Training browsing by category

Getting ready for the big day!


Why not one-day?

Written by on Apr 20, 2015

Challenge Walk MS on Cape Cod is seven months away! While that may seem like a long time from now it will be here before we know it. So why not start training now by participating in a one-day walk?

The Bean Team participates in the Walk MS Boston each year. This will be our 7th year! Actually we participated in the Walk MS Boston prior to getting involved with the Challenge Walk MS. It is a great event to get your friends and family involved. It may be hard to convince them to walk 50 miles in 3 days on Cape Cod but I’m sure you can convince them to walk 3 to 5 miles in a town near you.

Did you know that the National MS Society of Greater New England hosts 43 Walk MS events?

We love the Walk MS Boston because of all the energy that the participants give off at the event. There are teams of all sizes and all ages. You see a lot of dogs and babies! It is a great opportunity to get kids involved and my team has many including my two nieces who have participated since they were 17 months old and 3 months old! They are now 7 and 6 and look forward to participating every year.

Another great thing about the one-day walks is that there is no fundraising required. For those of us who participate in Challenge Walk MS we keep busy enough raising money for that. So it is nice to know you can participate in a one-day walk without the added pressure of fundraising. Some of my teammates who don’t do the Challenge Walk MS do fundraise for the Walk MS Boston, which is always welcomed!

Are you convinced yet? So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a one-day walk near you! If you participate in the Walk MS Boston look for The Bean Team!

Jodi was diagnosed with MS in 2008 and quickly got involved with the Greater New England MS Chapter. She has participated in the Boston MS Walk since 2009, with her team, The Bean Team. She has also participated in the Challenge Walk since 2010. She lives in Boston and works as a medical social worker at a local hospital.

Challenge Walk MS training has begun!

Written by on May 7, 2014

We are officially 18 weeks out from the Challenge Walk MS weekend which means…Challenge Walk MS training has begun! Like the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod facebook page to get the weekly updates of your training schedule on Training Tuesdays! Post pictures or updates about your training onto the page as well.

Training is such an important element in the preparation for the Challenge Walk MS weekend. Make this a commitment for yourself and reserve time in your schedule for these walks. Don’t forget to check out our Fundraising and Training Guide for 2014 for more tips!

Pre-Walk Warm-Up Routine

Before you start walking, it is important to warm up first. Increasing the temperature in your muscles and joints and increasing blood flow will make you more comfortable when you exercise and reduce the risk of injury.

Below are a few easy warm-up moves that target the muscles you use most during walking. You can do them all in a standing position and the entire routine should take only three minutes.

  1. Ankle circles. Standing on one foot, lift the other leg off the ground in front of you. Slowly flex that ankle through its full range of motion, making circles with the toes. Do 6 to 8 circles then reverse the direction of your circle and do 6 to 8 more. Switch feet and repeat.
  2. Leg swings. Standing on one leg, swing the other leg loosely from the hip in a front to back motion. Keep it relaxed and unforced like the swinging of a pendulum. Your foot should swing no higher than a foot or so off the ground. Do 15 to 20 swings on each leg.
  3. Figure-8 leg swings. Just like the leg swings above, swing one leg from the hip in a front to back motion, but this time, trace a figure-8 with your leg. Your leg should trace a circle in front of the body and another circle behind. Do 15 to 20 swings on each leg.
  4. Pelvic loops. Stand with your hands on your hips, your knees gently bent, and your feet hip-width apart. Keep your body upright and make 10 slow, continuous circles with your hips, pushing them gently forward, to the left, back and to the right. Then reverse directions and repeat.
  5. Arm circles. Hold both arms straight out to your sides, making yourself into the letter T. Make 10 to 12 slow backward circles with your hands, starting small and finishing with large circles, using your entire arm. Shake out your arms, then repeat with 10 to 12 forward circles.
  6. Hula-hoop jumps. Begin hopping in place on both feet. Keep your head and shoulders facing forward, and begin to twist your feet and lower body left, then right, going back and forth on successive hops, 20 times.  Source:

Thank you all for your commitment to training and towards creating a world free of MS. Let’s get moving!

Aileen is the Director of Development for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society responsible for the 2013 Challenge Walk. She has interned with the National MS Society at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter with Program Events and is looking forward to working closely with the Steering Committee and Challenge Walk Teams to make this year's MS Challenge Walk a memorable one!

What I learned in 2013

Written by on Feb 5, 2014

In each of my five years of walking the MS Challenge Walk, I've learned something new. Last year in particular was a very eye opening year for me and the rest of my amazing team, Sweaty Already/Sweat'n for Susan, named after my courageous, beautiful, strong mom, who has been living and learning how to manage her MS since 2003.

Last year, we were coming off of a very busy 2012 and an already busy start to 2013. I was married in October 2012; my first adorable nephew was born in January 2013; and my twin sister got married in March 2013. To say we had a busy couple of months is an understatement. But throughout that time I was excited to think what more I could do in 2013 to help raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. We did decently with fundraising in 2012, but not nearly as well as our team wanted. But the adrenaline of those busy months led to us having an "aha" moment in spring 2013 of how to jumpstart our fundraising.

Team Sweaty Already

Team Sweaty Already

The MS Challenge Walk is a great place to connect with others who are affected by this disease, but it's also a fundraiser to find a cure and help those living with MS now. People fundraise in different ways: letter-writing campaigns, social media, direct asks, email outreach, restaurant nights and stand alone events are all great. The key is finding something you enjoy doing and something that your friends and family will enjoy either participating in or helping with. Our first three years of fundraising, we solely relied on letter-writing campaigns and a few small fundraisers at a generous local paint-your-own pottery shop in North Reading. I knew I could do more, though — I just needed to figure out what.

Each year my husband Brian and I host a summer cookout for all our friends and family. We have a rousing volleyball game, a fire pit, ladder ball, Polish horseshoes, music, cornhole boards (bean bag toss), and more. We always enjoy this get-together, and here was my "aha" moment: why don't I organize a cornhole tournament? I enjoy playing, my friends and family enjoy playing, I know how to organize brackets, and I knew it would be fairly easily to execute and enjoyable for me. So we hit the ground running: we secured a location that was amazing to work with, the Knights of Columbus in Wilmington; and we reached out to local restaurants for food donations and newspapers for publicity; and we hung flyers all throughout Wilmington and the surrounding towns to spread the word.

Cornhole tournamentIt worked: come the day of Bags and Beers (that's the name of the event), we had 32 teams, over 25 raffle items, donated food, and volunteers to help, too. That's another tip: if you are planning an event, remember to get volunteers to take charge of certain areas of the event — that way, you aren't doing everything on the day of! That one event brought in close to $4,000. We even purchased custom cornhole boards that we can reuse each year.

For me, this was an easy event to organize since I enjoyed doing it and had experience with the subject matter. If I'd had to plan something I was unfamiliar with, such as a a golf tournament (what's a handicap?), or something that I am not really interested in, it would be harder. That is my main tip for anyone interested in starting an event: to increase your fundraising for the MS Challenge Walk, pick something you enjoy doing.

Sweat dries, blisters heal

Sweat dries, blisters heal:
suck it up for MS!

My execution wasn't flawless, though — "mistakes were made"! I was so excited to be planning this amazing event that I completely neglected to train for the walk! Wow, did the 2013 MS Challenge Walk do a number on my toes and feet! The National MS Society Greater New England Chapter provides training tips and even a suggested training calendar with how much you should be walking as the Challenge Walk gets closer. Use it! Also, try to buy your sneakers ahead of time and really break them in — same with socks. One walking tip that typically works for me is changing my sneakers at lunch. Just like with your change-of-clothes bag, it helps to have a slightly different shoe halfway through the day — different fabrics and styles of sneaker allow parts of your foot that might have been irritated to breathe.

So what did I learn in 2013? That planning a fundraiser isn't as hard as you think, as long as it's something you enjoy; that people will donate items and food to your event, all you need to do is ask and get over that first no, and that it's REALLY important to train; but blisters really do heal (eventually). See you all in September!

Tara has been participating in MS Challenge Walk since 2010 in honor of her mother, Susan, who was diagnosed with MS in 2003. Her mom is her greatest inspiration, and this is just one way team Sweaty Already, which consists of Tara, her twin sister Shelley and their respective husbands, gives strength to those with MS and their families each year. Tara lives in Halifax, Massachusetts with her husband, Brian, who has been walking alongside her at MS Challenge Walk since 2010.

Why I train for MS Challenge Walk

Written by on May 31, 2013

Rainy days can be very reflective. I woke up the other morning, and the thought that went through my head might have been the same as the one that went through yours, "Ugh rain… so messy… more traffic." I went about my usual morning routine and continued to think about how the rain would impact my day. I need to do a training walk today for the Challenge Walk (I was a little lax over the long weekend!) — do I suffer the elements outside, or relocate to my local gym?

Then it hit me: MS Challenge Walk. The reason for my training is to help those living with MS. That is why I am walking.

On my drive into work, I thought more about my attitude towards rain. Those living with MS experience unexpected rain storms throughout the disease. I thought of my friends and loved ones whom I know who have MS. They have such courage and tenacity when bearing those storms. I am training and working for them, and a cure for this disease. I am training and working for all of you who are joining me that weekend on the Cape. A little rain is not going to stop me!

How is your training going? Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I would love to hear your story on why you walk.

Congratulations to our top teams (so far):

  1. The Lombardi Party – $25,393
  2. Cocktails for a Cure – $13, 897
  3. Team DEA and Friends – $13,202
  4. Sarah's Sponsors – $10,612
  5. The Believers – $7,433

And kudos to our top individual fundraisers:

  1. Kate Carlson – $10,725
  2. Kevin Lombardi – $10,170
  3. Ann Scannell – $5,300
  4. Tom Olafsson – $5,025
  5. James Derick – $5,010

Jumpstart Your Fundraising

Thursday, June 6 at the National MS Society's Waltham Office from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

Come and talk to your Challenge Walk peers about how to reach your goal in fundraising and take it to the next level! Pizza dinner will be provided. RSVP on Facebook or on the Challenge Blog.

Training Walks

Walk MS Wakefield: Saturday, June 22. All MS Challenge Walkers are welcome to attend and waive the registration fee! This will be a great opportunity to meet a number of your Challenge Walkers before September! Please register by clicking here.

Franklin, MA: Every Saturday at 8:30am, some South Shore members of the Lombardi Party will walk, starting at the Kennedy School on Pond Drive. All are welcome to join! Any questions? Email me.

I have loved meeting so many of you just in these past few months and look forward to continually meeting and talking with you all!


Aileen Callahan
Development Manager of Challenge Walk

Aileen is the Director of Development for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society responsible for the 2013 Challenge Walk. She has interned with the National MS Society at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter with Program Events and is looking forward to working closely with the Steering Committee and Challenge Walk Teams to make this year's MS Challenge Walk a memorable one!

Training begins today!

Written by on May 7, 2013

Hello, Challengers!

I wanted to check in with you and see the status of your training. We are now 18 weeks out from the MS Challenge Walk and I thought I'd give you some motivational tips and information to help get you going!

To train correctly for this event, you need to progress slowly and listen to your body at all times. First, begin by adjusting the frequency of you walking, then the duration and finally the intensity.  The essential components of a good walking program are warm-up, walk, cool-down, stretching and strength training. We have an 18-week training schedule you can follow that will get you ready for the walk, starting with a three-mile walk today!

Five Good Reasons to Start Walking (besides the MS Challenge Walk)

  1. Reduces cholesterol levels
  2. Decrease high blood pressure
  3. Reduces risk of heart disease
  4. Increase energy
  5. Decreases stress

Five Ways to Incorporate Walking into Your Daily Life

  1. Walk your dog (or someone else's dog — with permission, of course!)
  2. Take a pre- or post-dinner walk. This is a great time to just be by yourself or take along your family for some quality time with them!
  3. Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  4. Do errands on foot, or park in the rear of the parking lot and walk to the store
  5. Walk to work — even if you telecommute, take a half-hour each morning to do a lap around the neighborhood, ending at your "office"

Five Steps to Take to be Successful

  1. Make a commitment to yourself
  2. Reserve time in your schedule
  3. Create a habit first
  4. Establish your long and short term goals
  5. Reward yourself when you meet your goals (a new bestseller, tickets to a concert or play, etc)

Beginning in June, we will be hosting MS Challenge Walk Group Trainings. I'll keep you informed on those dates as we get closer to June!  As this is my first Challenge Walk, I will be training every step of the way with you all!

Registered walkers should have received all your materials in the mail by now; if you have not, please let me know.  The recommended training schedule is in your guide and located online on our website. It’s time to dust off those sneakers (if you haven’t already) and get moving!  Be sure to contact me if you have any questions, otherwise I’ll be in touch with you soon.

Aileen is the Director of Development for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society responsible for the 2013 Challenge Walk. She has interned with the National MS Society at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter with Program Events and is looking forward to working closely with the Steering Committee and Challenge Walk Teams to make this year's MS Challenge Walk a memorable one!

Stay hydrated in hot weather

Written by on Jun 20, 2012

Today at 7:09 PM marks the beginning of summer — and the heat is here to prove it! With temperatures rising to the nineties, it's important to be safe and stay hydrated as you continue your training for MS Challenge Walk.

Here with tips on how to stay hydrated is Dr. Mary-Elise Manuell of UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Best tip: Don't wait until you're thirsty. Keep chugging those liquids in anticipation of them being depleted! You'll feel better and be safer.

For more advice about staying hydrated, check out the National MS Society's Web site or other posts on the Challenge Blog.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

March 2012 update

Written by on Mar 31, 2012

Walk MS event season is upon us!

You can use any Walk MS event as a training walk for the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod. You For MS Challenge Walkers, there are no registration fees or fundraising minimums to participate.To find a Walk MS event near you, visit

Five Good Reasons to Start Walking (Besides the MS Challenge Walk)

  1. Reduces cholesterol levels
  2. Decrease high blood pressure
  3. Reduces risk of heart disease
  4. Increases energy
  5. Decreases stress

Five Ways to Find Time for Training

  1. Use your lunch hour. Find a nice place to walk during lunch and use that time to get outside. It will not only help your physical self, but it's also great for work stress!
  2. Make it a family activity and hike with the entire family. It will be fun and you can spend some quality time with your family as well as train.
  3. Find a buddy. Having a buddy really helps to keep you motivated!
    Set a schedule and keep it written down. Post it on your refrigerator and it will be a reminder.
  4. Reward yourself! Set goals and when you meet them, treat yourself. Get a pedicure, go to the movies or get that hard back new novel you were going to wait for to come out in paper back.

Team Apparel for the MS Challenge Walk

Are you considering making team shirts or other apparel for the MS Challenge Walk? Consider ordering them through the MS Challenge Walk Spreadshirt page. We have partnered with Spreadshirt to create an easy-to-use application to design and order apparel. The best part about it is that Spreadshirt will donate 20% of each order back to the National MS Society.

Thank You!

Thanks again for your participation in the MS Challenge Walk. If you and/or your team would like to get together to discuss training, fundraising, logistics of the Challenge Walk, please reach out to the MS Challenge Walk Team at We are happy to assist in any way we can.

All the best,

MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod regional staff

P.S. Are you a member of Facebook? If so, like the MS Challenge Walk Cape Cod page. Stay in touch with your friends from the walk and meet new people dedicated to the cause. You can post pictures of past events, discuss fundraising ideas, and receive invitations to upcoming events.

Danielle was a Development Manager for the Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society, managing MS Challenge Walk 2011 and 2012. Prior to joining the staff of the National MS Society, Danielle served as a crew team captain during the 2009 and 2010 MS Challenge Walks.

Keep up the momentum!

Written by on Aug 3, 2011

My team and I are going to experience our third Challenge Walk coming this September. How do you keep the momentum with training and fundraising? Focus on the prize: a cure for MS. When you feel like you'll never reach your goal or you just can't walk that next mile, picture the faces of MS and you will!

Training in the hot temperatures and the humidity of the summer can be difficult. Cool down before and after training, either in a cool shower, a pool, or drinking cold water can help keep a walker safe! Walk with your friends or take your kids along on the training. My son likes to ride his bike while we are walking. Look for local bike or walking trails to have a walking route without the worry of motorized vehicles. Also, some trails are mile marked for ease in training your scheduled miles.

During my first Challenge Walk, on Day 1 when I was feeling the walk and not finding the inspiration within myself, my husband handed me a photo of our son, which drove me to dig deeper and continue on my journey that day. Find that inspiration you need whether within yourself or through someone else. I wear the Join the Movement bracelet everyday as a visual reminder of the obstacles of MS. Someone once asked me why I don't take it off. My response was simple: 'Because I can't take off my MS.

For the first-time walkers out there, you will see so much inspiration on the walk that you will leave a little bit of a different person. In the meantime, thank you to all the participants for everything you are doing for those of us living with MS everyday. As you embark on your journey to the 2011 MS Challenge Walk, stay safe, hydrated, and inspired — you can do this!

Wendy, the captain of Team WWW (Walk With Wendy), was diagnosed with MS in 2006.  Although she cut down on her work hours during the past year, she still loves her job as a teacher.  Wendy lives in Attleboro, MA, with her supportive husband and 9-year-old son, who provides inspiration for her daily!