People all around the country are putting on their sweat suits and sneakers to get ready to raise money for breast cancer research through breast cancer walks. Get ready to hit the pavement with these tips on preparing for walkathons.
Train Physically Whether you’re walking, running or bicycling, when you’re doing any sort of endurance challenge, you must train. Follow a training schedule that’s right for you as you get closer to your walk day. Start small by walking 30 minutes every other day and gradually add time to each walk. Training helps your body get used to exertion which may lower your risk of injury on the day of the walk.
Train Mentally Getting physically prepared helps you mentally prepare. Before the walk, find out what the course is like: hills and valleys, pavement and gravel. Have a good idea of what you’re facing. This helps with packing walk essentials for the day of the walk and can determine what type of shoes and clothing you should wear.
Pack Wisely On the day of the walk, make sure you have everything you need for any situation without over-packing. You can carry more than you would if you were running a marathon, but not much more. Every little bit you carry can start to feel heavier with each passing mile.
Items you should bring:
- Lip balm
- Light rain coat or poncho
- Identification Card (in case of emergency)
Gather Information As walk day approaches, start gathering information about what you’ll need on the day of the race. Generally, organizers will send you a walk day packet or send you information on where to pick up your packet. The packet will include:
- Information on how to get to the start and when you should arrive
- Your number
- Safety pins for your number
Set Your Pace On the day of the race, your heart will be pumping and you’ll be excited to walk for the cause, but resist the urge to walk too fast too soon. Conserve your energy by starting slow with the crowd. When walkers start to spread out, set your own pace. Make sure you’re walking at a comfortable clip that won’t wear you out before the finish line.
Rest When you finish the walk, allow yourself ample rest time. If you want to stay in your top walking condition, wait a day before working low-impact exercise into your routine. If you wait too long, your body can start to “de-train” making your habit hard to maintain. Maintaining fitness gets you ready for your next big walk to raise money, raise awareness and honor victims of breast cancer.
Exercise feels great; exercise for a good cause feels even better.