Expert Tips for 3-Day Newbies

We LOVE welcoming first-time walkers to the 3-Day! What don’t we love? Blisters on our newbies’ feet. Our veteran walkers swear by their tips to make the 3-Day experience amazingwhether that be with special socks, shoes, or gear, or with training tips to ensure they’re ready to tackle 60 miles. To make sure our first-time walkers feel supported, we asked the expert members of our Facebook groups for New England, San Diego, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chicago to share their top tips for newbie walkers.

Tl;dr: Don’t skimp on socks and footwear, train in your chosen shoes, and get ready for three days unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Clothing and Gear
Learn which items our veterans say are indispensable on the 3-Day.

  • “Don’t forget socks!” Carol B.
  • “Underwear. I forgot that ONCE.” Alisen D.
  • “Cancer sucks T-shirts for my new teammates.” Tina H. P.
  • “Bring shoes! Don’t ask how I know this🤦‍♀️ Also flip flops for camp or hotel.” Julie J.
  • “A heating pad for the end of the day! 😁” Elizabeth S.
  • “Water bottle, extra socks to change each day at lunch, rain poncho, and Vaseline® or Body Glide®.” Gretchen E. B.
  • “Don’t forget your ID! I packed so light that I left my license at home last year and missed my flight to Boston. I won’t do that again. 😆” Belen C.
  • “Blister care items, water bottle (two for sure), an extra pair of tennis shoes, and comfy shoes for the end of the day.” Malagni M. M.
  • “My pink YETI® and my cinch sack with all my buttons I’ve collected over the last 12 years!” Jeanne G. M.
  • “Blister care, favorite snack for bedtime, and something small to give to other walkers so that you engage with others.” Elaine G. S.
  • “Hairbrush. It’s not on the 3-Day packing list. I forgot it the first year I walked and always remember it now!” Debby M. R.
  • “I like my pink horse wrap, pink duct tape, and pink kineseo tape. It all works for me.” Marilyn W. G.
  • “HikeGoo to prevent blisters, two pairs of socks for each day so I can change at lunch, and comfy recovery shoes for the end of the day.” Kate P.
  • “Love my toe socks. I rarely get blisters wearing them and then only on my heels one time.” Shirley B. E.
  • “Comfortable sports bra! Find one that fits well and doesn’t chafe.” Janna F.
  • “Good shoes and socks!” Jacki P.
  • “I wear socks with my Keens. No blisters!” Roxanne L.-V.
  • “Besides the right shoesbring sunscreen, and sunglasses.” Terri L.
  • “Layers. A wicking shirt if it’s hot, cotton if it’s cold. All clothing should be non-chafingtest it out ahead of time.” Terry B. B.
  • “A great sports bra!” Sara M. G.
  • “Good and big shoes with NON-cotton socks.” Nataly T. P.
  • “Toe socks.” Elizabeth S.
  • “Sunglasses.” Alisen D.
  • “For the ladies…a good sports bra.” Julie L.
  • “Socks and good shoes!” Donna T. W.
  • “Good shoes. Then socks.” Lori L.
  • “Extra socks for midday and a bigger pair of shoes for day three. My feet are always swollen by day three.” Wendy C.
  • “Toe socks and foot lube🤣” Mary M.
  • “Compression shorts under my regular shorts (keeps my thighs from rubbing together, causing sparks and catching my underwear on fire).” Sherry P.
  • “Good shoes and good socks WHICH YOU HAVE TRAINED IN. You need to test everything you wear.” Kat C.
  • “Toe socks, and use HikeGoo before you put them on! Alisen D. has a great video of it 😂” Lisa B.
  • “Toe socks and good shoes.” Patricia A.
  • “Compression socks.” Julie L.
  • “Excellent shoestwo pairs.” Pam B.
  • “Good socks, double-layer Wrightsocks™.” Suzanne J.
  • “Make sure you have the right shoes. Right fit and support.” Michelle S.
  • “A smile! Toe socks…no blisters.” Julie J.
  • “Socks are everything. High-end running socks.” Nancy P.
  • “Don’t skimp on shoes and socks.” Sally P.
  • “The names of everyone for whom you walk. Sunglasses! Your credentials printed a few times.” Sandy K.

Training
The weeks and months before the 3-Day can set you up for an enjoyable, pain-free three days. Our veterans tell you how.

  • “Train. Do it… lol… and don’t skip. 🙂 (I learned my lesson my first year)” Valerie K.
  • “Have a training plan. It’s not a race. Soak in the event, enjoy each station, don’t walk alone, buddy up, hydrate, stretch, most importantly have fun. This is my 5th walk.” Donna R. L.
  • “Train! Find what works for YOU: shoes, socks, sports bras, etc. What works for some may not work for you. Embrace every moment!” Sara M. G.
  • “Make sure to train with your gear and break in your sneakers!” Jennifer R.
  • “Stretch, hydrate and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t keep to the suggested training walk schedule. Keep on going, gradually increasing your miles each week.” Beth W. N.
  • “Start slowly and work your way into higher mileage.” Alisen D.
  • “Get some hills in, even if they are small, even if you hear there are no hills on the route. Hills will help you gain strength. Also wear pink or your team shirt. You never know who you’ll pass, and they may donate. Julie J.
  • “Train.” Susan K. T.
  • “Practice as you mean to go on. Set a pace that is consistent, potty every 3 miles, hydrate, smile, walk, walk, walk…and enjoy your journey!” Teresa O. H.
  • “Find a buddy to train with and STRETCH!!” Mary Jo A.  

Day-Of
Here are a few final tips on how to have the best 3-Day ever.

  • “Start earlier than suggested and stick with it! Warm up, and STRETCH! Oh, and eat, drink and pee!” Patti N. H.
  • “TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET 🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻. Pink shoes are not always the best shoes. Use petroleum jelly on your feet at every pit stop or when you feel a hot spot. Change socks at lunch.” Glenda F. Y.
  • “Dry socks, and use petroleum jelly or Body Glide for feet. it’s not a race, so take it in, plan and prep.”Terri P. S.
  • “I’m super excited for the upcoming New England walk! I did my last one in San Diego, but it was a few years ago! Moleskin and good socks are key to a less painful day!” Suellen P. T.
  • “Be in the momentit’s not a race. The fun and memorable moments are in the thick of the pack of walkers!” Elizabeth S.

Veteran walkers, what did we forget? Share in the comments!

Why I Walk: First-Time Walker Emmie J. Spent Her 21st Birthday on the New England 3-Day

To Emmie Jeffcoat, commitment means “doing everything I am capable of to help find a cure.” It also meant spending her 21st birthday as part of “the most heartwarming weekend ever” on the New England 3-Day!

Emmie had heard a lot about the 3-Day from her aunt (Coach Gayla from Dallas/Fort Worth!), but she still didn’t fully know what to expect. She didn’t anticipate being moved in the way she was over her three days in the New England 3-Day Pink Bubble. She decided to walk in 2019 because she hoped to inspire more young people to walk as well, but she’ll be back in 2020 because of the friends (of all ages) that she made during her 60-mile journey.

What began as a birthday celebration turned into a life-changing experience. Emmie is sharing with us just how much the 3-Day affected her, and why she will continue to commit 3 days.

How did you prepare for your 3-Day journey?

I didn’t follow the training guide as well as I should have. However, I did find that just getting used to being on my feet helped me a lot. I also walk 5-10 miles every day on campus just going to class, so I think that helped me, too! Fortunately for me, my campus is full of hills, so I was prepared for the hills on the walk.

Do you have any fundraising advice for first timers?

My best advice with fundraising would be exactly what my aunt told me: ask anyone and everyone! You never know who is going to have a connection to breast cancer or want to donate, so tell everyone about the walk and what it’s about. More than half of the people who donated to my fundraiser were people I had either never met or hadn’t seen in years. Social media played a HUGE part in my fundraising as well. Putting information on social media platforms helped me get my story out to more people.

Tell us about your overall 3-Day experience!

I have so many fond memories of my three-day experience!

  1. I think I laughed harder with my Aunt than I ever have in my entire life. There’s not one specific memory of that, but just 3 days FULL of laughing until I could barely breathe.
  2. I had the honor of meeting a survivor who was walking her 19th 3-day! Just talking to her and hearing her story made me realize the amount of strength these survivors have. I felt honored to be able to walk for them and be a small part of something so amazing. I know I had technically only been around her for three days, but she quickly became a huge role model for me. She was one of the coolest people I have ever met.
  3. GEORGE! He was such a wonderful example of what true love looks like. He is the sweetest/toughest man, and I loved seeing him every day. I wish everyone in the world could meet George.
  4. The Crew! The 3-Day crew was beyond awesome. I honestly don’t know how they manage. They had food, medical, pit stops, etc. Thank you, 3-Day Crew, for showing me how extraordinary the 3-Day is.
  5. The most amazing ceremony Saturday night. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that night is one I will never forget. It opened my eyes to what the walk is really about.
  6. Hearing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond was also the best. It’s a song that everyone knows, so when it starts playing it’s so much fun to get a big group singing together!

The 3-Day is a big commitment in a variety of ways. What did this commitment mean to you?

I think the word “commitment” holds a whole new meaning now since I completed the walk. Commitment is making the choice to see something all the way through no matter what. Concerning breast cancer, I think commitment is making the decision to fight as hard as you possibly can. I think for families it means fighting with your loved one(s) throughout the entire process and sharing the strength it takes to get through something like that.

What are your plans for next year?

When I signed up for my first walk, I thought it was going to be a one-time thing I got to cross off my bucket list. However, after participating I realized that it is impossible to do just one! I haven’t decided which city yet, but you will definitely see me at another 3-Day in 2020! My goal is to do one 3-Day walk per year. You will also be able to catch me at some cheer stations dressed up and ready to make some walkers smile!