Planning the Perfect 3-Day Training Walk

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Summer is a great time to kick your training into high gear, and with our 2018 3-Day season just around the corner, your training walks are likely getting longer and longer. Whether you’re walking on your own, using our 3-Day training apps, or joining an official training walk leader to train, now is the time!

To help you make the most of your next training walk, we asked Coach Liz – an experienced  training walk leader – to give us her tips and tricks for planning the best training walk possible. Honed from years of experience, here’s how she gets it done…

When planning a route, I always have two web browser windows open: the Miler Meter pedometer to map our the miles and Google Maps to look for shade and places to stop and take a break.

I usually find a place to start on Google Maps that is open early and has sufficient parking, which you can see on Google. For example, Safeway at McQueen and Ray Road (Point A on the map below). Then I look for a grocery store, fast food restaurant, convenience store or coffee shop that is somewhere close for an end spot (Point B).

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Then I start mapping on pedometer to plan about 3-4 miles through the city streets and housing areas to get from point A to point B. This route is an out and back (3 miles out and turn around and reverse back to start). I make sure the route has some shade and sidewalks. And, whenever I can I try not to have us facing the sun as the day or route gets later and longer. That’s a pro tip for you!

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I put it all together with turn by turn directions that I hand out, so everyone knows the route. We don’t want anyone getting lost!

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As the training walks get longer, I plan longer walks with stops every 3-4 miles. I will also plan some walks with loops so if someone needs to bow out or needs to stop they can.

We always make sure to take time to stretch before and at our “pit stops” on the training walks!

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When we get to the longer walks, particularly on the 15+ miles back to back, we get our local crew or our families to come out and provide “mock pit stops.” It really helps the new first time walkers start to get a feel for the 3-Day, and it makes the walks so much more fun! Plus, it helps our families and communities get more involved in the 3-Day.

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Also, on any walk that is more than 13 miles we also build in a lunch stop. I remind all our walkers to be sure to bring a change of socks and money for lunch.

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And of course, we train on all terrains, to make sure the walkers are prepared for the whole route. In the photo below, we added some hill training by walking to the top of Hayden Butte (it is only a 0.7 mile walk but the elevation gain is 278 feet!)

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We hope these tips help you and your fellow 3-Day participants plan some amazing training walks! See you all soon!

Susan G. Komen’s Research Programs: On Any Given Day

Susan G. Komen funds more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing breast cancer. Since 1982, Komen has contributed to many of the advances made in the fight against breast cancer, transforming how the world treats and talks about this disease. Share this infographic today to show potential 3-Day donors how together we’re helping many more people become breast cancer survivors.

Walking for MeeMaw: Meet Jessa G. from the San Diego 3-Day

I think the thing I love most about the 3-Day is how much the entire event is like one big family reunion. Everyone is so open and easy to talk to. Everyone is there to support everyone else.”

When Jessa G. talks about the 3-Day, she is truly describing a family affair. Her mom, Heather, has been a part of the 3-Day in one way or another since it began in 2001. Heather, and now Jessa alongside her, walk in memory of their MeeMaw (Jessa’s grandmother, and Heather’s mom). MeeMaw lost her fight to breast cancer when Jessa was young, and since then Heather has been a part of the 3-Day family.

(Jessa and her mom)

A few years ago, Jessa also joined the Pink Bubble as a member of the Youth Corps!

“I had finally found a way that I too could join my mom in memory of my MeeMaw!”

Last year was the first year Jessa was old enough to walk the 3-Day…and walk she did! She and a family friend took on those sixty miles with smiles on their faces and determination in their hearts.

Jessa says, “Although I had already been in the background of the walk, helping make sure things went smoothly and happily for all the walkers, I didn’t know how truly challenging it is. Having that walking experience really gave me a new respect for my mom and all the people who walk the 3-Day year after year. Walking in my mom’s footsteps helped me so much. My mom even let me use the same fanny pack that she used in her first 3-Day, 16 years later.”

Jessa’s mom was there to watch her cross her first-ever 3-Day finish line, and they hope to expand their family’s presence in 2018. Both of Jessa’s younger sisters will be on Youth Corps, and her mom will be part of Lunch Crew. Jessa is hoping to make it back from college in time for the event as well, but no matter if she’s walking, or there in spirit, she will have the 3-Day in her heart.

“It’s so important to me to continue to be a part of the 3-Day in any way, because of the amazing work that I’ve seen through the 3-Day do, just over the past few years that I’ve been there. I’ve seen just how it brings people together and creates lifelong friendships of love and support. The pink bubble is something to love and miss when you aren’t there.”

This past year is still fresh in her mind , and she was more than happy to share tips for first-time walkers:

  • Train more on sidewalks and concrete than on trails!
  • She also warns against doing any form of activity before the event that could put yourself at risk for injury.
  • If you need some extra pep in your step, Jessa loves listening to pop artists like Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, Little Mix, as well as musicals like Hamilton to keep herself motivated during those long training walks.
  • Need fundraising ideas? Jessa says to “ask literally everyone you know! People are more willing to help out than you would think; teachers, friends, doctors, family, everyone.”
  • She also recommends asking people to donate old furniture or clothes and having a garage sale where all the money goes towards breast cancer.

These tips come from an expert, too! Though Jessa has only walked the 3-Day once, she has grown up around a 3-Day veteran — her mom, Heather. Jessa says that her mom has been a life-long motivation, and the epitome of someone who is More Than Pink.

“She was the first one in my family to start doing the 3-Day, and she has consistently been a part of them for so many years! She’s talked with so many of the people on so many different events. I haven’t gone to a single 3-Day where I haven’t been approached by one person or another asking if I’m Heather’s daughter. Everyone I’ve talked to has had just the greatest things to say about how she has helped them through something in their lives, or just been there to talk with them even outside of the 3-Day.”

With role models like Heather and her MeeMaw, Jessa is going to keeping walking and working towards a world without breast cancer.