Dressing for Success on the 3-Day

Choosing what to wear on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® can be a big decision. Keep some important tips in mind when deciding on your duds.3DAY_2016_Blog_TitleGraphics_DressingforSuccess_fp

Comfort First – For many walkers, the Komen 3-Day is a chance to show their amazing enthusiasm with costumes, team t-shirts or matching outfits. We love seeing you strut your 3-Day spirit, but we strongly advise you to consider comfort before flair. Even if you’re speedy, walking 20 miles will take you, at minimum, 5-6 hours and even longer if your pace is slower. Don’t dress in something that you won’t be comfortable wearing for the long haul. (If you want some inspiration for costumes, whether you’re looking for creativity or comfort, check out our “Best Dressed” Pinterest board!)

Layers, Layers, Layers – Each day of walking will start quite early in the morning, when it still may be chilly out. You will warm up quickly once you start moving, but we recommend that you cover yourself in layers that are easy to remove when your core temperature starts to rise. If a cold snap happens to hit during your 3-Day, you can certainly bundle yourself up a little more, but don’t wear more than you’d be willing to carry once it comes off.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 to find a cure for breast cancer.

Keeping cool with layers

Not in Cotton – This cozy fabric is great for a PJs or a t-shirt to lounge around camp in, but when it comes to walking, cotton is not always the best choice, especially if you sweat a lot. Clothing made of 100% cotton absorbs moisture and holds it, so if it’s particularly hot and you’re perspiring, your comfy cotton will get wet and heavy quickly. Damp clothing leads to uncomfortable friction against your skin, which leads to chafing (no fun to talk about, and even less fun to experience) and blisters.

Get Wicked – You can keep yourself as dry and comfy as possible by wearing clothing made with moisture-wicking materials. These synthetic fabrics draw moisture away from your body ( “wick” it away) and towards the exterior of the garment, which, for reasons mentioned above, is much better than having that dampness right next to your skin. Look for clothes that are a polyester blend, or check the tags for “moisture wicking” descriptions.

Susan G. Komen walkers gear up and take on Day 2 to find a cure for breast cancer.

Comfort and style can live happily together on the 3-Day!

Splurge on Socks – Take care in choosing all of your 3-Day apparel, but if you can only focus on one item, make it your socks. Get socks that fit your feet snugly, but still allow you to wiggle your toes. If you like short ankle socks, make sure they’re not so short that they slip down into your shoes when you move. And absolutely heed the above advice about which fabrics to choose. You’ll also want to bring extra socks, so you can change into a fresh, clean pair at mid-day each day.

Test Your Threads – Training is an essential practice for getting your body ready to walk all those miles, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to “test drive” what you plan to wear on the 3-Day. Narrow down your attire choices early on, and then train in them. If that cute pink top you picked up bleeds color, or those knee socks make your legs itch, or the shorts you love for tennis tend to…ahem…bunch up, you’ll want to know that before you realize you’re stuck in them for another 18 miles.

3-Day walkers: What’s been your favorite piece of clothing or gear to wear on the 3-Day? Let us know in the comments.

Walkers, it’s cold outside!

A couple of weeks ago, most of us had never heard of a “polar vortex,” but this week, the better part of America found itself smack dab in the middle of one. I think “Brrrrr!” is an understatement for the kind of weather we’re experiencing right now (unless you’re one of the lucky ones in California!).

January may still be a little bit early in the year to start your official 3-Day training, but since I know you all are still firmly committed to your 3-Day-related New Year’s Resolutions (right?), you’re working on increasing your walking a little bit at a time. But you may be wondering, “How can I get my 3-Day training walks in when it’s minus freezing degrees outside?”

cold walking

So here are some tips for walking in a winter wonderland:

Dress for the occasion – Before stepping outside, you’ll probably be inclined to bundle up in your down parka, but if you’re taking a walk, it may be better to dress in lighter, thinner layers, and shed as you go if you need to. Moisture-wicking fabric is best for the layer closest to your skin. You may be cold, but if you’re moving, you’re sweating, and the only thing worse than being really cold is being really cold and wet. Also, don’t forget hats and gloves, and whenever possible, wear brightly colors and/or reflective materials so you stand out against your white-grey environment.

Warm your digits – One 3-Day coach loves those chemical-activated hand and foot warmers (available in the camping section of any sporting goods store). They are a quick, inexpensive way to keep your fingers and toes toasty. They fit snugly inside your gloves and your shoes and will ease the shock of the freezing temps on your extremities.

Take care of your skin – Cold air and wind can really do a number on exposed skin, so don’t forget to put on moisturizer before heading out. And sunscreen too!

Hydrate – Drinking water when it’s hot out is a no brainer. You crave the cool water to quench the heat. It can be harder to remember to hydrate in the cold, but it’s no less essential when you’re exercising. If you normally carry your water in a fanny pack while you walk, think about holding it in your hand while walking in the cold, as an ever present reminder to sip as you step.

Choose your route carefully – Be certain that you’re walking someplace familiar, and be ready to pay close attention to the terrain with every step. If the sidewalks have not been cleared of ice and snow, walk in the street. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If you get lost in a snow drift, they’ll want to know where to start digging! J

Stay indoors – Wait, you’re not off the hook for training! But if it’s just too nasty outside, find someplace indoors to get moving. While we don’t recommend that you do all of your 3-Day training on a treadmill, it’s a perfectly good alternative to outdoor walking if you need it. No treadmill? Throw on your shoes and walk on an indoor track, through a shopping mall, or up and down the stairs in your office building. One of our coaches also suggested college campuses as places that often have large and/or interconnected bulidings, and lovely grounds you can walk through.

Trust your gut – Don’t push yourself too hard. If your instincts (or your local weather advisories) tell you that it’s not safe or healthy to be exercising outside, or if you get started on a walk and something doesn’t feel right, take a break. Having you healthy and whole for the 3-Day is more important than getting that mile or two in during a cold snap.

Here’s hoping for warmer days ahead! And if you have any great cold weather training tips that we missed, please share them in comments!

Washington DC 3-Day Day 1

First-timers on the Boston 3-Day

Everyone give a warm welcome to Cyndi, Sandy and Denise!

Cyndi Whitehead, Sandy Haynes, and Denise Vaudrin during lunch on the Boston 3-Day.

Cyndi Whitehead, Sandy Haynes, and Denise Vaudrin during lunch on the Boston 3-Day.

When Cyndi Whitehouse of Springfield, Massachusetts, was diagnosed with breast cancer 30 years ago, she probably could not foresee July 26, 2013 as her first day on a Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series with sister Sandy Haynes and good friend Denise Vaudrin! Here they are, and being with them even for a few minutes at lunch gave me the sense of their great love for each other and of life.  Cyndi asked her sister and friend to walk with her, and they gladly said, “Yes!”

How did they remember their first day? “Ouch!” They recommend a lot of training to prepare walkers for the long days.  They also had some great ideas for fundraising, as they had a local vineyard hold a wine tasting, complete with a relabeled wine “Poppy’s Girls” (named after the sisters’ father).  It sounded like a great evening with everyone happy and interested in breast cancer research and finding a cure.

"Poppies" is a relabeled wine served for fundraising for the Boston 3-Day®

“Poppy’s Girls” is a relabeled wine served for fundraising for the Boston 3-Day®

It’s wonderful to hear that Cyndi has been doing well for 30 years! Welcome to your first Komen 3-Day, Cyndi, Sandy, and Denise!