Winter Training Tips

Training for a 3-Day can be tough, especially during these winter months. But have no fear, we’ve got the best tips for training in cold weather so you can successfully get miles under your belt in preparation for the 2023 3-Day series!  

  1. Wear a Small backpack 

Wearing a small backpack on your training walks won’t add much weight, and it can store useful items you may need, such as water, electrolytes, snacks and extra layers of clothing. 

  1. Pack Layers 

Resist the urge to grab your heaviest winter coat before you head out and layer up instead! Start your walk with as many layers on as you wish and then take advantage of that lightweight backpack mentioned above to shed them off as needed throughout your walk. 

  1. Walk Inside 

If the weather in your area is not ideal for walking outside, check out a local gym or mall! Treadmills are a fine substitute to still get those miles in when it’s raining or snowing outside. Also, malls have plenty of pathways to walk down, and some even have mile markers! 

  1. Plan in Advance 

The weather app on your phone or computer can be your best friend during these winter months. Planning ahead can help you stay on track with your training goals to find the best time to get outside before weather gets in the way. 

  1. Don’t Forget About Your Hands! 

Jackets, beanies and scarves may seem obvious, but gloves are a necessity for training in the cold to keep your fingers warm. Bonus points for gloves that work on your phone’s touch screen! 

  1. Hydrate 

Hydrating isn’t just for warm weather, it’s a necessity year-round. Staying hydrated helps your blood flow! Hydrating goes beyond fluids; lotion and lip balm can also help keep your skin hydrated, especially in colder temperatures. 

  1. Space Out Your Mileage 

Going on a training walk doesn’t mean you have to go a long distance. If the weather in your area is extremely cold, try going on more frequent training walks but with shorter distances. This way, you can still get your mileage in without having to be out in the cold for extended periods of time. 

  1. Stay Alert 

Watching out for traffic is always necessary, but staying aware of your surroundings can be extra helpful if you live in an area where you can get black ice and slippery sidewalks. 

  1. The Right Pair of Socks 

Whether they’re of the wool or compression variety, a quality pair of socks that will keep your feet warm and your blood flowing is a necessity for winter training walks. 

  1. A Great Playlist! 

Some music makes you want to dance, some music makes you want to go on a training walk and some music makes you want to do both! Having the right playlist filled with positive, up-beat and heart-warming songs can get you through the weather and on your way to being prepared for your 2023 3-Day. 

What are your best winter training tips? Let us know in the comments! 

*Health, safety and training tips in this blog should not be considered medical advice. Consult with your physician for any medical needs you may have.* 

Winter Training Tips from Training Walk Leaders

Tomorrow marks the official start of winter, and while that means that the holidays are coming closer (yay!), it also means the weather is bound to get colder if it hasn’t already. But how can you keep up with your training, even in the winter? Don’t worry! There are ways to train safely and effectively, even in chilly temps.

We decided to go straight to the experts for the latest and greatest tips for winter walking. Some of our training walk leaders pitched in and shared their knowledge to help you make the most of these next few months. These are their no-fail tips.

Susan C. from Michigan

During winter months when weather is bad, my team (the Hines Pink Pathers) will walk in one of our local malls or at The Henry Ford Museum as a team. Many individuals will also walk on the track or a treadmill at a local gym. I am fortunate to have one in my home so I will walk on the ‟Dreadmill” while watching a movie to make the time go by.

Michelle B. from Dallas/Fort Worth

For a fun way to get people involved, every year we have a Christmas walk and invite all the 3-Dayers we know and potential 3-Dayers, too.

Kate P. from New England

Layers, layers, layers. Depending on how cold it is, I recommend a base layer with fleece pants on the bottom and a wicking base layer, fleece jacket of some sort and a windbreaker on top. A hat and mittens/gloves and (something I definitely need) a fleece cuff so I can wipe my runny nose. I don’t mind going out in the cold, but for those who do, we meet at the local mall before the stores open to walk laps and window shop.

Mary T. from Dallas/Fort Worth

I have a 40-degree rule for walking. When we are not in “official” training season, I only walk when the temperature is 40 or above. No need to walk in really cold weather! Of course, in summer the weather also plays a role. The temperature should be less than 90/95 for me to take on a long-distance walk during that season.

Jeryl V. from Michigan

Dress in layers. My go-to is always wool socks! Feet stay nice and toasty in wool socks.

(at left with Coach Gayla)

Coach Liz

I’ve planned plenty of training walks, so I have lots of tips! But an easy one is to dress in layers you can take off. You never know if you might heat up as you walk! And, even though it is cold you still need to HYDRATE. It keeps the blood flowing! Lastly, if it’s really cold or wet, walking in the mall or a local gym is a great option. Safety first!

For more tips on training in cold weather, you can check out our blog post from last year, and get inspiration from our winter walking playlist!

What are your winter walking tips? Tell us in the comments to spread the knowledge and inspiration!

Ways to Stay Motivated Even in the Cold


With all the storms that have been hitting the West Coast, and the still chilly temperatures for much of the rest of the country, it’s not exactly the time of year when you want to spend your days outdoors. However, there is never a bad time to start training for this year’s 3-Days, even in the wintertime. Finding the motivation to do it? That’s the tricky part. We have some simple tips to get you started on your training plan and walking goals for 2017.

Start small and be reasonable: If this is your first year of training for the 3-Day, you’ve been taking a work out hiatus since you walked in 2016, or just hit a little bump over the holidays, that’s okay! The key in starting a new training plan, or upping the ante on the one you’ve currently got going, is to always be honest with yourself about what you can handle. Trying to go from 0 to 100 will only stress you out and set you up to feel discouraged. Start by training a few times a week, then work your way up to more and longer training sessions.


Give yourself reminders: Write on your bathroom mirror. Put a post-it on the fridge door. Set your phone or computer background. Even set a daily alarm! Whatever it takes to keep your goals top of mind, just keep those reminders coming. They can be in the form of a motivational quote, your goal for the week, or the promise of a reward (new work out gear?). We have fun, inspirational graphics on our blog if you need help with ideas.

Get jammin’: One thing that gets a lot of people going when it’s time to get their fitness on is music! Whether you use Pandora, Spotify, or your trusty iTunes library, having a go-to work out playlist will help you keep walking with purpose and oomph. The 3-Day has its own Spotify account with playlists from past 3-Days and more to keep you moving all winter long.


Team up!: It’s proven that working out with a buddy helps you hit the gym harder and more often. Whether you have a lot of friends also training for the 3-Day, or pick a buddy with similar fitness goals, finding a friend makes a huge difference! They help you stay accountable to not miss a training day, and keep you going when you’re out on the trail. 3-Day participants can easily find a training buddy at Chat as you walk and the miles will fly by!

Eliminate excuses: We can all think of plenty of reasons not to do our work out. That’s the easy part. The tough part is eliminating those excuses! Hopefully reading this post has helped motivate you, but another simple tactic is to sit down and write out all of the excuses you’ve given yourself in the past. Then, think of your own ways and motivations to overcome those obstacles and write those down. Keep your list handy for days when you’re thinking about talking yourself out of going for a walk.


Don’t forget your food: Getting moving is always a good idea, but you have to stay hydrated and eat right to make sure you’re getting the most out of your training. Try to drink a gallon of water a day, (it’s harder than it sounds) and focus on lean proteins, lots of greens and healthy sugars in food like fruit. Use our smoothie recipes to get you started!

Try something new: A new year and new training season is the perfect time to test out something fresh! If you’ve always wanted to try boxing or barre or cycling or yoga, give it a go! Any movement is good for your body and mind, and you might find your next favorite fitness class.

What are ways that help you stay motivated this time of year?

REMINDER: The health, safety and training information contained in this blog post, or otherwise provided to you in connection with your participation in the 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 3-Day or any athletic event, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.