Celebrate “Take a Walk in the Park Day” With Your 3-Day Friends

We certainly don’t have to remind 3-Day walkers of the many benefits of outdoor walking; they may be among the most walk-conscious citizens there are (right up there with mail carriers, park rangers and tour guides). But this Wednesday, March 30 is Take a Walk in the Park Day, so regular folks will be coming out in droves to put their feet to the pavement (or grass or trails) and enjoy the lovely sights, sounds and smells of a an early springtime walk in the park.3DAY_2016_SocialMedia_WalkInThePark_3

Well of course we couldn’t let a day like this pass without putting our own 3-Day spin on it, so we want to invite each and every one of you to celebrate Take a Walk in the Park Day with your fellow 3-Dayers. Here’s what we’d love to see you do:

Meet-up With Your 3-Day Coaches and Fellow Walkers – Coaches in each 3-Day event location will be hosting official Take a Walk in the Park training walks in their cities. These walks (none of them more than 3 miles) are open to all 3-Day participants and friends, and they will be a fantastic way for you to meet or reunite with your coaches and fellow walkers. Click the links below to find details about each local Walk in the Park and to RSVP.

Michigan 3-Day
Rotary Park in Novi – Details and RSVP here!

Twin Cities 3-Day
Lake Harriet Park in Minneapolis – Details and RSVP here!

Seattle 3-Day
Green Lake Park in Seattle – Details and RSVP here!

Atlanta 3-Day
Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain – Details and RSVP here!

 Philadelphia 3-Day
Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, NJ – Details and RSVP here!

Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day (TWO options!)
SJ Stovall Park in Arlington – Details and RSVP here!
Veterans Memorial Park in Plano – Details and RSVP here!

San Diego 3-Day
De Anza Cove in San Diego – Details and RSVP here!

Record Your Walk in the Park With Pictures – You couldn’t ask for a much prettier photo backdrop than the natural wonders of your local parks, so go ahead and snap some pics of your stroll. We’d love to see all the ways that you and your friends celebrate the day. Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #The3Day and #WalkInThePark, and follow those hashtags to see what others are sharing. We may share some of your photos with the whole 3-Day community early next month, so post often! (Note: posting photos on social media with the hashtags #The3Day and #WalkInThePark implies consent for us to repost or share your photos.)

More Cold Weather Walking Tips From the 3-Day

While we may have spring on our minds, the truth is, many parts of the country will still be dealing with temps ranging from chilly to downright freezing for at least another month. And even though most of you probably aren’t really diving into any official 3-Day training, we know you’re eager to get moving. So here we go again with our cold weather training advice—some oldies but goodies, and some tips that are new to our list!

Thinking About Going Out to Walk? Do it! – By February, a lot of you will have spent the better part of the last 3-4 months cooped up inside while the world outside freezes. And no, you really don’t need to get serious about training for the 3-Day just yet, but the simple act of getting out and moving is great for your state of mind. The “winter blues” are a real thing, and exercise is indisputably proven to help elevate your mood. Get out, get the blood flowing, and who knows? Maybe when you get home, you’ll be super motivated to send out some fundraising emails or work on recruiting some teammates!

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Clothe Yourself Carefully – Before stepping outside, you might be inclined to bundle up in your down parka, but if you’re taking a walk, you will probably be better off dressing in lighter, thinner layers that you can unzip or shed as you go if you need to. Stay away from 100% cotton, which will trap moisture against your skin; you may be cold, but if you’re moving, you’re sweating, and the only thing worse than being really cold is being really cold and wet. Instead of cotton, dress in moisture-wicking fabrics for the layer of clothing closest to your skin. And don’t forget something to cover your head (a warm hat, or even your favorite 3-Day wrap).

Warm Up Inside – Going quickly from one warm location to another is one thing, but if you’re heading outside with the intention of exercising your body, it’s a good idea to warm that body up a little bit first. It doesn’t have to be elaborate (ideally, you won’t even break a sweat at this point), just get your muscles and joints moving for a few minutes so that you’ll be ready to transition more easily into your walking workout outside. You can march in place, walk up and down your staircase a few times, do a quick set of jumping jacks, or strike a few sun salutations.

See and Be Seen – If you’re out walking in a monochromatic setting (i.e., surrounded by white, brown or grey landscape), wear bright colors and/or reflective materials so you stand out against your environment. And if any part of your walk will be taking place outside of full daylight hours, invest in a head-lamp to make sure you can see where you’re going and other walkers, cyclists and pedestrians can see YOU. (That head-lamp will come in handy for late-night trips to the porta-potties in the 3-Day camp later in the year.)

Warm Your Digits – Even the most adequately-clothed walker can become miserable quickly if his or her hands are not kept warm. At minimum, wear gloves to keep your paws snug. Need a little extra warmth? One 3-Day coach swears by those chemical-activated hand and foot warmers, which are available in the camping section of any sporting goods store. They are a quick, inexpensive way to keep your fingers and toes toasty. They fit snugly inside your gloves (or even in your shoes) and will ease the shock of freezing temps on your extremities.

Save Your Skin – Cold air and wind can really do a number on exposed skin, so don’t forget to put on moisturizer before heading out. Sunscreen, too, is a must-have for training any day of the week, any time of the year. You may not feel the sun’s warmth, but its rays are still doing a number on your skin.


Hydrate – Drinking water when it’s hot out is a no-brainer. You crave the cool water to quench the heat. It can be harder to remember to hydrate in the cold, but it’s no less essential when you’re exercising. If you normally carry your water in a fanny pack while you walk, think about holding it in your hand while walking in the cold, as an ever-present reminder to sip as you step.

Plan Your Route Wisely – Be certain that you’re walking someplace familiar, and pay close attention to the terrain with every step. If the sidewalks have not been cleared of ice and snow, walk in the street (obviously, this is not a good option for heavy traffic roads). Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back, and avoid walking on trails or back roads where you might lose your way. Getting lost is bad enough, but getting lost in freezing temps can be flat out dangerous.

Stay Indoors – Wait, you’re not off the hook for training! But if it’s just too nasty outside, find someplace indoors to get moving. While we don’t recommend that you do all of your 3-Day training on a treadmill, it’s a perfectly fine alternative to outdoor walking if you need it occasionally. No treadmill? Throw on your shoes and walk on an indoor track, through a shopping mall, or up and down the stairs in your office building. One of our coaches also suggested college campuses as places that often have large and/or interconnected buildings, and lovely, well-maintained grounds you can walk through.

Trust Your Gut – Don’t push yourself too hard. If your instincts (or your local weather advisories) tell you that it’s not safe or healthy to be exercising outside, or if you get started on a walk and something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to call it off. Having you healthy and whole for the 3-Day is more important than getting that mile or two in during a cold snap.

Here’s hoping for warmer days ahead! If you have any great cold weather training tips that we missed, please share them in comments!

16 Ways to Pass the Time While Walking in the 3-Day

For most Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers, it takes about 8 hours to walk the 20-mile route each day. In my years of walking, I’ve found that even the most dazzling conversationalists sometimes run out of things to talk about during those many hours of walking. Or perhaps sometimes they just need a playful diversion to keep them focused on something fun and positive, instead of focusing on how much their feet hurt or how badly they need a porta-potty.

To help you prepare for your 3-Day® adventure, here are some mirthful ways to pass the minutes and the miles:3DAY_2016_Blog_TitleGraphics_16WaystoPasstheTime_fp

The Games We Play

  • 20 Questions – Everyone knows this one. Can you guess the person, place or thing I’m thinking of by asking 20 or fewer yes/no questions?
  • Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon – This is a fun game for the particularly movie-savvy players. It’s based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is such a prolific actor, that he is connected every other actor in Hollywood by six links or less. To play, you pick an actor, and try to connect them, through movies/shows they’ve been in, to Kevin Bacon in six moves or less. For example: Bradley Cooper was in “He’s Just Not That Into You” with Jennifer Aniston, who was in “Picture Perfect” with Kevin Bacon. 2 moves. Boom.
  • The Movie/Actor Game – Another Hollywood-centric game, in this one, you try and see how long a chain you can make by connecting movies and actors who were in them. One person starts by naming a movie, the next person names an actor in that movie, then the next person names another movie that that actor was in, and so on. The round ends when someone is stumped on naming a new movie or actor.
  • Trivial Pursuit – One year, my teammates and I brought a stack of old Trivial Pursuit question cards and took turns reading the questions to each other. Before we knew it, other walkers around us were joining in on guessing answers. We’d even leave the cards at the pit stops when we were done, only to come across other walkers later in the day who had picked them up to join in the fun.
  • Would You Rather…? – This one’s pretty simple: come up with two scenarios (it works best if both are slightly unpleasant) and challenge each other to decide which scenario you’d rather choose. For example, would you rather have your head be the size of a watermelon or the size of a tennis ball?
  • Alphabet Games – Pick some topic or theme, and take turns naming items that match the theme, starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet. Some of my favorite themes have been movie titles, band names, body parts, American cities/towns. There’s no limit to possible themes. Another alphabet game involves finding each letter of the alphabet on signs, license plates or even your fellow walkers’ t-shirts that you pass.
  • Presidential Checklist – I’d wager that every locale in America has something named after Washington or Lincoln. What about the other presidents? Taking into account duplicate names (your Adamses, Harrisons, Johnsons, Roosevelts and Bushes), there are 38 presidential last names. Can you spot them around town as you walk?
  • Name the Singer/Band – If you listen to music while you walk, or when you come across tunes being played at pit stops or cheering stations, this game challenges you to name the singer/band before the people around you. It’s like “Name That Tune,” with a twist.
  • Car-Spotting Games – What started out as the simple Slug Bug/Punch Buggy game (call out the Volkswagen Beetles and color before someone else does) has evolved into a plethora of car-spotting games (or it has with my family and friends, anyway). We try and beat each other calling out-of-state license plates, yellow cars, green cars, Jeeps (easily recognizable by their distinctive slotted front grill), Mustangs and more. You can add whatever layers you want to the game. Try adding a new element at every pit stop. Soon, you and your friends will be cracking up as you try to keep up remembering what you’re looking for.
  • Marry, Date, Dump – Name three people (they could be celebrities, people you know, even fictional characters). Your fellow players have to decide which one they’d date, which one they’d marry, and which one they’d dump. Hilarity ensues.
  • Two Truths and a Lie – You list three things about yourself: two of them are true and one is made up. Your teammates have to guess which “fact” you invented.
  • Orange Shirt Drinking Game – This is a game that’s 100% unique to the 3-Day, and helps keep you hydrated. It’s simple: every time you see an orange-shirted crew member (route safety, traffic control), take a drink of your water or sports drink. If it’s a particularly hot day, you could also add orange signs into the game.

Non-Game Ways to Pass Some Time

  • Talk in an accent – There very well could come the point when you’re feeling so exhausted/bored/goofy that you’ll find yourself carrying on your conversations in any variety of accents. It’s completely silly, and I wouldn’t even mention it if I hadn’t done it myself dozens of times.
  • Sing Songs – I challenge anyone to try breaking out “American Pie” or just about any TV theme song, and not see it quickly turn into a sing-along with everyone around you.
  • Stretch – You’re doing this anyway, right? But you actually can stretch while you’re walking. It won’t kill a whole lot of time, but it might be enough of a distraction to get you to the next pit stop.
  • Share Stories – This really goes without saying. So much of what makes the 3-Day so special are the stories that every single walker and crew member brings with them. As you stroll along, take the time to ask your fellow 3-Dayers to share their stories, and share yours with them.

What fun ways have you found to pass the time while you walk?