11 Hot Weather Training Hacks

In the middle of summer, going out for a 3-Day training walk in the heat may be the last thing you’d like to do. But if you decide to venture out and get some training miles in on hot days, here are some tips/hacks that might make the sun-baked miles a little easier to bear.

First, a few obvious reminders, which I’m sure you already know, but we must repeat anyway…

  • Always wear sunscreen, with a minimum of SPF 30. Don’t forget to cover your ears, any exposed parts of your scalp (better yet, cover your head with a hat) and lips too.
  • Drink LOTS of water, and ideally, rotate water and sports drinks.
  • If your area is experiencing hazardous heat levels, or you just don’t feel right out in the high temperatures, stop. There will always be other times to walk, and risking your health and comfort are not worth it.
  • For ALL training walks, remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Try not to walk alone, or if you must, be sure someone knows where you’ll be.susan g komen 3-day breast cancer walk beat the heat

Okay, on to the hacks!

  1. Fill a water bottle halfway and freeze it on its side. That way, when you fill the rest with water, it’ll cool the water more uniformly, so you’ll get refreshing cold with every sip.IMG_7631
  2. Fact: outside temperatures are typically coolest right before the sun rises. If possible—especially for longer walks—get out and start moving close to dawn. You’ll beat the heat and also finish early enough to still have a productive day (or a long and lazy day if that’s what you want).
  3. Remember that an important part of your 3-Day training is cross-training (i.e., exercise that isn’t walking), and summer is the perfect time to throw some swimming, water aerobics, stand-up paddleboarding or rowing into your fitness routine.
  4. When dressing for a warm weather walk, synthetic materials that draw moisture away from the body are better than 100% cotton. Also, light colors will deflect sunlight, keeping you cooler. (More info about best practices for what to wear is here.)2015_3DAY_ATL_GF_0249
  5. Did you know that bra coolers were a thing? They’re basically little cold packs that fit snugly into the underside of your bra, keeping your “girls” cool in warm conditions. Search online for several options.
  6. Get a cooling wrap to wear on your neck. You can even make these wraps fairly easily; a Pinterest search of “cooling neck wrap” will show you dozens of how-to’s. Online retailers and drug stores also sell them.
  7. Looking for a well-shaded route to walk? A quick internet search of “shaded walk [city name]” will come back with some good results that you may have never considered.
  8. If you can’t walk in natural shade, you can make your own by carrying a sun umbrella.2015_3DAY_SD_GF-211
  9. Pick a route that has lots of places to stop and rest. Remember, when you’re walking in the heat, you should be drinking more water (and sports drinks, if possible) than usual, so plan your route to pass places where you can use the bathroom and refill your water. Convenience stores or coffee and fast food chains are good for this.
  10. If you plan to take a long training walk in hot conditions, see if you can recruit a friend or family member to be your personal support vehicle. They can drive to meet you at points along your route with drink refills, fresh socks and sunscreen, and a cool car to sit in for a few minutes. Seeing those friendly faces can also help rally you onward when the heat may be tempting you to call it quits.2015_3DAY_TC_GF-149
  11. For no more than a few bucks, you can get a hand-held, battery-powered personal fan to carry. It won’t be quite the same as stepping into an air conditioned building, but if you’re out in the heat and there’s no natural breeze, that little bit of moving air from a fan can really feel nice on sweaty faces, arms and necks. Any drug store or superstore with a summer section will carry these, or you can easily find them through online sellers (is there anything you can’t get online?).

You can find a few other warm weather tips here. What else helps keep you cool when you’re walking in the summer?

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I’ve Done This A Million Times: Training Advice For/From Veteran Walkers

Most walkers who are new to the 3-Day put a lot of focus on training their bodies for the challenge of walking 60 miles. The 3-Day provides all walkers with a number of training materials to help them prepare physically, including very thorough 16- and 24-week training schedules and a training handbook. For someone who is taking on the formidable goal of walking about 20 miles a day for 3 days in a row for the first time, this kind of detailed regimen is generally a good fit.

But what about walkers who’ve done the 3-Day before? Many of our veteran walkers have done the 3-Day five, ten, even 15 or more times already. Others, perhaps, are new to the 3-Day but have experienced other endurance events (marathons, triathalons, etc.) and don’t necessarily need to start their training from scratch.

We asked a few 3-Day vets to give us their thoughts on the best way to approach training if you’ve done the 3-Day before, or are already in great shape physically.

Elaine – 9x walker
Team – GET YOUR PiNK ON (10 team members, all veteran walkers)
Walking in San Diego in 2016

Elaine (left) with her teammates

Elaine (left) with her teammates

Elaine says, “I walk almost every day, a minimum of 3 miles year round.” She also does water aerobics and rides her bike. Elaine and many of her teammates live in San Diego, and train together when they can. “We generally try to walk all year and living in San Diego allows us to do that.” She does have teammates who live elsewhere, and Elaine send emails periodically to check in with them, but adds, “Since most are veterans, they really know what it takes to get ready.” A few teammates who live in hot climates like to do their training very early in the morning, or indoors on treadmills. Elaine shares, “I have worked weekends my whole life, so needless to say the first year was intimidating when I got the 24-week training schedule.  When I have days off during the week and everyone else is working, I will pack a lunch, my beach chair, do a 9-mile walk then hang out at the beach.  I have tried walking more than 9 miles by myself…but just do not enjoy it much.”

The bottom line: Keep moving all year! If you’re able to walk short distances consistently throughout the year, you’ll be more prepared for the longer mileages when you get to event time.

 

Pala – 21x walker
Team – Walking With Purpose (2 team members)
Walking in Michigan, Twin Cities, Atlanta and San Diego in 2016

The 24-week training schedule for Michigan begins in late February. "Yep, I'm out there!" Pala says.

The 24-week training schedule for Michigan begins in late February. “Yep, I’m out there!” Pala says.

In spite of her prolific 3-Day resume, Pala—who walked all seven 3-Days in 2015—is “old school” with her training. “I do my best to follow the 24-week training program as far as mileage per week.  My walking days usually differ from the schedule but by week’s end my mileage is there.” Pala lives in Michigan and attends the 3-Day’s official training kick-off event, but doesn’t usually come to any official 3-Day training walks aside from that. “I fit my walks into my schedule around other commitments.” One might assume that, after completing the 3-Day so many times, Pala would allow herself to coast a little bit through the training schedule. Not so. “In my opinion, in order to enjoy, not just endure, the 3-Day weekend, training is probably the most essential element for a successful walk. Walk those sidewalks, step up and down those curbs.  Incorporating different terrains, inclines/hills, and weather conditions during training conditions you for the weekend’s successful (s)miles.” Pala, who lives with her husband Tom (a long-time crew member), adds a special shout-out to a particular group of her fellow walkers: “Kudos must be shared with the walkers who work full time, have families to care for and yet manage to fit in training. The first year I walked and realized the time commitment needed for the long training walks, it amazed me to think of those with full time jobs (I was working only part-time), those with families and the associated responsibilities. It is just the two of us and we can eat whenever, skip household chores, and only had grandchild obligations (by choice) twice per week. To me, these full time workers stand out and have my utmost admiration.  Those workers with families even more so.  I am sure some sacrifices have been made by all.”

The bottom line: Even an experienced 3-Day pro can benefit from following the full training regimen, if their schedule allows it.

 

Carrie – 1x walker
Team – Boobilicious (5 members – 2 long-time vets, 2 “sophomores,” 1 newbie)
Walking in the Twin Cities in 2016

Carrie (right) and her team captain Beth

Carrie (right) and her team captain Beth

Carrie is not a long-time walker. In fact, she’s coming back for just the second time this year. But as a regular CrossFit participant, she’s already in great shape. “While I feel like I am always in training and keep up with my physical fitness, I start officially training for the 3-Day right around Mother’s Day. In the early weeks I like to get in 1-2 walks that are around 5 miles. My first 10-mile walk is typically around the 4th of July. Then I hit it hard with 3-4 walks a week, including at least one long walk on the weekend. I don’t follow a strict training program, but fit the walking in with my regular CrossFit training.” Carrie, who lives in the Twin Cities, is a fan of the 3-Day training walks in her area. “I prefer to attend the official walks instead of walking on my own. It is fun and inspiring to meet other walkers; we share training tips, fundraising ideas, and just get to know each other.” Carrie encourages her fellow walkers to trust themselves and their instincts when it comes to 3-Day prep. “Everyone has their own philosophy on training: one of my team members is diligent in her training program while another doesn’t train at all. I think it is critical for each person to understand, and be honest with, their current fitness level. For me, it was important to try out my gear, especially my shoes, socks and underwear (yes, it is really important to test out your underwear!). I learned very quickly that a bad pair of socks leads to lots of blisters. I also decided that I didn’t need to walk every day for training if I was doing my standard CrossFit, but I wanted to get some longer (15+) walks in to just get a feel for what it will be like.”

The bottom line: Being in good shape when you approach the 3-Day is a great start, but it’s still important to put in the miles with walk training too.

Join us on 6/13 for a Fundraising and Training Tweet Chat

With less than two months to go until the first 3-Day of the season, we wanted to get everyone virtually together to chat about fundraising and training. Join us on Monday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m. PST (that’s 7:30 p.m. CT, 6:30 p.m. MT, and 8:30 p.m. EST) for an hour-long tweet chat all about fundraising tips, tricks, and training suggestions to make your 60 miles amazing.

TweetChat

Can you help us spread the word? Even if you can’t join us (darn! We’ll post on the blog after with some of our favorite tweets), we’d love your help letting other 3-Day participants know. You can click here to tweet, or copy and paste this into Twitter or Facebook:

Join us on Mon. 6/13 at 5:30 pm PST for a 3-Day Tweet Chat all about fundraising and training! Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1X2Ke6H

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 5:30 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 get ready for your 3-Day adventure. Our 3-Day Social Media Team, Alyssa and Erin, can’t wait to tweet with you!

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.