The Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day – Every Step is a Journey

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Welcome to the Insider’s Guide to the 3-Day! If you’re not sure what you’re in for, let us tell you!

If you haven’t read our earlier installments, you can check them out here:

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No one is better qualified to add to our Insider’s Guide than 3-Day Coach Gina, who has walked the Michigan 3-Day, and now leads both the Michigan and Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day as our Crew & Volunteer Coordinator. Gina is also a breast cancer survivor, and deep supporter of every member of our 3-Day family, from walkers to crew to Youth Corps and beyond. She is sharing her personal memories and 3-Day journey with us, in the hopes that her story might inspire others to join our family.

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Getting Ready: 3-Day Fundraising

  • Ask everyone…and then ask again! Never doubt how much family and friends want to support you on your 3-Day journey. For participants, “the ask” isn’t easy, but you are asking for a cause you believe in, so allow donors to see your passion and how much you are willing to do in this fight.
  • Whether or not a person donates, ask them to forward your email onto their family and friends…And watch your donor circle grow. Always remember that follow-up is key!
  • Utilize social media and have fun with it. Try a Ten Dollar, or Twenty Dollar Tuesday, “I am walking for…” Wednesday, High Five Dollar Friday…the possibilities are endless. Create that sense of urgency and enjoy the process of connecting with folks while watching your fundraising grow.
  • Double (even triple) your fundraising dollars with a matching gift. Check out our matching gift page at The3Day.org/Matching for detailed instructions. Simply ask every donor, “Does your company participate in a matching gift program?” That $25 donation might become a $50 donation!

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Getting Ready: 3-Day Training

  • Follow the suggested training program and make it your own. Given everyone’s busy schedules, it might seem daunting when you look at the entire 24-week or 16-week training schedule. Take it week by week and get the miles in when you can.
  • A lunchtime or evening walk (once it’s not so hot!) is always good. You’ll probably find that the weekends will be when you train the most, but this will differ from person to person. For me, it was important that I saw my mileage increase each week, not necessarily my number of training walks.
  • Look for official training walks being led in your area at org/TrainingWalks. These are led by 3-Day training walk leaders and are an excellent way to train, meet fellow walkers and have some good ‘ole 3-Day fun!

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And then it begins…Friday morning on the 3-Day

You cannot deny the buzz in the air the morning of the Opening Ceremony. Excitement, nervousness, anticipation, lots of moving pieces…And lots of PINK! Get your tissues ready (or at least I did!) once the Opening Ceremony begins, because it’s an experience like no other. An experience that sets the stage for your three days ahead.

Taking on 60 miles!

To say you are fully supported on the 3-Day route is an understatement.

From the pit stops, where you refuel and rehydrate to the Porta-Potties, where you…well, you know! The cheering stations where families, the community and strangers who are now friends come out to cheer on walkers and sprinkle encouragement through their words and signs.

I must give a shout out to our all-volunteer and all-around amazing Crew. Crew members commit to all three days like the walkers and experience a different kind of 3-Day. You will find Crew around every turn, and at camp, making sure walkers are fully supported. At pit stops, the lunch stop, and patrolling the route on motorcycles and bicycles. Crew sets up camp, hauls participants’ gear. Medical Crew makes sure participants are happy and healthy all weekend.

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One of the high points for me personally is seeing the Youth Corps, our friends in yellow. These are youth who commit to serving the walkers throughout the weekend. To see these kids and teens giving their time and energy to the fight against breast cancer really speaks to our future.

If I can sum up my experience it’s that I remember, at times, thinking, “I cannot walk another step.” Then I would look around, see my fellow walkers, and the support, and I would realize that walking is the easy part and we keep going because hearing the words, “you have breast cancer” will forever change a person’s life.

Camp: A More Than Pink Sleepover!

Camp is otherwise known as the fabulous “pink bubble.” Coming from a non-camper, this is not the camping I would normally think of. The word “glamping” is much more like it, and even then, I am always amazed the detail that goes into making sure 3-Day participants are made to feel welcome and comfortable all weekend.

Your pink tent will be your home away from home, and you’ll eat a yummy breakfast and dinner in the dining tent. My advice is to immerse yourself in the 3-Day campsite; it’s really part of your experience. Watch the camp show, visit 3-Day Main Street, and shower in the shower trucks. It’s a memorable experience like no other.

Just like on the route, you are fully supported and won’t want to leave this sweet bubble of love and kindness. Alas, Sunday will arrive, you’ll bid farewell to camp, pack up your belongings and be reunited with your gear at the Participant Finish Area.

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Closing Ceremony and the morning after…

For me, the last day of the 3-Day is bittersweet. Walking into the Closing Ceremony is indescribable. Since each participant has their own reason for participating in the 3-Day, each participant might have a different feeling when they take their final steps of the Victory Walk from the Participant Finish Area into the Closing Ceremony.

I always feel the walkers and crew of the 3-Day are part of a special group, bound together by their passion, enthusiasm and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. I will never give up, and you will feel this drive and passion from the moment you register for your 3-Day journey, too!

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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.