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.

You’re on Social Media? So Is the 3-Day!

It’s 2016, and practically everyone and their mom is on social media! As we approach event season, we want to make sure you know all the best ways to connect on social media with the 3-Day and your fellow walkers and crew.

Come on, follow us! – The 3-Day is posting all the time on Facebook, Twitter and, Pinterest and Instagram, and those posts will increase even more when we get on the walks (tons of pictures, people! Who doesn’t love that?). The 3-Day’s social channels and website are the best places for you to find lots of fascinating stories and quotes, as well as important event info and updates before, during and after each 3-Day. You also don’t want to miss our fundraising challenges, training tips, and heartfelt stories from the 3-Day community. You’re likely to see slightly different content on each site, so the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to follow the 3-Day everywhere!Image

LIVE, from the 3-Day…! – Last year, we live-streamed video broadcasts from the 3-Day events (Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Last Walker arrivals, morning walk-outs), and we’ll be doing even more live streaming on social media this year! It’s a great way for you to get a peek at what’s going on at other 3-Day events, and a fantastic way for your loved ones at home to keep an eye out for you while you walk or crew your own 3-Day. We’ll have more details about our broadcast schedule as the events get closer, and in the meantime, be sure to follow the 3-Day on Facebook to see when these live transmissions are underway.

Don’t Forget #Hashtags! – We hope to see lots of you doing lots of your own social media posting about the 3-Day too! When you post updates, requests and photos to social media, remember to add hashtags so that your posts can be grouped with other ones from the same event. At minimum, we encourage you use #The3Day and your location-specific hashtags.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 miles walk blog hashtag social media

Not quite sure how hashtags work? Read up on them here!

#WeAreThe3Day – This is a new hashtag that we started using last year. The purpose of #WeAreThe3Day is to share small bits of our histories, relationships, motivations and inspirations, along with compelling photos, to make up a patchwork of stories. Find out more about it here. And of course, you are welcomed and encouraged to use this hashtag on your posts too!3DAY_2016_Social_WeAreThe3Day_fp

Keep An Eye Out For More Fun Changes! – We’re always thinking about fun new ways to incorporate social media into the 3-Day experience, and we have a few ideas in the works for bringing YOUR social posts to life on-event (who wouldn’t want to see their Instagrams on a big screen?). Stay tuned for details, and if you have any social media ideas to share, feel free to email us at social@The3Day.org.

Susan G. Komen Mission Webinar Recap and Full Video!

Earlier this year, the 3-Day held a series of Komen Impact Forums in 10 cities across the country. The forums were hosted by Chrissy Mathews, the 3-Day program manager for Susan G. Komen, and she was joined by other members of the Komen leadership team, as well as grantees in each city who have received funds from Komen. The goal of the Impact Forums was to initiate a dialogue between Komen and the 3-Day community, addressing common questions and concerns and allowing the 3-Day participants to hear first-hand from the doctors, caregivers, patients and advocates in their own communities who have benefited from Komen funding.

In that same spirit, Komen held its first ever Mission Webinar in early June with the goal of reaching even more of its supporters, no matter where they live. Like with the in-person Impact Forums, the webinar was an opportunity for people (especially those who support Komen through their participation and donations to the 3-Day) to learn a little more about how Komen funding works and hear directly from a researcher, Dr. Justin Balko, whose work has greatly benefited from the money raised by the 3-Day and other Komen efforts.

Dr. Justin Balko is an extraordinary young researcher (his list of titles is remarkable in itself) whose lab is making tremendous discoveries in the field of immunotherapy as a treatment option for triple negative breast cancer. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry; Dr. Balko is also a teacher and does a wonderful job of explaining his very complex work in a way that anyone can understand.

We invite you to take time to view the recording of the Komen Mission Webinar and learn about these exciting advances yourself.