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?

60 Miles, 101 Pounds: Meet Rhonda of the Seattle 3-Day

Beyond the incredible impact your steps and fundraising make toward fighting breast cancer on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, one of the perks of walking is the gift of fitness. With a dedicated training schedule and long walks, many Komen 3-Day walkers find themselves enjoying a healthier, fitter version of themselves.

And sometimes, that healthier, fitter “you” comes with an extraordinary story. Meet Rhonda, from Maple Valley, Washington, a first-time Seattle walker on Team Tracy. Through her training and preparation for the 3-Day®, Rhonda has lost a remarkable lost 101 pounds. “This is more than just my weight loss story,” said Rhonda. Rhonda decided to make a change when she saw her son was also struggling with his weight, and was being bullied in school. Education was their first step: Rhonda and her son went and saw a nutritionist, and they went to a class to learn about portion sizes, healthy eating, and fitness. “I set a goal every month to change my life. The first goal was to not drink carbonated drinks. I switched over to water and I probably lost 20 pounds off of that goal alone. As I started losing weight I started gaining energy, so I would go for walks,” she said. As Rhonda began to walk, she also began to fall in love with fitness. “The walks were so therapeutic for me that there were times I had to call my daughter and say “It’s too dark, can you come and get me?”

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Rhonda lost 65 pounds, and then found herself at a stopping point as she became comfortable with her changing body. However, somebody made fun of her, and Rhonda found new motivation from that experience. “I went and lost another 20 or 30 pounds, and I was still on the downward trend, and then my boyfriend asked me to marry him. I thought, I gotta lose more weight!” As Rhonda kept losing weight, she also began to really get in shape, noting that when you lose weight, it’s not about just dropping the pounds, it’s also about toning and adjusting to a newer, healthier you.

Rhonda has always wanted to do the 3-Day. “My mom is a double survivor, and my stepmom is a survivor. I always wanted to do the 3-Day but I was never in shape for it,” she said. Rhonda had wanted to do the 3-Day last year but was on vacation, so 2014 was the perfect time to enjoy her first 60-mile adventure. “I’m having a blast!” she said.

Before and After photo courtesy of Rhonda: Rhonda's 'Before' was 86 pounds ago, and she's lost another 15 since the "After" was taken.

Before and After photo courtesy of Rhonda: Rhonda’s ‘Before’ was 86 pounds ago, and she’s lost another 15 since the “After” was taken.

She admits that in addition to adopting healthy habits like eating right, getting enough sleep, drinking water, and exercise, a large part of her success came from hope and believing in herself. She has a tattoo on her wrist that says ‘Believe’ in a lovely black script, and Rhonda said, “When I’m doing planks and I want to give up, I look at my tattoo. Everybody always asks me, ‘believe’ in what? And the answer is myself, or my son, or my daughter, or the tooth fairy. Always believe.”

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What advice can Rhonda offer to somebody who is also looking to make a change to their weight? “A lot of people give up because their diet doesn’t work out. It took me six months to lose my first pound. It was six months of changing everything, and I did it the right way. It wasn’t a gimmick or a pill. Because I taught myself to be healthy, I’ve been able to keep healthy. Don’t give up hope.”

Rhonda’s hope, belief, and endurance transformed her life, but her life wasn’t the only one whose changed. Her son ended up also making healthier lifestyle habits, and is no longer bullied. “He tells me every day, ‘Mom, you changed my life’.”

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)…

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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!

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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!