20 Tips for the First-Time 3-Day Walker

Say hello to Jamie Roubinek. On her blog, Roubinek Reality, Jamie writes about momhood, food, travel, DIYs and life in Dallas. On top of all of that, Jamie also stepped up to join the 3-Day in 2015 as a first-time walker in Dallas/Fort Worth. As a newly-graduated expert on the newbie experience, Jamie has some advice to offer other first-timers making their way to the 3-Day.

20151108_122637In November, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. It was an unforgettable event for several reasons but mostly, the 3-Day was a huge learning experience. It was my very first one, so I learned a lot along the way. I wanted to share 20 tips for first-time 3-Day walkers.

  1. Get fitted for good shoes well ahead of time. They will be one of the most important things you’ll need during the 3-Day. But make sure you’re not wearing brand new shoes for the event. Break them in while training.
  2. Train, train, train. This is an endurance event. You’ll want to be physically prepared. By training ahead of time, you’ll potentially avoid LOTS of pain.
  3. Get a training buddy. Putting in the miles is a lot easier when you have a friend to do it with.
  4. Be equally committed to your fitness and fundraising. Make every day a mission to get yourself ready and to get your friends and family behind you.
  5. Attend the workshops that the 3-Day provides. They are full of tips and great information you’ll want to hear. Plus, you’ll meet fun people preparing for the same thing you are.
  6. Practice packing your bag and stick to the weight limit. Crew members will have to move your bags and they have LOTS of bags to take care of. If you aren’t sure if you’ll need something, you probably won’t.
  7. Jazz up your bag a little to make it easily recognizable.
  8. When packing your bag, put outfits for each day in individual Ziploc baggies. It not only keeps things organized for you, but also keeps clothes from getting wet in the event of rain or heavy dew.
  9. Carry a backpack or a fanny pack while walking. Choosing which one ultimately comes down to personal preference, but there are a couple of things you’ll want to have on you while you walk and you need to decide early what is the best way for you to carry them without weighing yourself down.
  10. Eat well, hydrate, and get lots of sleep before the event. You’ll want to be at the top of your game so you’re not fighting fatigue in the middle of the 60 miles.
  11. Don’t forget your water bottle. There are many drink and snack stations along the way, but they are for refilling your own bottle. I actually forgot my bottle one day. Huge mistake on my part. I won’t do that again. 🙂
  12. Get the towel service. After using your towel at night, there’s a chance it might not dry by the next day, depending on the weather. It’s worth it to have that nice fresh towel when you need it.
  13. Bring ear plugs. You never know how loud it might be outside of your tent (or maybe inside, if your tentmate is a snorer) when you’re trying to sleep.
  14. Bring Advil or Tylenol to take before going to bed. Your aching feet and muscles will thank you!
  15. Don’t forget sunscreen and lip balm. We started so early in the day and even though I wasn’t walking during the heat of the day, I still managed to get a bit of a sunburn on my face. Not fun.
  16. Pack plenty of socks and carry another pair with you while you’re walking. Think of how miserable it feels to walk around with wet socks. Yuck.
  17. Get there early for the Opening Ceremony and stay for the Closing Ceremony. You’ll want to soak in both of these emotional events, believe me! 🙂20151106_070829 (1)
  18. Meet people along the way and find out why they’re participating. You’ll love hearing the different stories and finding out what you may have in common with other walkers.
  19. Dress like your teammates or walking buddy with lots of pink. It’s fun to see what everyone is wearing and all of the creativity everyone brings to the event.
  20. Make friends, push yourself, envision yourself crossing the finish line, and just enjoy yourself! Remember why you wanted to participate, who you’re walking for, and let that push you along the way!

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this amazing event and I hope these tips may help another walker who may be taking this 60-mile journey for the very first time. Good luck! You won’t regret it, nor will you forget it.