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!

Top 3-Day Training Songs, According to YOU!

Let’s get moving and grooving, 3-Dayers! Music is a large part of our 3-Day experience, from the inspiring tunes you walk out to after the Opening Ceremony, to a playlist of upbeat classics welcoming you to camp every night to our all-event dance party at the end of the Closing Ceremony. We love a good tune!

Music can be a great training partner, too. That’s why we tapped our 3-Day community for their favorite songs to walk to. Let these recommendations fuel your next training walk, or just get you dancing today!

Jen L. from Facebook loves “Cupid’s Shuffle, The Wobble, and We are Family” when she needs to get moving.

@HeflinBelinda from Twitter recommends Carrie Underwood’s “The Champion” and Rascal Flatts “Yours If You Want It.”

Karen S. prefers “Geronimo,” “Honey I’m Good,” “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Fire and Flood.” She says, “I would dance (as much as I dance) to any of these. 😂”

Coach Liz trains to old time funky 70’s stuff or Motown!

Laura G. from Facebook likes happy tunes like “Walking on Sunshine” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!”

Linda Z. fittingly says “I Would Walk 500 Miles” is one of her favorites, plus anything by Meghan Trainor!

Debbie S. says, “I don’t necessarily have favorite tunes, but I have an iPod with thousands of songs. Plus, singing and walking go hand in hand! I love 70’s music! But then again, I’m 61 years old so that makes sense! 😊”

Coach Jennifer loves anything from the 80’s like anything from The Go Gos, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “I Got You” by Split Enz

What are your favorite training songs? Tell us in the comments!

Also, be sure to follow along with the 3-Day on Spotify! We have playlists from our walks, plus walking playlists you’re sure to love.

Top 3-Day Training Tips…From Walkers Themselves!

Our 3-Day participants always give the best advice for first-time walkers. They have experienced every step of the journey and know all the best insider tips and tricks. This is especially true for training, because no two people train exactly the same. So, all advice is good advice! Because you might not know the tip that helps you the most until you hear it.

To get to the bottom of the truly best 3-Day training advice, we went straight to the source: our walkers! We tapped our social media community, and our coaches who have also walked, to find out just what we need to know to maximize our training as our 2018 3-Days draw closer.

They had some great ideas!

Belinda H. on Facebook

  1. Set new weekly goals for yourself to find a new path while increasing your mileage. I’ve increased 2 miles weekly by doing this.
  2. Create an ongoing photo journal of nature from your walks. This will help you to relax with nature instead of counting miles. My friends are always excited to see where my walk took me that day.
  3. Use an app like Map My Walk to share your progress with pictures from your walk.

Deborah K. on Twitter

I’m signing up for as many 5K’s scheduled in this area. And I plan on doing at least one 20-mile walk near home this summer.

Allie A. on Facebook

Do long training walks multiple days in a row! It’s Days 2 and 3 on the walk that are the hardest.

Coach Liz, Programs and Local Events Coach, Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth

You don’t have to follow the training walk schedule exactly but DEFINTELY train. Get in at least two back to back longer walks each week.

Get fitted for a good pair of shoes, and make sure they’re a full size bigger than you usually wear. Your feet WILL swell, I promise. Invest in good socks, too!

Also, train in what you plan on wearing on the 3-Day. Skort, shorts, capris, whatever it is…train in that. And, figure out ahead of time if you prefer to use a two-bottle backpack or a bag with a built-in hydration system. Once you try them on, you’ll be able to feel which is your preference.

Melissa M. on Facebook

Hill train! Add an incline on the treadmill if training indoors or during bad weather when you can’t get out for a walk. Also train in what you may want to wear on the 3-Day, including underwear. The best way to find out what is comfortable and what works is to try it out during training.

Rachel C. on Facebook

If you are prone to blisters, learn how to wrap your feet! Train in the rain; the last two years (maybe 3?) we have had some rain. Get in the habit of stretching a lot. Find some walking buddy to walk with even if they can only join you for 1/2 of your walk. And, train with all the gear you plan to use.

Coach Gayla, Programs and Local Events Coach, Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth

Don’t train alone. That’s B-O-R-I-N-G! Join a training walk from the Training Walk Calendar (The3Day.org/TrainingWalks). Don’t see any posted in your area? Drive to another one or become a training walk leader and lead your own walks.

Invite neighbors or create a walking group in your community. The time and miles fly when you have someone to talk to.

Brooke K. on Facebook

Definitely train! Walking 60 miles is much harder than it seems. Get some bigger back-to-back walks in during training because it mimics how you might feel in the morning on Days 2 and day 3! Try out some outfits including socks and shoes to make sure they will feel good during the event. Of course, train with friends to pass the time 🙂

What are your best 3-Day training tips? Tell us in the comments!

 

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.