5 Tips for Walking an Avon Walk
Since I’ve crewed a walk one and walked two Avon Walks now, I thought I’d put together a list of advice. Here are my 5 Tips for Walking an Avon Walk for Breast Cancer:
Training is Worth the Effort – This may seem obvious, but it seems that a lot of people don’t train enough for these long walks. Each year, I get in at least one ~20 mile training walk along with numerous other 8-12 mile walks. I see the point of training as a way to test out your gear and learn how your body reacts to walking such a long distance. Be sure to wear any clothing or gear that you plan to wear on walk weekend during your training walks. Also be sure to train in weather similar to what you’ll expect the weekend of your walk if possible. If you have trained well, you will know what works and what doesn’t work for you. You’ll also hopefully have fully broken in your shoes and won’t get any blisters!
Have a great Team of Supporters by Your Side – For me, the 13.1 miles on Sunday is mostly a mental challenge. Yes, my body is sore and I’m tired, but I can power through that knowing what a great cause I’m supporting. Hubby has joined me to walk the last mile or so for both walks that I’ve done. It’s nice to have someone there encouraging me through to the end. Whether it’s a teammate, friend, or family member, I recommend having someone there to cheer you on at the end. It’s great to get a big hug when it’s all said and done.
Listen to Your Body – This is another seemingly obvious point. It is very important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you’re starting to tighten up, stop to stretch. Don’t wait until the next stop, do it right away. If you’re not peeing at every rest stop, you’re probably not drinking enough and could risk getting dehydrated. Training walks will help you to be able to identify the signals your body is sending you.
Skip the Tenting – I know a lot of people will disagree with this tip. But I stand by it. I tented when I crewed Boston in 2009. I was tired and sore the next day. I remember thinking that I could never get up and walk 13 miles after sleeping on the ground. Both of the walks I have done have been out of town, so there’s also the factor of traveling with all the gear necessary to tent at the Wellness Village. I think it’s worth it to be able to take a long hot shower, have a cold beer at a bar, and sleep in a bed on Saturday night.
Enjoy your Walk! – The walks go through some amazing parts of some amazing cities. Take the time to see the sights. Take pictures. Read the little snipets about the landmarks you walk by. Stop in Chinatown for a dumpling. Or at a famous bakery for a cupcake. Talk to the other walkers and ask them why they’re walking. Remember that you should be proud of this amazing accomplishment and enjoy yourself!
If you’ve been thinking about joining me for a walk, now is your chance! I will be walking the Avon Walk in Boston 2012 on May 19-20. If you’d like to join my email, email me. If you’d like to donate to my walk, you can do so by clicking here.