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Training tips for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk

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Staying hydrated and cool

To help prepare for hot weather conditions that you may experience during the 3-Day, you must train under conditions similar to those of the event itself.

Woman Running in the Summer

  • Conditions that mimic the actual 3-Day will help your body adjust and be prepared for the event.
  • Slow down; adjust your pace and distance.Train for walking in the heat by acclimating slowly,
    increasing the intensity and duration of your exercise over seven to ten days.
  • It will be cool when the walk begins in the early morning but quickly heat up by the afternoon.
  • Include training walks during the hotter parts of the day.
  • Vary your walking terrain to include sidewalks, trails, asphalt and hills.
  • While the 3-Day routes may not always have areas of shade, if you can, select routes that are shaded to avoid direct sunlight.
  • Plan for refuge along the way. Is there a store, park restroom or other place that you can duck into to cool down during your walk if needed?
  • Carry at least one water bottle with you at all times while training to help you monitor how much fluid you are consuming. Add ice to your fluids to keep them cooler.
  • Monitor your fluid intake. Drink when thirsty. Your urine should be dilute and you should be
    urinating frequently. Try to consume 4 – 5 ounces of fluid per mile (1 – 2 standard water bottles per hour). This should include water and sports drink.
  • To prevent hyponatremia, consume electrolyte drinks if walking longer than 1 hour, and add salty snacks such as pretzels to maintain your salt balance.
  • Map out a route of water stops to ensure you stay hydrated while training.
  • Limit your intake of dehydrating beverages such as alcohol, coffee, tea and soda when you
    exercise. Match each glass of these liquids with at least one glass of water.
  • Pay attention to local weather forecasts. Do not exercise during heat or air advisories.
  • Remember to warm up and cool down. You still need to prepare the body to exercise, even in hot weather. This includes stretching!
  • Plan shorter walks for hot days and save longer walks for more moderate heat.
  • Recognize early symptoms of heat stress or hyponatremia: headache, dizziness, cramps,
    clammy skin, and extreme weakness. If you think you might be suffering from the heat, stop, find shade and water, and let your body recover. Seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms do not improve.
  • Watch your health. Make sure you are aware of both medical conditions and medications that can affect your tolerance for exercising in the heat.
  • Keep your body cool and take advantage of any sprinklers or hoses that are on around you whilewalking.

Dressing for Warm Weather

  • Wear breathable, lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.
  • Choose fabrics that will breathe and reflect the rays of the sun.
  • Choose fabrics that wick sweat away from the skin to provide for more cooling. Shirts, shorts,
    sports bras and socks should be made of these wicking fabrics.
  • Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing as the day becomes hotter.
  • If you experience chafing on your thighs, try bike-style shorts and layer them under looser shorts if needed.
  • Bring along an extra dry t-shirt and pair of socks to change into if needed.
  • Always wear sun protection. Use waterproof/sweat proof sun block of at least SPF 15 and apply it 30 minutes prior to training.
  • Try anti-chafing products such as Body-Glide, Vaseline, or powder if you experience chafed skin at your underarms, chest, crotch or thighs.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Look for hats with vents or mesh to allow your head to breathe.
  • For long walks, consider a hat with a neck drape to keep your neck from burning or look for neck coolers that you can soak in cold water.
  • Wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection to keep your eyes shaded from the sun.
  • Blisters develop more readily in hot temperatures. Prior to your walk, prepare your feet as needed to prevent blisters from developing.

For more information about breast cancer on sheKnows

Breast lumps: Symptoms, treatment and prevention 
How to tell your loved ones: "I have cancer" 
Tips for dealing with cancer 

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