Only 4 weeks until San Diego Comic-Con! It’s not too late to start getting in shape for the big con! You may be wondering, “Why would I need to get in shape for a comic convention?” It may sound a little silly on the surface, but if you’re not in shape at all, this is something you must do in order to tackle the behemoth that is San Diego Comic-Con. Read on for some helpful hints in the first of our series of SDCC Tips articles this year.
You’ll Be Walking – a Lot
By “get in shape” we don’t mean you need to train to run a marathon, or that you necessarily need to be running at all. But if you are a couch potato who never exercises, SDCC could come as a shock to your body, leaving you more exhausted at the end of each day than you would have thought. That’s because you will be doing a ton of walking around while you’re at the con. Just how much walking?
Exactly How Much Walking?
Well, let’s take the Exhibit Hall Floor as an example. According to the San Diego Convention Center website, Halls A through G measure 1,623 feet by 304 feet – that’s over 5 football fields long by 1 football field wide! After walking up and down the aisles, depending on what route you take and how thorough you are, you will walk at least a mile, and possibly over 2 miles! And that’s not counting the distance it took you to walk from your hotel or parking lot to the convention center, or to walk to another part of the convention center to attend panels, or to an offsite location for any events there! Those additional distances can easily add another 2-3 miles, meaning that you might find yourself walking a total of 5 miles or more daily while at SDCC. If you’re not used to walking such distances, you should start getting used to it right now, while you still have about 4 weeks before the con.
Start Getting Used to It
We’re not saying that you need to go out and join a gym or anything, since you can easily start building up your endurance by walking around your own neighborhood. City block measurements vary from town to town, but where I grew up (in Texas), the perimeter of a city block was 1/4 mile, so it was pretty easy to keep track of the distance you had gone. Walk around the block 4 times, that’s a mile. Of course, there are also a ton of free apps out there that can help you keep track of your distance. Additionally, you can wear a Fitbit to track your steps. Depending on your current physical activity level, you may want to start small, like with 1/2 mile, and increase the distance 1/4 mile each day, or 1/2 mile every other day. You’ll want to start doing this now rather than waiting until the week of. Otherwise you’ll be sore and exhausted when SDCC starts. If you’ll be using a treadmill, set the incline to 3 so that it will simulate real walking conditions.
Practice Carrying a Backpack
After you’ve gotten used to walking at least a mile, it would be a good idea to put together a backpack containing the items (or at least the weight of the items) that you will be carrying around at SDCC. That way you get used to carrying the extra weight ahead of time and it won’t come as a surprise to your body at SDCC. What kind of backpack, and exactly what should you put in it? Well, Crazy4ComicCon, The Nerdy Girlie, and Nerdophiles have articles that can help with that!
Take the Stairs
Another good idea is to take the stairs rather than an elevator (or lift, for our British friends), or walk up the escalator instead of merely riding it. Obviously, we’re not saying to take the stairs when you need to get to the 30th floor of a building, but if you’re on the 4th level of a parking garage, take the stairs. You’ll find that this might save you time from waiting for the elevator anyway. The San Diego Convention Center does have a few areas where you might find yourself needing to take the stairs, so go ahead and get used to it. That way you won’t find yourself quite so winded when you end up having to take stairs at the con.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Make sure you have some comfortable walking shoes, with cushioned insoles and plenty of arch support, and start breaking them in now if you haven’t already. Trying to break in a new pair of shoes at Comic-Con is the last thing you want to try doing!
Start Eating Healthy
You’ll find that your journey to get in shape will go a lot smoother if you start eating healthier. Lay off the junk food and fast food, and reach for the fruits and veggies. Cut back on the soda, and slowly start substituting water instead. Your body will need water during SDCC to keep hydrated throughout the long days. For more helpful suggestions, check out The Mighty Jerd‘s website, which is a great resource for nerds who want to start getting in shape and eating healthy!
Need a little motivation? Check out the #SDCCfit hashtag on Twitter. There you’ll find a community of people also trying to get in shape for Comic-Con who will support and challenge you to do the same. The Friends of Comic-Con Forum also has an active “get in shape” thread to help keep you motivated. Additionally, you can check out the February 1, 2017 episode of the Hall H Show podcast and the February 19, 2017 episode of Talkin’ Comic-Con: A Cup O’ Tea with an Englishman in San Diego show if you need some help figuring out where to get started.