are coming out of hibernation and diving into their Komen 3-Day training with vigor and enthusiasm.

So when an injury comes along—anything from shin splints to plantar fasciitis to back trouble—and takes you out of your 3-Day® training schedule, it can really hinder your momentum and leave you feeling frustrated. Keep reading for some advice on what to do when an injury sidelines you in the training game:

Don’t ignore the problem – You feel something. Maybe just a little twinge in your hip, or a dull throb on the bottom of your foot. And many of you (like me) will think, “It’s nothing, I can walk through it.” In some cases, it will be nothing, but if you start to feel something that just isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Be diligent about stretching, use ice and/or ibuprofen for the problem areas, and if those extra measures don’t work, don’t delay in seeing a doctor. A little bit of extra caution now will pay dividends when you’re healthy and whole for the 3-Day.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

Keep in mind why you’re here – The 3-Day is an inspiring and challenging athletic endeavor (let’s face it; walking 60 miles in 3 days is physically way beyond what most people would attempt), but the walking is only part of the reason why the 3-Day exists. The awareness that you’re creating, not to mention the fundraising you’re doing are making the real impact in the fight against breast cancer.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

Double down on fundraising – And speaking of fundraising, if you get hurt while training and have to take a break for a few days or even weeks, take heart in the fact that the money you’re raising can’t be affected by physical injury. Use your down time to send out another fundraising email or plan a fundraising event. If you’re feeling especially dramatic, you could even use the injury as a backdrop for a money-raising gimmick (“The doctor says I have to stay off my feet for 10 days; who will donate $20 for each day?”)

Cross train however you can – Even if you can’t walk, you don’t have to be still. Cross-training is a way to incorporate non-walking activities into your regimen, and there are all kinds of cross training tactics you can try while your injury heals. Swimming, for example, is a great option in the warming weather, and is particularly gentle on joints and muscles.

Don’t rush back – If you’re recovering from a walking-related ailment—particularly if it was something caused by overuse, or a traumatic injury—ease back into your training slowly. I know, you’re excited and eager to get back out there, but to reiterate what was said above, a little patience and restraint will benefit you greatly when you’re able to cross the finish line on Day 3 on your own two feet.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

60 miles is a goal, not a requirement – The frustrating truth is that sometimes injuries do get the best of us, and all the rest, stretching and patience in the world may not leave you equipped to walk 60 miles. That’s okay. Walking every step of those 60 miles should be your objective, but remember that it is in no way an obligation. You’ll get out there and walk as much or as little as you will, and we will be there to support you across every inch—whether you’re on foot, under the care of our outstanding medical crews, or carried the distance by the amazing bus and sweep teams.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

We’d love nothing more than for every one of our walkers to make it through their training completely unscathed, but if an injury does sneak through, we have no doubt that any one of you will weather the obstacle like the rock stars that you are.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAINING INFORMATION PROVIDED TO YOU IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SUSAN G. KOMEN 3-DAY IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE OR BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE AND ANY SUCH INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR SEEKING MEDICAL ADVICE OR TREATMENT FROM YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER. BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM OR FOLLOWING ANY RECOMMENDATIONS, ADVICE OR OTHER INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING TRAINING FOR THE KOMEN 3-DAY OR ANY ATHLETIC EVENT, YOU SHOULD FIRST CONSULT A PHYSICIAN AND HAVE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION.

4 Secrets to Successful Stretching

Jon L. is the Crew/Volunteer Coordinator for the Seattle 3-Day, but when he’s not working to support Seattle crew members, he’s also a long-distance runner with years of experience hitting the pavement. Jon agreed to be our guest blogger this week, to talk about the importance of stretching.

susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog training stretching

Coach Jon

You can safely assume that walking for three days, let alone three days that carry you 60 miles, will take a toll on one’s body. While it may seem like “just walking” to some, those who have done the 3-Day can certainly tell you it’s much more. There is a lot of time spent on your feet, which the majority of the general population is not used to. The pounding you get from walking on mostly hard surfaces, like sidewalks, can be tough on your muscles and joints. Throw in a couple of hills, and it could be a recipe for leg soreness. One of the most elegant and efficient ways to combat this stress on your body is by stretching.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog training stretching

Here are some basic tips to help you get the most out of your next batch of stretching:

  • Ease into your stretching routine – One of the biggest mistakes in developing a stretching routine for yourself, especially early on, is stretching too much, too soon. Your muscles have a baseline level of flexibility, which is determined based on how much the muscles are used and how much they have been cared for. If you overstretch—by stretching for too long or by pulling your muscles beyond their capacity—you can end up doing more harm than good.
  • No BOUNCING! – When stretching any muscle, you want to make sure you make unrushed, smooth and deliberate transitions. This allows your muscles to adapt slowly to the new sensation of being stretched. If you bounce, it adds quick and intense stress to your muscles, which could lead to pulls and strains. Remember, we’re trying to help your muscles, not add to their misery.
  • Find your breath – An important but often overlooked aspect of stretching is breathing. One of the best ways to help your muscles recover is by getting them nice clean oxygen. So make sure you remember to breathe, slowly and deeply, while you stretch to keep the fresh oxygen flowing.
  • Focus – Pay attention to the muscle that you are trying to stretch. This will help prevent overstretching, while allowing you to focus on helping that specific muscle to feel a little less sore. It also gives you time to remember that all-important breathing.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog training stretching

Remember, stretching is not a cure-all for muscle soreness. It is just one stepping stone in injury prevention. It does not replace consistent training and recovery, it simply allows you to get back to training with muscles that are looser and more responsive. If you feel like you are injured, or that you are developing an injury, please see you doctor right away.

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PLEASE NOTE: THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND TRAINING INFORMATION PROVIDED TO YOU IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SUSAN G. KOMEN 3-DAY IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE OR BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE AND ANY SUCH INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR SEEKING MEDICAL ADVICE OR TREATMENT FROM YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER. BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM OR FOLLOWING ANY RECOMMENDATIONS, ADVICE OR OTHER INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING TRAINING FOR THE KOMEN 3-DAY OR ANY ATHLETIC EVENT, YOU SHOULD FIRST CONSULT A PHYSICIAN AND HAVE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION.