Handbooks, Handbooks, Handbooks!

While I watched the Olympics today, I also spent some time getting all of my 3 Day stuff organized.  In a lot of ways, participating in the 3 Day is like running your own small business.  In order to be successful, organization is key.  For me, I find that putting together a binder of all of my important papers and things is the most useful way for me to keep myself organized for the 3 Day (and everything else in life).  It's something I learned from my Dad.  He has an entire room full of binders.  I'm not far behind.

My 3 Day Binder for 2010!

Currently, my binder of choice for keeping my 3 Day "business" organized is the Better BinderTM from Staples, in hot pink, of course.  It's big and sturdy and almost never pinches my fingers.  Plus, it comes in hot pink - very festive!

In putting together my 3 Day Binder for 2010, I also took the opportunity to do something that I always do at the start of a new 3 Day season: I read my handbook.  Much like attending a Getting Started meeting, I think that reading your handbook is a critical step in preparing for a successful 3 Day, whether this is your first Komen 3 Day for the Cure or your 30th.  I know it sounds silly, but trust me.  There's good stuff in there, and it won't kill you to review it once a year.

This year, there were two options about how to receive your handbook.  One option is to have Susan G. Komen and the 3 Day folks send you a copy in the mail.  If you chose this option, you should have received your handbook with your registration packet.  Alternatively, you can choose to download your handbook from your Participant Center on the 3 Day website.  From there, you can read it on your computer or, if you're like me and you just need to highlight things, you can print off a hard copy.  Either way, I recommend making sure that you have some form of the handbook on hand through the completion of your 3 Day event.

My Komen 3 Day for the Cure Handbook

So why should you read your handbook?  Well, there's a lot of good stuff in there, like I said.

1.  Lots of tips and information about successful fundraising!
The fundraising section of the handbook

As they say in the first paragraph of the fundraising section of the handbook, the main goal of the Komen 3 Day for the Cure is raising money to bring an end to breast cancer.  And rather than throw you to the wolves and hope that you just show up with $2300 on the day of your event, Komen and the 3 Day organization want to make sure you succeed by giving you lots of fundraising tips and advice.  In particular, the handbook highlights two tried and true methods fundraising:  letter writing and hosting a fundraising event.  The first year that I walked in the 3 Day, I planned a fundraising party using the tips in the handbook and raised a couple hundred dollars in one night.  My letter writing campaign was even more successful.  In addition, the handbook will walk you through how to submit the donations that you receive, which is crucial to know if you want to be successful at fundraising.  Finally, the sections on matching gifts and the donation payment plans are great resources to give your supporters more options for increasing the size of their donations.
"The Golden Rule for fundraising is: You make money when you ask for it.  You don't when you don't" -- Komen 3 Day for the Cure Handbook, page 9
2.  Lots of tips about successful training!

The training section of the handbook

In addition to all the information you could want about fundraising, the handbook also covers just about everything you need to know about training for this crazy, three day endurance event.  We aren't running a marathon here - we're just about walking one, three days in a row.  That kind of thing requires training, even if walking is something we do every day.  The handbook provides lots of good information about health and safety during training, including nutrition and hydration tips.  There is also a section about the official training walks that the 3 Day and their Training Walk Leaders host.  There's even a whole section with recommended stretches that are definitely worth learning.  This is also where you will find both the 24 week and the 16 week recommended training schedules.  I've followed the 24 week training schedule for both of my walks and trust me - it works.  

  The 24 Week Training Schedule

"Nothing prepares you for walking better than walking." -- Komen 3 Day for the Cure Handbook, page 31
3.  Team info!

All about teams and why you should join one

On the 3 Day, it's definitely better to be a part of a team than to be a lone wolf.  We'll be talking more about this in the future.  But for now, the handbook is a great place to start to learn the ins and outs of finding, joining or starting a team.

"Participating on a team also means that you will get to experience the magic of the Komen 3 Day for the Cure with your friends and family - along the route and in camp at night!" -- Komen 3 Day for the Cure Handbook, page 39
4.  Everything else you could possibly need to know!

The Looking Ahead section of the 3 Day Handbook

In addition to covering training and fundraising, the handbook is also your first stop to learn about what to expect before, during and after the 3 Day event.  The handbook covers all of the meetings and clinics available to 3 Day participants as well as the Preview Expo held in each city a few months ahead of the 3 Day event.  Every aspect of the 3 Day experience is touched upon, even what you should plan to pack for the event.  

In short, the handbook is everything that you need to know about the Komen 3 Day for the Cure, in a handy hard copy for easy reference.  Read it, learn it, love it!  


Jacki said...

As a person new to the 3 day walk, and also as someone walking it alone, I find your blog very helpful and friendly and I definitely feel less alone. Thank you. The pictures are a nice touch as well. I hope I manage to bump into you in Boston this July.

Alena said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Kristen Sager Cincotta said...

Hi Jackie! I'm glad my blog is helping you feel less alone in your 3 Day journey. No one really does the 3 Day by themselves, that's for sure. I hope that we're able to cross paths in Boston!