Thursday, May 13, 2010

Train with it, walk with it.

If you talk to an experienced 3-day walker, one of the best pieces of advice they will give is, "train with everything that you plan on walking with." I completely agree with this advice, and with good reason:  what works for you (or the thousands of other walkers) might not work for me.  And just because it works while I walk my dog, doesn't mean it works at mile 18.

Case One: The Pack and Bottle

There is a split camp on the pack - to use a fanny-pack or a camelbak pack.  Both have their pros and cons.  Like a good newbie, before my first walk, I tired both.  The fanny pack rode up on my hips from the moment I set out.  Unfortunately, I was given "birthin' hips" and no matter how much I tried, the pack always ended up ... um ... right under the "girls."  Not comfy.

So I tried the camelbak.  Again I thank my genetics for a lovely attribute - I perspire.  (Well, lets be honest and less lady-like: I sweat, a lot.)  The camelback did not help with that problem, as my back quickly resembled a rain forest - humid, hot, and wet.  I also felt like I wasn't drinking enough with it on.  Not good either.

Then, I lucked out and found an awesome hand-held water bottle.  It was a constant reminder to "Drink!" plus, it had a little pocket for my chapstick and a tissue.  Awesome.

Then I decided to go against advice and try one of those draw-string gym bags - the kind a lot of people use to take their stuff into the shower.  It was comfortable, in didn't make me sweat, and it was just the right size.  Every training walk I went on I would wear it - from the 3-milers to the double whammy of 18/15.  Turns out, it was perfect.

Case Two: The Clothing

I must have tried a bazillion different shirt/shoe/sock/pant/undergarment combo's before I found the right one.  I took all the advice I could get - but again, "child-birthin' hips" got in the way.  Shirts rolled up, were too short, etc. etc.  Pants rode up, or were too hot.  Socks - oh lord, I could do a whole post on socks.  One day I thought I had hit the jackpot of a good clothing combo.  Then, 5 miles into a training walk, I almost had a mental breakdown (resembling The Shinning) due to rubbing that came from a tiny little tag that stuck out of the side seam.  Never. Again.

And one last thing before I digress: don't forget the underwear.  Right before the 2008 walk I found a perfect pair of dry-wicking undies.  Everyone on my last training walk swore by them!  Ummmm, yeah.  Did you see me at the mall ducking into the bathroom stall and changing them out at mile ONE?  Enough said.

Cases 3 - 8 Million

Every single one of the walkers who have come before you tell you the same advice because they have a story of their own.  I've heard from a woman whose pink costume turned her skin into a lovely shade of fuchsia, another who had an allergic reaction from her skin glide, and a guy who realized quickly how bad his shoes felt - on the morning of day one.

Don't be one of us.

Wear everything you plan to wear/use on the walk while you are training.
No exceptions.
The end.

PS - if you would like to try a new workout shirt come over to my other blog and enter to win a free Thriv natural performance shirt!  They get rave reviews.  Come enter here!


  1. Love it! Will be sharing with my team members.

  2. As a newbie I love the constant reminds because I do eventually get it. I had bought this cute back pack from 3day and thought Oh it comes from 3day it will work, right?!? Well I was just about ready to give it up because it keep riding or hanging or just being yucky. Then I bought me two re-useable water bottles and attached them to the back pack and guess what it was just what the pack was missing. I really don't know why but they were like magic.

    Thanks from a newbie,


  3. I loved this...I never thought of the panties!

    :o) Philly Newbie

  4. Where is a good place to find underwear?! Never thought of that!

  5. Excellent post! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

  6. Good luck with the walk. What a great cause!

  7. I have also been using a gym bag from the 3Day store during training and love it. Still need to find a more comfy hand held water bottle.
    Didn't think about underwear - thanks for the tips.

  8. This is the same message I tell everyone on my training walks! Great advice from start to finish!

    Kim Kuhne
    Training Walk leader in Bothell WA