Michigan 3-Day—2016 Route Update!

Last year on the 3-Day® blog, we shared some detailed “Insider’s Peek at the Route” posts with you. We pulled the curtain back on the overall process of planning and executing a 60-mile route, and then got even more in-depth with each individual 3-Day walk’s route.

This year, we don’t need to dive quite so deep, since most of what we shared last year still applies. But we definitely wanted to keep you looped-in with the updates and changes that have been made to the 3-Day routes for 2016. We’re also bringing in members of the 3-Day Advisory Council to share their thoughts about the 2016 changes. These participants stand as the “voice” of the 3-Day community and their input has been instrumental in strengthening the communication and camaraderie between Komen and the 3-Day family, so we’re thrilled to have their insight here on our route updates.

So that’s what we have in store for you, starting with MICHIGAN.

Need a refresher about what the Michigan 3-Day route was like last year? Read our 2015 “Insider’s Peek” post here.

New for 2016 – Missy, the Event Planning Manager for the Michigan 3-Day told me about some exciting updates. She shared that the Day 1 route will be “completely new” and will include a portion of the day spent along the east side of Walled Lake (some of you may remember that the route went along the west side of the lake in 2013). There will be all new route sites (pit stops, lunch) on Day 1, including a grab & go at the newly renovated Pavilion Shore Park, which Missy says, “has the most amazing view of the lake and will be an incredible photo op.”

In addition to the Day 1 changes, the out-and-back route from/to camp on Day 2 will be reversed from the last few years. Missy shared, “Reversing the route on Day 2 allows for cooler temperatures and additional shade during the Hines Park stretch, which has been challenging in the late afternoon.” She also said that many participants have given feedback about lunch being too early in the day on Day 2, so “reversing this day’s route opened up the opportunity to have lunch at a later mile marker.” Route highlights that walkers can look forward to include Walled Lake, Novi, Hines Park, Historic Northville and Plymouth (especially the pink fountain at Kellogg Park in Plymouth), Dearborn Historical Museum, and Ford World Headquarters.

In Their Words – Here’s what Gary and Beth, two of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Michigan updates:

Gary (8x Michigan participant—2016 Michigan lunch crew)11794640_10155853624685392_8180345660254597293_o“I really like the changes you have made to the route. I know the area for Day 1 and that walk route should be very well received. I also agree, as an early walker on the route, the lunch stop on Day 2 was too early, and I like that you have reversed the route and moved lunch further out. One of the favorite parts of the Michigan walk is definitely the town of Plymouth. The entire town seems to come out to root on the walkers!”

Beth (3-Day participant since 2002—2016 Michigan will be her 25th walk!)beth northman“I walk in the Michigan event every year since I’m a team captain in Michigan (the BC Babes) and also a training walk leader. Plus, I love, Love, LOVE the Michigan walk and the amazing support along the route. I’m excited about the changes. Each year they’ve ‘tweaked’ the route a little, and it seems like they’re making bigger changes this year which will be exciting to see. We do have patches each day where there’s not a lot of shade and walking through those parts earlier in the day and also having some lake views on Day 1 will be a welcome change. I’m glad Opening, Camp and Closing will be the same. Suburban Collection and Ford Headquarters are great places to hold these aspects of the Michigan walk.

“You can’t beat the Michigan 3 Day event. In addition to the best crew around we’ve got awesome community support for the entire 60 miles. Walking through the city of Plymouth on Saturday afternoon is always a highlight on the route. Hard to top the pink fountain and the hundreds of people cheering in Kellogg Park.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating the 150th 3-Day event this year in Michigan. In addition, the BC Babes are excited to celebrate for another reason—we’ll hit the $1,000,000.00 fundraising milestone with the 2016 walk!”

 

Keep an eye on the 3-Day blog in the coming weeks when we’ll continue sharing updates about all of the 2016 3-Day routes.

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11 Hot Weather Training Hacks

In the middle of summer, going out for a 3-Day training walk in the heat may be the last thing you’d like to do. But if you decide to venture out and get some training miles in on hot days, here are some tips/hacks that might make the sun-baked miles a little easier to bear.

First, a few obvious reminders, which I’m sure you already know, but we must repeat anyway…

  • Always wear sunscreen, with a minimum of SPF 30. Don’t forget to cover your ears, any exposed parts of your scalp (better yet, cover your head with a hat) and lips too.
  • Drink LOTS of water, and ideally, rotate water and sports drinks.
  • If your area is experiencing hazardous heat levels, or you just don’t feel right out in the high temperatures, stop. There will always be other times to walk, and risking your health and comfort are not worth it.
  • For ALL training walks, remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Try not to walk alone, or if you must, be sure someone knows where you’ll be.susan g komen 3-day breast cancer walk beat the heat

Okay, on to the hacks!

  1. Fill a water bottle halfway and freeze it on its side. That way, when you fill the rest with water, it’ll cool the water more uniformly, so you’ll get refreshing cold with every sip.IMG_7631
  2. Fact: outside temperatures are typically coolest right before the sun rises. If possible—especially for longer walks—get out and start moving close to dawn. You’ll beat the heat and also finish early enough to still have a productive day (or a long and lazy day if that’s what you want).
  3. Remember that an important part of your 3-Day training is cross-training (i.e., exercise that isn’t walking), and summer is the perfect time to throw some swimming, water aerobics, stand-up paddleboarding or rowing into your fitness routine.
  4. When dressing for a warm weather walk, synthetic materials that draw moisture away from the body are better than 100% cotton. Also, light colors will deflect sunlight, keeping you cooler. (More info about best practices for what to wear is here.)2015_3DAY_ATL_GF_0249
  5. Did you know that bra coolers were a thing? They’re basically little cold packs that fit snugly into the underside of your bra, keeping your “girls” cool in warm conditions. Search online for several options.
  6. Get a cooling wrap to wear on your neck. You can even make these wraps fairly easily; a Pinterest search of “cooling neck wrap” will show you dozens of how-to’s. Online retailers and drug stores also sell them.
  7. Looking for a well-shaded route to walk? A quick internet search of “shaded walk [city name]” will come back with some good results that you may have never considered.
  8. If you can’t walk in natural shade, you can make your own by carrying a sun umbrella.2015_3DAY_SD_GF-211
  9. Pick a route that has lots of places to stop and rest. Remember, when you’re walking in the heat, you should be drinking more water (and sports drinks, if possible) than usual, so plan your route to pass places where you can use the bathroom and refill your water. Convenience stores or coffee and fast food chains are good for this.
  10. If you plan to take a long training walk in hot conditions, see if you can recruit a friend or family member to be your personal support vehicle. They can drive to meet you at points along your route with drink refills, fresh socks and sunscreen, and a cool car to sit in for a few minutes. Seeing those friendly faces can also help rally you onward when the heat may be tempting you to call it quits.2015_3DAY_TC_GF-149
  11. For no more than a few bucks, you can get a hand-held, battery-powered personal fan to carry. It won’t be quite the same as stepping into an air conditioned building, but if you’re out in the heat and there’s no natural breeze, that little bit of moving air from a fan can really feel nice on sweaty faces, arms and necks. Any drug store or superstore with a summer section will carry these, or you can easily find them through online sellers (is there anything you can’t get online?).

You can find a few other warm weather tips here. What else helps keep you cool when you’re walking in the summer?

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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.