Walking 60 miles for the October Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure can be an exhilarating experience if you train properly for the event.
Whether you are walking 20 miles a day for three days in a row as part of the official Komen race or another breast cancer fundraiser walk, you need to prepare.
I walked in a breast cancer fundraising 60-mile walk in my area that was sponsored by a local Catholic Church to raise money for breast cancer research and assistance for women with breast cancer. Some people walked only a few laps. I walked the entire 60 miles!
We walked a 4-mile loop in a park-like setting through neighborhoods on sidewalks. Instead of camping out overnight, we went home with our families and then some of us returned the next morning for another grueling 20 miles.
Here’s my advice for how to train for the October 3-Day Race for a Cure so you minimize blisters, pain and muscle cramps.
No 1: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: Start training far in advance of the race event. Give yourself at least five months unless you are already in great shape.
No. 2: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: Even if you are physically fit, you need to get used to walking long distances. Walk four miles three times a week and take two days off. The other two days should be your long walks building up to 20 miles each of the two days.
No. 3: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: Don’t make the mistake of cramming all of your miles into the weekend. After walking 16 miles on Saturday, you might skip the Sunday workout. Also, your body does not have a chance to recover. Spread out your longer walks throughout the week and don’t neglect the shorter walks.
No. 4: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: Have a physical exam before you start training and again just before the race. I liked the fact we had a nurse on hand at the 3-Day Race I walked in, and the nurse was able to check our vital signs during the race.
No. 5: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: Bring plenty of water and light snacks such as granola bars for your long training walks. Walk with a group of other women so you always have a different conversation going to keep your mind off the distance.
No. 6: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: By the final three weeks, you should be walking 20 miles twice a week in preparation for the race. Make sure you don’t skip those training days.
No. 7: How to Train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Race for the Cure: Make sure you have two pairs of tennis shoes that have been broken in prior to the day of the race. You need a second pair in case it rains. Bring a change of clothes and change of shoes and socks.
Is the 3-Day Race hard? Absolutely. After the first day, I had blisters. My husband did not want me to go back the second day, but I did. I cried during the final four-mile lap on the third day because I was in so much pain. Think about it. You walk 20 miles. The next day you walk another 20 miles. The following day you walk 20 more miles. The blisters you get may not even look human!
I’ve jogged 20 miles before in one day, but walking 20 miles three days in a row was more difficult than any long-distance jog.
Remember the Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure or other breast cancer fundraising walk is for a good cause – to help find a cure for breast cancer. I walked in honor of my Grams who died of breast cancer. Just keep focused on the reason for the event and train religiously and you will do fine.