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!

3-Day Training Walk Scavenger Hunt

Are you almost to the bottom of your playlist? Have you finished those podcasts and audiobooks you’ve been meaning to listen to? Looking for something else to do on your training walks? The 3-Day team has you covered.  

Grab your best 3-Day gear and make your next training walk an adventure with the official 3-Day Scavenger Hunt! We may be away from our family and friends, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and connect with the beauty around us while training for the 3-Day. Just like we take the time to appreciate the scenery and unique landmarks in each 3-Day city, we encourage you to do the same in your neighborhood. 

A big thanks to Cliff’s Crew, a 3-Day walking team that has regularly walked in the San Diego 3-Day for the past 17 years, for sharing their training walk scavenger hunt with the 3-Day team and giving us the idea to create our own.  

During your next walk (or next few walks) outdoors, see how many items you can check off the list on your own or share the list with your fellow walkers and turn it into a challenge. Let us know how many you can check off the list by tagging us @The3Day on Facebook and Twitter or @Komen3Day on Instagram. We may be apart, but we can still train #3DayTogether.  

  1. Pink flower 
  1. Christmas lights on someone’s house 
  1. Cloud in the shape of an object/person/animal 
  1. Hopscotch in sidewalk chalk (kudos to you if you also hop it!) 
  1. Water feature (fountain, waterfall, puddle) 
  1. The number 3 (could be on a street sign, address, poster in a store window…) 
  1. Signs for front-line workers 
  1. Red door 
  1. Duck in a pond 
  1. Flowerbox on a house or business 
  1. 3-Day Yard Sign 
  1. License plate with a pink ribbon or bumper sticker with pink ribbon  
  1. Colorful bird  
  1. Flag 
  1. Door with a wreath on it 
  1. Classic car 
  1. Something yellow (in honor of Youth Corps) 
  1. Your favorite mailbox seen on your walk 
  1. Dog (other than your own) 
  1. Bird’s nest 

What would you add to this list? Leave it in the comments below or share your own scavenger hunt on social media @The3Day on Facebook and Twitter or @Komen3Day on Instagram 

Meet Team Princess Warriors from the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day

African American women in the U.S. are often diagnosed younger and with more aggressive breast cancer than their white counterparts. They are also often diagnosed at later stages when treatments are limited, costly and the prognosis is poor. And they die from breast cancer nearly 40% more than Caucasian women. These facts are staggering, and Susan G. Komen is working daily to reduce disparities to achieve breast health equity.

We are not doing this work alone. We are supported by 3-Dayers like those on Team Princess Warriors from Dallas/ Fort Worth. Sylvia, Yolanda and Felecia have collectively walked in the 3-Day for more than twenty years combined, participating in 3-Days across the country. They are best known in Dallas/Fort Worth and will also be joining us in Chicago this year, but their dedication extends far beyond the bounds of the 3-Day weekend.

They are breast cancer health advocates all year long. They take any opportunity they can to “educate women, especially women of color, and make them aware of how this disease affects African American women.” We are honored to have them in our 3-Day family and are so proud to share their story. Read on for more of their expertise and inspirational stories.

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What keeps you coming back to the 3-Day again and again?

Sylvia’s mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 46 years old. Unfortunately, she passed away from the horrible disease at only 48 years old. Her paternal great grandmother, paternal grandmother, and three of her dad’s sisters have all been diagnosed with breast cancer as well. That’s not to mention that three of her husband’s aunts, two of his cousins and their sister-in-law are also breast cancer survivors.

Yolanda and Felecia both have friends who have been diagnosed and are currently fighting this disease as well as loved ones who have succumbed to breast cancer.

What are some of your top 3-Day memories from past years?

Our favorite memory was standing in line to take pictures after Day 1 during our second year. We were standing behind John and Lisa Shiner. I immediately recognized him because he was one of the inspirational speakers at camp during Sylvia’s first year walking. His wife and my mom who passed from breast cancer were both named Martha. We laughed and cried and hugged and cried some more. His wife Lisa is such a sweetheart.

After talking with them, they invited us to walk with them the next year in Twin Cities, so we did! We walked together all three days and they invited us over to their beautiful home for dinner. This was just the beginning of our friendship, and we have made so many more like it over the years. 

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What are your top training tips for first-time walkers?

  • Make sure you invest in good socks and shoes.
  • Make sure you wear all clothing before the event to see how everything works for you.
  • Remember, this is a walk not a race.
  • Take time to enjoy the scenery and the wonderful people around you each day on the 3-Day. Listen to their stories, learn more about them, and enjoy each and every minute with your new group of forever friends.
  • Train, train, and TRAIN before the 3-Day.
  • Hydrate and take advantage of the pit stops and lunch.

As a tight team unit, what is your advice to help pass the time on training walks?

We talk about times in the Army. It’s bittersweet reminiscing about friends who have gone on before us and we always talk about the effort to get rid of this disease that impacts so many across all walks of life.

We all love music in general. If we had to pick a favorite song, it would be “Roar” by Katy Perry. The lyrics are suited for any fight you may be going through. Those diagnosed and fighting breast cancer, along with their family and friends, truly get knocked down sometimes, but dust themselves off and keep fighting. It shows the strength and willpower of those going through this journey and those left carrying the torch for family and friends we’ve lost to this disease.

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What does the word “commitment” mean to you?

Commitment is something that we have lived our entire adult lives honoring. We all made commitments collectively, over a combined 78 years, supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States by serving actively in the US Army. It’s definitely something we do not take lightly. 

We have also made a commitment because of our drive and compassion for those who have been affected and are battling breast cancer. As a team, we dedicate our time and resources to a part of something so much greater than ourselves. Although we try to touch many with our cause, even if we only touch a few, it’s worth it.

Especially given how breast cancer impacts the African American community, why is the 3-Day so important?

Understanding that African American women die from breast cancer nearly 40% more than Caucasian women is alarming. Early detection is key. The 3-Day is SO important to us because it gives us another opportunity to educate women, especially women of color, and make them aware of how this disease affects African American women. Speaking from experience, it’s both unfortunate and also a kind of blessing that you’re made aware of this disease when someone you love has been diagnosed. But often it’s too late to fight it.

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We try to do our part and continue to make others aware that breast care is truly important to their health. We are often stopped during the walks and asked, “Why so much pink?” We love it. It gives us another chance to provide information to someone who may be uninformed.

How do you live the 3-Day spirit and spread the word all year long?

We are truly walking billboards for breast cancer awareness. We are not only sporting our pink gear during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but all throughout the year. We always reach out to those we encounter, making them aware of our 60-mile journey to save lives. Sylvia hosts events at her home throughout the year and works with the local school to ensure information is provided to the staff during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Walking 60 miles is an accomplishment; we try to use every opportunity to not only fundraise but educate those we meet daily.

What are you most excited about for 2020?

We are always excited about the opportunity to walk 60 miles in 3 days together. It gives our team another chance to spread breast cancer awareness and spend quality time together. We are excited about being in the city of Chicago this year as well! This is always a great opportunity to meet new people, be a part of their trials and triumphs, and provide words of encouragement to those who have gone through this ordeal or for loved ones currently going through it.

Join Team Princess Warriors at the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day by registering to join us in 2020 NOW! You can also find more information on how breast cancer affects the African American community, and what Susan G. Komen is doing to help, on our website.