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Advice for first time (possible) pilgrim

MMCamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Thinking of CF (Sept-Oct 2018)
#1
Hello,
I have been visiting and reading this forum for quite a while now. It such a lovely community and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories, experience and advice.

A friend told me about the Camino over a decade ago. And, during the last few years l have felt it's call. Particularly, over the last year. I have been unable to make a decision for the last few months mainly due to self-doubt. I am considering completing the CF. Time is not an issue. I am looking at September-Oct taking 35 days to complete the pilgrimage.

My main concern is l would only have 10 weeks to prepare myself. I am early 40's, sedentary lifestyle for longer than l would like to admit and l am overweight. I am not sure if 10 weeks will be enough time to prepare myself or if l should wait until next year giving me plenty of time to drop some excess weight and increase my fitness? Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive. Although, I do wonder if this might make me feel a little isolated.

I would appreciate any helpful advice/ input.

Thank you.
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18)
#2
Time is not an issue. I am looking at September-Oct taking 35 days to complete the pilgrimage.

My main concern is l would only have 10 weeks to prepare myself. I am early 40's, sedentary lifestyle for longer than l would like to admit and l am overweight. I am not sure if 10 weeks will be enough time to prepare myself or if l should wait until next year giving me plenty of time to drop some excess weight and increase my fitness?
Thank you.
35 days is a pretty steady pace for the CF, and leaves little room for off days and injuries. For a 25 year old, or seasoned walker of any age, it would be a breeze. For someone with fitness issues, this might be a little faster pace than is wise.

10 weeks is enough time to get yourself fit, if you want to. Its not enough time to lose 100 lbs. If you can stretch your duration to 40 or 45 days, this will be very doable for someone who is not very athletic, but is determined. Anyone can do the CF, even with significant disabilities. Its just a matter of how many kilometers per day. You get to proceed at your own pace, whatever that is.

Start by asking your doctor if there are any reasons you should not go, since only you and (s)he know what your health situation really is. Your doctor may suggest waiting another season for some other health concern, but lots of overweight pilgrims make the journey. They just move a little slower, at least for the first week or two.

Once the decision to walk the Camino takes root, it won't be denied. Sounds like you have already decided, and its a choice between a slow pilgrim this year, or a fast one next year. Veterans on this forum will likely respond "Why not both?". Whatever you choose, don't over-do the training at first. An injury from pushing yourself too hard is a sure fire way to have the decision made for you. The training doesn't end the day you get on the plane. It ends the day you walk into Santiago.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP (June 2017)
Camino Frances Sarria (June 2018)
Camino Ingles (July 2018)
#3
Hi MMCamino,

Welcome to the forum! As someone who was very out of shape in their 40s, it is my experience that 10 weeks is enough time to have a significant positive impact on your fitness level. The miracle is the way the body responds and adapts to new demands placed on it. If you start walking today maybe using a pedometer and then continue increasing your steps each day, and then start adding some longer walks at weekends and then start trying to go faster, or carrying an increasingly heavier pack, or taking more demanding routes, you will certainly see your fitness level rise significantly over 10 weeks. You can also train while on the camino. Start off gently, and don't go overboard in first few days. If time is not an issue maybe consider building in a few more rest days to help the body recover and to avoid injury. I wish you well. If you go out for a walk this evening - then you might say your camino has already begun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte planned 2018 May - Jul
#4
Hello there,
10 weeks is plenty of time to prepare and regardless of your body weight, the most important thing is to keep your pack weight to a minimum.
Take your time for the first week or two or even three and you’ll get fitter each day.
Have faith in your ability....I’m just finishing the del Norte with my partner who had both his knees totally replaced 18 months ago and we’ve completed around 800km so far. He never doubted his ability to be able to walk that far.
We did the CF 2 years ago and took 49 days with 2 rest days included and totally enjoyed it. The del Norte is the same.
Age is just a number - we are mid 60’s
Enjoy your planning and I’d suggest you could prebook the first week or two at closer intervals and see how you feel then take it from there.
Wishing you a Buen Camino - you will love the challenge
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Portugués / Mozárabe (2019)
#5
Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive. Although, I do wonder if this might make me feel a little isolated.
I wouldn't recommend pre-booking all of them. It takes away so much flexibility, not to mention what would happen in case of injury/illness. And FWIW, I talked to someone on the CF last year who had pre-booked private rooms the whole way and she did feel isolated. If you really want to do some pre-booking, I would pre-book only the first few days (giving yourself stages that aren't too long), and after that you'll have a better idea of how far you like to walk each day, and you can plan accordingly after that.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#8
Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive.
Absolutely don't pre-book the whole way. Read the current thread about tour companies for some of the pitfalls of having everything pre-planned https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...-companies-things-to-check.56266/#post-632477. There are quite a few albergues that have private rooms in addition to dorm beds, so often you can sleep in the same place as the other pilgrims - just not in the same room. Gronze.com lists all the accommodation on the Camino, so it's an excellent resource to see what is available. It's easy enough to book a day or two ahead, and many places can be booked on Booking.com, or you can also ask for a recommendation and for the albergue/pensión/hostal where you spend the night to call for a reservation for the next night.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
#9
Start now, go slow, listen to your body. In ten weeks, it will be different than it is now. When you begin your Camino, continue to listen to your body. Go at it's pace. You will still amaze yourself.

When I walked, I booked each night for the next night depending on how I was feeling and how far I thought would be prudent for the next day. Sometimes I felt like I could have walked farther, sometimes it was hard, but I always knew that I had a place to stay.

If you put it off for a year, you will have a year to prepare. Sometimes, that's even harder to accomplish because we think we have all of this time. All of a sudden, the time is gone, and you will have 10 weeks to prepare! Do it now. And then you might do it next year also!!!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#10
Some good advice already given! If you plan on doing the entire CF starting in Sept would definitely book the first couple of nights at least. You, however, at this point, do not know what distance you will be capable of walking each day. I would decide on a slower pace and shortened segments at the beginning. If you are not scheduling ahead in private rooms in September, know that it is a very busy time and if you are not a speedster, and without reservation, you might have difficulty finding a room in some towns as it will be high season.

You might want to skip St. Jean Pied de Pont and start either in Roncevalles or Pamplona.

Consider working with a trainer a couple of times and develop a specific program for the next 10 weeks. September can also be hot during the day so take this into account when planning.

You may want to send your pack ahead! Correos.es
Has a very reasonable service. They have a flat fee service between departing and destination points that can wind up being less than 3euros a day depending on how many places you overnight at
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#11
Good advice above. Yes, 10 weeks is enough time to prepare, as long as you then walk (on the Camino) only as long and fast as you are fit for. That can cover a big range of abilities!

I'd recommend booking your first night, and maybe a second night that is not too far away so your first day walking is more relaxed. From then on, plan to book only a day or two in advance. Consider staying your first or second night in an albergue simply so that you will be sure to meet a lot of people and you will quickly feel at home on the Camino. Then you can stay in private rooms as much as you want, or sometimes join the crowd.

Consider starting in Pamplona. It is much simpler to get to Pamplona, so that will eliminate one of the complications that probably worries you now. In Pamplona, there are several albergues where you could meet people, and some of they would also have private rooms.

Pamplona to Santiago is still a very long walk, so you would still get the great satisfaction and sense of pilgrimage. If you regret it afterwards, well, you will just have to go back next year!

I would strongly recommend that you plan the length of your trip to allow an average of no more than 20 km/day. That would be 40 days from SJPP or 35 from Pamplona. If you go faster, you'll have a couple of spare days to enjoy somewhere. If you go slower, you can consider catching up by bus at some point.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Oporto (2018 - planned)
#12
Hello,
I have been visiting and reading this forum for quite a while now. It such a lovely community and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories, experience and advice.

A friend told me about the Camino over a decade ago. And, during the last few years l have felt it's call. Particularly, over the last year. I have been unable to make a decision for the last few months mainly due to self-doubt. I am considering completing the CF. Time is not an issue. I am looking at September-Oct taking 35 days to complete the pilgrimage.

My main concern is l would only have 10 weeks to prepare myself. I am early 40's, sedentary lifestyle for longer than l would like to admit and l am overweight. I am not sure if 10 weeks will be enough time to prepare myself or if l should wait until next year giving me plenty of time to drop some excess weight and increase my fitness? Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive. Although, I do wonder if this might make me feel a little isolated.

I would appreciate any helpful advice/ input.

Thank you.
When I did it in July/Aug 2016 I was over 50. I have a sedentary lifestyle and a sedentary job. I am certainly nowhere near my ideal weight. Frankly, I did no training at all. I started at Roncesvalles and walked shorter (15 km) days for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days. That was my "on the Camino" training. I booked the first and second days before I started but didn't feel the need to book ahead after that until the very end of the journey in Galicia. The advantage of not pre-booking is that it gives you more flexibility to walk as far as you want on any given day based on how you are feeling. Although staying in hotels won't leave you completely isolated from other pilgrims, there is certainly a camaraderie you get in albergues that you don't get in hotels. My preference is for albergues. If time is not an issue, I would give yourself longer than 35 days. If you have time leftover at the end, there is plenty to see in Spain. Then you can go at your own comfortable pace without worrying.

My recommendation would be not to put it off. You have what it takes to complete the Camino now.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#13
Hello there,
10 weeks is plenty of time to prepare and regardless of your body weight, the most important thing is to keep your pack weight to a minimum.
Take your time for the first week or two or even three and you’ll get fitter each day.
Have faith in your ability....I’m just finishing the del Norte with my partner who had both his knees totally replaced 18 months ago and we’ve completed around 800km so far. He never doubted his ability to be able to walk that far.
We did the CF 2 years ago and took 49 days with 2 rest days included and totally enjoyed it. The del Norte is the same.
Age is just a number - we are mid 60’s
Enjoy your planning and I’d suggest you could prebook the first week or two at closer intervals and see how you feel then take it from there.
Wishing you a Buen Camino - you will love the challenge
Hi Loretta. I’ve been wondering how it was going with you and your partner, in particular his knees. How did he cope? Was there much swelling at the end of the day and how did he manage the recovery at the end of the day? I’d appreciate any advice. Thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#14
Hello,
I have been visiting and reading this forum for quite a while now. It such a lovely community and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories, experience and advice.

A friend told me about the Camino over a decade ago. And, during the last few years l have felt it's call. Particularly, over the last year. I have been unable to make a decision for the last few months mainly due to self-doubt. I am considering completing the CF. Time is not an issue. I am looking at September-Oct taking 35 days to complete the pilgrimage.

My main concern is l would only have 10 weeks to prepare myself. I am early 40's, sedentary lifestyle for longer than l would like to admit and l am overweight. I am not sure if 10 weeks will be enough time to prepare myself or if l should wait until next year giving me plenty of time to drop some excess weight and increase my fitness? Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive. Although, I do wonder if this might make me feel a little isolated.

I would appreciate any helpful advice/ input.

Thank you.
My advice is to go! Don’t overthink it.... just go. Apart from the first day (if you start from St Jean p de Port); it is easy to find accommodation as and when you want it.
If you run into trouble, there are taxis to be called. It is not a wilderness trek. It is a walk from village to village, with everything geared to helping peregrimos. You can’t manage 20 km? You can stop at 15 or 10 or even 5! It’ll take you longer but you’ll manage it.
That’s my view on it anyway.
Buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago 2017
#15
You are getting plenty of good advice here. 10 weeks to prep is plenty. The key is start slowly, pace yourself, listen to your body and use the Camino to build yourself up. Most people I saw having problems pushed too hard early and got hurt. Start slow. Finish strong.

My advice? Buy excellent shoes and great socks. Dont go cheap on either. Break them in by walking before you arrive. Then start slowly. Consider Pamplona as others suggest because there are many intermediary stop options and you wont have the physical pressure of the first days out of SJPP.

I also recommend you find a way to extend your Camino so it is not rushed. I did it in 6 weeks, which gave us the options for rest days and some shorter segments. Slow and steady.

But go! September and early October are wonderful. That is when we went last year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#16
Great advice everywhere above. If the Camino calls now, I would say this is when you need to go. If we decide to postpone, we don't know whether the future will provide us with the same opportunity. To feel somewhat afraid at the same time as excited about any new important undertaking in life, is absolutely normal - I have felt that before each of the three Caminos I have successfully walked so far. The first was at age 50 and I was not in particularly good shape before I started - I'm to embark on another one in about 6 weeks time and still have various trepidations. But experience tells me that these feelings are most overwhelming before starting, and that, once on the way, we overcome our difficulties and challenges in almost miraculous ways. The saying comes to mind here: 'if you take one step towards God, God will take 99 towards you' (you may replace 'God' here with 'Providence', 'the Universe' , Life', 'Love' or the like - it works out that way in any case.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
#17
Lots of advice for you to chew over.

All I wanted to add is to ask where have you considered starting from?

If you are concerned about preparation time, personal fitness and such-like, but know with certantity how many days you have, perhaps you could consider starting "somewhere" along the route that would allow you to walk in comfort, reduce the risk of injury and over-stretching yourself.

For example you could start around the Burgos area and take your own sweet-time to reach SDC.

Buen (choosing-wisely) Camino
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Hi, MM and welcome to the forum... I will be returning to Camino at the same time as you :)

Increasing fitness in preparation for Camino is a positive thing to do, but you need to be deliberate about how you proceed. You have enough time to make a significant increase from where you are now without frantically pushing yourself too hard and beyond your body's ability to recuperate from each exercise session. That same deliberation will help prevent injury as well. Be consistent and patient. If you would like other more specific guidelines and suggestions, send me a PM. :)

This is something I had posted a while back.

As to training, their are really two different parts to focus on:
1. Cardiovascular fitness.
2. Muscle strengthening.

Cardiovascular fitness is the ability for your heart and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to your muscles during exercise under load, and your muscles ability to use that oxygen efficiently so they can produce energy.

Exercises should be used which will allow you to hit a target heart rate zone, over a for a period of time during exercising, which provides the needed aerobic effort for conditioning. This is a website which will help you calculate what your target heart rate zones will be.

https://www.lifespanfitness.com/fitness/resources/target-heart-rate-calculator

Treadmills at incline, running, walking at a faster than normal pace, walking up hills, rowing machines, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, riding a bicycle at a faster than normal pace, swimming, etc. are all examples of effective aerobic exercises when used to achieve target heart rates.

Keep in mind that as your fitness level improves, it will take a more sustained effort to hit the same heart rate zones. That is why using target zones is so effective. They don't change relative to fitness level. Someone extremely out of shape does not exercise as hard as someone who is extremely fit to reach their target.

Muscle strength is a function of how much maximum force your muscles can exert against resistance. Exercises for strength will also provide a temporary aerobic effect, but the main goal is to increase your capability to function while under resistance.

Think about having to lift the weight of your body, with a pack, with each step going up the Pyrenees. Or being able to lift and carry a load. Or the constant resistance of your body weight and pack to your shoulders and to the 'core' muscles in your back and abdomen.

Some basic strengthening exercises for home include push-ups, lunges, squats and planks. A google search will show you the way to do these exercises.

Other conditioning issues involve things like ankles, feet, and flexibility. Do a search on this forum for posts about exercises to help prevent shin splints and to help prevent plantars fasciitis.

As your departure date nears and you've been involved in your fitness regimen for the next 10 weeks or so, rather than your routine exercise schedule, put on the clothing and footwear you will be using on Camino, load up your pack, and spend the next several days in a row walking. See how you feel and at what pace you are able to best sustain yourself. That will give you a baseline estimate to calculate logistical issues surrounding the question of how many days it may take to walk your Camino.

More than anything else, enjoy the entire process of getting ready for Camino. Write down your reasons for doing your camino: list your personal goals for doing Camino, and what type of experience you are hoping for. If you become discouraged with your preparations, or feel anxious and overwhelmed, or get a bit of cold feet about leaving home for the camino, or simply to refresh your resolve anew, review what you have written to yourself.

Also, think about what you can contribute, as a pilgrim, to the spirit and nature of the Camino when you begin your first steps toward Santiago. :)
 

Oddyspapa

My soul is staying on the way, always.
Camino(s) past & future
Full CF (May/Jun of 2014, 2018 )
Full CF+Finisterre (2016 May/Jun)
Will go again 2020
#19
I just came back from CF. I agree lots of people saying 10 weeks are enough. Just start from today.
You said you are overweight, but I think you will be ok because you thought 35 days. If you think you have a serious health issue, you couldn't think 35day for CF.
The only thing that you need is 'start to prepare and practice now'. And when you start to CF, please do not push yourself to go fast or go more and listen what your body says, at least one week. After that, everything goes smooth.
Don't worry about the Albergue. There are plenty albergue that you can stay on CF. If you need, you can book that morning or a day before. But my 3 times CF experience says to me like this;
If you finish the day's walking
- during 12~2pm, you can choose any Albergue
- during 2~4pm, sometimes, Albergue may choose you
- after 4pm, the worst case, the village may choose you.
Start to walk as early as possible, and stop walking as early as possible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Spring (2016)
Camino Frances Spring (2017)
Camino Frances Autumn (2018)
#20
Hello,
I have been visiting and reading this forum for quite a while now. It such a lovely community and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories, experience and advice.

A friend told me about the Camino over a decade ago. And, during the last few years l have felt it's call. Particularly, over the last year. I have been unable to make a decision for the last few months mainly due to self-doubt. I am considering completing the CF. Time is not an issue. I am looking at September-Oct taking 35 days to complete the pilgrimage.

My main concern is l would only have 10 weeks to prepare myself. I am early 40's, sedentary lifestyle for longer than l would like to admit and l am overweight. I am not sure if 10 weeks will be enough time to prepare myself or if l should wait until next year giving me plenty of time to drop some excess weight and increase my fitness? Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive. Although, I do wonder if this might make me feel a little isolated.

I would appreciate any helpful advice/ input.

Thank you.
Hello, ten weeks is adequate to wear in boots and start now! Start small and increase daily, be kind to your body - healthy food, water, rest (I indulge in a good soak in the bath after a long walk) I started preparation walking last week and we hope to walk starting end of August. I have walked before twicewith my husband and we took 46 days on average, I have a rest day usually every 6-7 days (if it was okay for the Big Guy I think its okay for me) I walk 15 - 25 kms per day and I pace myself and listen to my body. My young friend and I will be starting at St Jean Pied du Port and walking the Valley route staying a night at Valcarlos then onto Roncesvalles. We will have short days where needed. Booking ahead can be a trap to over extend yourself, try booking 2-3 days ahead. I have met several pilgrims on package walks and they couldn't keep up with the 'have to get to this Hotel today' and not enough rest days for their state of fitness or fatigue. Decide what you want from this, a marathon or some time to enjoy and process your journey? I have mixed in Albergues and Hotels, this time it is all Albergues, and that's personal preference and finances.
Good Luck and hope to see you on the camino
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#21
If you finish the day's walking
- during 12~2pm, you can choose any Albergue
- during 2~4pm, sometimes, Albergue may choose you
- after 4pm, the worst case, the village may choose you.
Start to walk as early as possible, and stop walking as early as possible.
I've never heard this, but it's so true!! Nice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#24
Great advice above.
Just in case you didn’t get the message.
DO NOT Pre book all accommodation ! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Why?

How can you possibly know what will be your comfortable walking pace and distance, until you experience it.

And, more importantly.....

Stuff happens, that will mean your planned stops either have to change, or you will suffer in some way to fit your ‘fixed’ plan... ;)

I have only walked 3 Caminos. A relative newbie.
But I now know my comfortable distances.

But that changes depending on ....... terrain, weather, how i’m Feeling health wise, my mood, who I have met, a place I like and want to spend time in, a place I have heard has great food, a place I have heard has terrible food, how much wine I drank the night before, how well my guts are coping with that awful meal at dinner, how my wife is coping back home and if I need to call in the morning,

In other words........I never really know what distance will be comfortable.

I tend to pre book only a couple days ahead, to give me flexibility. Except for the last 100 kms on the CF, which I fully book a couple of days before reaching Sarria.

Buen Camino ;););)
 
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Tollymore

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(CF June 2018)
#25
I echo a lot of what others have said. Your body is in charge on the Camino, not your mind, let it decide how far you go each day. Booking SJPP, Orisson and Roncesvalles is a good idea to break yourself in a little easier as there are no options in between.

I’m in my second week of my first Camino and am loving it despite initial nerves. Feet are blister free, am walking in Asics trail running shoes, and I’ve had comfortable beds each night.

There has been no need to book ahead. Leaving at 6.00/6.30am and arriving at your destination by 12.30-1.30pm should allow you to get a bed without concern.

I’d particularly recommend these albergues which I discovered by pure chance and there were like an oasis in the desert!

ALBERGUE DE PEREGRINOS EL CANTERO in Mañeru, 4km after Puenta la Reina €10, warm welcome, fantastic showers, garden and bar and clean, comfortable beds.

SAN ANTON ABAD in Villafranca Montes de Oca. (Halfway between Belorado and San Juan de Ortega) Bunk bed is €9, single bed €10. Single beds are partitioned by a half wall, clean and spacious and well worth extra €1! I’m here tonight after disappointment in Espinosa and walked the extra 3.6km in hot sun hoping for better in VFMdO. I’m absolutely delighted! My bed is a single by French windows, I’ve ran in to friends from earlier on the Way and I’ve had a slap up meal too!

Try to get walking at weekends or evenings and try to do hills too. Pack your rucksack now and walk with it on. Use two poles, now and on Camino, very helpful for knees!

Buen Camino!
 

andywild

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
april '2018'
#26
Hi MMCamino
I did my first camino this year. I've never walked anywhere before. I'm overweight, smoke too much, addicted to pizza/kebabs. Had a few weeks to"train".. didn't have any walking gear or any clue about walking gear..
Not only did I survive but I loved (nearly) every minute of my Camino.
If you need a chat feel free to message me.
I also documented my Camino and pre-camino training in a blog which may have a couple of useful tips for you (or at least give you a rough idea about how an unfit 40year old fares on the way)
The blog can be found at..
firstcamino.wordpress.com

Hope it helps !
Andy
 

MMCamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Thinking of CF (Sept-Oct 2018)
#27
Hello All,

Wow! Thank you for all of the excellent advice. l really do appreciate that you have all taken the time to reply it is so kind, and you have all given me a lot to think about.

At this stage l am still trying to muster up the courage to do this and find the belief in myself that l can actually do this. Other than being overweight there are no other major health issues. The Camino continues to call .... if l decide to go l will be sure to let you all know.

I really do have my heart set on walking the entire way from SJPDP to Santiago. It sounds like a good idea not to book too far ahead. If l do go l may book at least the first week this will enable me to have a lot more flexibility. I will aim to keep my pack under 6 kilos. I am set on private rooms but maybe that may change once l get there.

Oh goodness! The indecision. I feel like this IS the perfect time to go and on the same token maybe now is NOT the right time. It is a battle between the heart and the head.....oh and the body :)

Signing off for now!

PS. I commend you all on your strength and courage :) to have set out on your own pilgrimage/s
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#28
With respect to the heart:

My first Camino, with some 100 kilometers still to reach Santiago, I had shed not only just all of my luggage, but also about all of me. Thirteen years later, I still vividly recall the preciousness of that unburdened emptiness, this ephemeral being who tenderly carried her bare heart into the palms of her hands. My heart, and nothing else, was to be my offering to Santiago. To this day then, my mind - most valuable as it may be to me- remains at peace in its understanding that it is but a faithful servant to the heart.

I pray you too may listen to your heart. The voice of the heart is always simple, it never complicates things, and sooner or later everyone invariably surrenders to its call.
 

MMCamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Thinking of CF (Sept-Oct 2018)
#29
With respect to the heart:

My first Camino, with some 100 kilometers still to reach Santiago, I had shed not only just all of my luggage, but also about all of me. Thirteen years later, I still vividly recall the preciousness of that unburdened emptiness, this ephemeral being who tenderly carried her bare heart into the palms of her hands. My heart, and nothing else, was to be my offering to Santiago. To this day then, my mind - most valuable as it may be to me- remains at peace in its understanding that it is but a faithful servant to the heart.

I pray you too may listen to your heart. The voice of the heart is always simple, it never complicates things, and sooner or later everyone invariably surrenders to its call.
Thank you LGLG very beautifully said!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk with my husband June 2018
#30
Hello,
I have been visiting and reading this forum for quite a while now. It such a lovely community and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories, experience and advice.

A friend told me about the Camino over a decade ago. And, during the last few years l have felt it's call. Particularly, over the last year. I have been unable to make a decision for the last few months mainly due to self-doubt. I am considering completing the CF. Time is not an issue. I am looking at September-Oct taking 35 days to complete the pilgrimage.

My main concern is l would only have 10 weeks to prepare myself. I am early 40's, sedentary lifestyle for longer than l would like to admit and l am overweight. I am not sure if 10 weeks will be enough time to prepare myself or if l should wait until next year giving me plenty of time to drop some excess weight and increase my fitness? Also, l am thinking if l do this l would prefer to stay in private rooms and have them all pre-booked before l arrive. Although, I do wonder if this might make me feel a little isolated.

I would appreciate any helpful advice/ input.

Thank you.
The Camino has called you. Make your travel arrangements and go. It will be difficult but because you have been called, it will be wonderful
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#31
Wow, your getting some great advice here. And you can do it. Your not trying to climb Everest. Your not walking in complete wilderness. The Frances especially is not the Appalachian Trail!! I'm not say it can't be hard, because there really are tough days, but it is very doable. You'll be walking from town to town, not the middle of nowhere! Just put one foot in front of the other and repeat that about a million times ;-)

Now go take a walk around your neighborhood and breathe!! You can do it!! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#32
Hi MMCamino, I'm starting my first walk this September. I read of it many many years ago and thought about it a few years back. Earlier this year while receiving acupuncture for a "Stop the world I want to get off" emotional back injury, the road to Santiago popped into my head. My anxiety lifted, I knew thats what I needed to do. So, flight booked, first night in SJPP booked, walking shoes being broken in, no clue on what the hell i'm doing. I feel excited and with purpose. With the help and advice from this wonderful site and the beautiful contributors, it's become real. Maybe our paths will cross if you decide to come.
Buen Camino
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
#33
If I had waited until I was fit and ready I never would have gone. Take it slow and enjoy. As others said, you will gain strength. Also, keep your pack as light as possible. Within 30 min of starting the Camino I knew I had too much in spite of purging many times before leaving home. Anything you (think) you need, you will receive.
Take a rest day, a taxi, a bus if you need, but most importantly, take care of yourself.
Sounds like your Camino has begun!
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
#34
“The Camino has called you. Make your travel arrangements and go.”

Yes! Book your plane ticket!!
 

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