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Generic long distance walking question

vwzoo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#1
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
 

vwzoo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#2
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
I will add I walk a lot in my job and the last time I walked the trail my total walking for the day was 25.8 miles per my Fitbit, but different shoes though for off the trail.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#5
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
Spending one day a week walking a long distance means that you have a 6 day recovery in between walks. On Camino, you will be walking daily with a 12 or 16 hour (more or less) window for recovery. This means that your current conditioning does not replicate what you will experience on Camino. If you want a more accurate comparison, then wear the clothing and footwear you will wear, use the pack loaded with all that you plan on bringing, and do the same walking each day for a week.

That will give you a better comparison.

Hurting feet have multiple causes. The first and most likely cause is that you are using your feet in a way that is not normal for you to use them. Most everyone will experience foot soreness under the same conditions.

Then there are structural issues with the foot. A podiatrist can help diagnose whether your foot pain has an underlying cause that is medically identifiable. For example, metatarsal issues will produce a deep ache and pain at the front of the foot. Plantars Fasciitis will produce pain in the heel area of the sole of your foot.

There are other reasons for both of the symptoms I described above, and for that reason it is important to see a Podiatrist to help it all sorted out.

Short, frequent breaks may or may not help. Again, that depends on the issue with your feet. Breaks won't create more problems, but they might not solve them either.

As to shoes.... yes, a shoe that is too narrow or too short can cause aching feet. This is a re-post of what I have previously writtent regarding the proper sizing of shoes:

You purchase a shoe for hiking or trekking based on how it feels, not based on measurement or current shoe size.

  1. Feet should be measured for hiking footwear after having been on one's feet for most of the day.
  2. Wear your backpack to the shop loaded with 15 to 20 pounds of weight.
  3. Wear the sock(s) you will be wearing on Camino.
  4. Stand up while wearing your gear, with your full weight centred over the foot being measured.
  5. That measurement is only a guide, a starting place of what size to begin trying on.
  6. Bring any third party insole, orthotic, metatarsal pads, etc. which you will be using, and put it in the shoe you are trying on.
  7. If, when trying on the shoe, you can force your toes to even barely touch the front of the shoe, add one size up from the length of the shoe. Try to find an incline to stand on while doing this. Most outdoor stores with good shoe departments -- like an REI -- will have an incline and 'rock pile' setup so you can do this 'toe touch' test.
  8. If the shoe is snug on the width of your feet, try a wider width or two. The shoe should not feel the least bit snug at the width.
  9. Walk around the store for quite a while with your pack on. Go up and down stairs. Force your feet forward as much as possible in the shoe to feel if your toes are clear of touching the shoe.
  10. Ask about return policy. Some stores, like REI, will allow returns even if the shoes are worn outdoors for a few weeks. Most stores aren't that generous. But you do not want to buy shoes from a store which will not allow a return, even if worn indoors, for a few days.
  11. Do not buy into a salesman's pitch that a shoe will feel better after "breaking in". If they feel odd or uncomfortable in the store, it won't get better with age.
 

vwzoo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#6
Spending one day a week walking a long distance means that you have a 6 day recovery in between walks. On Camino, you will be walking daily with a 12 or 16 hour (more or less) window for recovery. This means that your current conditioning does not replicate what you will experience on Camino. If you want a more accurate comparison, then wear the clothing and footwear you will wear, use the pack loaded with all that you plan on bringing, and do the same walking each day for a week.

That will give you a better comparison.

Hurting feet have multiple causes. The first and most likely cause is that you are using your feet in a way that is not normal for you to use them. Most everyone will experience foot soreness under the same conditions.

Then there are structural issues with the foot. A podiatrist can help diagnose whether your foot pain has an underlying cause that is medically identifiable. For example, metatarsal issues will produce a deep ache and pain at the front of the foot. Plantars Fasciitis will produce pain in the heel area of the sole of your foot.

There are other reasons for both of the symptoms I described above, and for that reason it is important to see a Podiatrist to help it all sorted out.

Short, frequent breaks may or may not help. Again, that depends on the issue with your feet. Breaks won't create more problems, but they might not solve them either.

As to shoes.... yes, a shoe that is too narrow or too short can cause aching feet. This is a re-post of what I have previously writtent regarding the proper sizing of shoes:

You purchase a shoe for hiking or trekking based on how it feels, not based on measurement or current shoe size.

  1. Feet should be measured for hiking footwear after having been on one's feet for most of the day.
  2. Wear your backpack to the shop loaded with 15 to 20 pounds of weight.
  3. Wear the sock(s) you will be wearing on Camino.
  4. Stand up while wearing your gear, with your full weight centred over the foot being measured.
  5. That measurement is only a guide, a starting place of what size to begin trying on.
  6. Bring any third party insole, orthotic, metatarsal pads, etc. which you will be using, and put it in the shoe you are trying on.
  7. If, when trying on the shoe, you can force your toes to even barely touch the front of the shoe, add one size up from the length of the shoe. Try to find an incline to stand on while doing this. Most outdoor stores with good shoe departments -- like an REI -- will have an incline and 'rock pile' setup so you can do this 'toe touch' test.
  8. If the shoe is snug on the width of your feet, try a wider width or two. The shoe should not feel the least bit snug at the width.
  9. Walk around the store for quite a while with your pack on. Go up and down stairs. Force your feet forward as much as possible in the shoe to feel if your toes are clear of touching the shoe.
  10. Ask about return policy. Some stores, like REI, will allow returns even if the shoes are worn outdoors for a few weeks. Most stores aren't that generous. But you do not want to buy shoes from a store which will not allow a return, even if worn indoors, for a few days.
  11. Do not buy into a salesman's pitch that a shoe will feel better after "breaking in". If they feel odd or uncomfortable in the store, it won't get better with age.
Spending one day a week walking a long distance means that you have a 6 day recovery in between walks. On Camino, you will be walking daily with a 12 or 16 hour (more or less) window for recovery. This means that your current conditioning does not replicate what you will experience on Camino. If you want a more accurate comparison, then wear the clothing and footwear you will wear, use the pack loaded with all that you plan on bringing, and do the same walking each day for a week.

That will give you a better comparison.

Hurting feet have multiple causes. The first and most likely cause is that you are using your feet in a way that is not normal for you to use them. Most everyone will experience foot soreness under the same conditions.

Then there are structural issues with the foot. A podiatrist can help diagnose whether your foot pain has an underlying cause that is medically identifiable. For example, metatarsal issues will produce a deep ache and pain at the front of the foot. Plantars Fasciitis will produce pain in the heel area of the sole of your foot.

There are other reasons for both of the symptoms I described above, and for that reason it is important to see a Podiatrist to help it all sorted out.

Short, frequent breaks may or may not help. Again, that depends on the issue with your feet. Breaks won't create more problems, but they might not solve them either.

As to shoes.... yes, a shoe that is too narrow or too short can cause aching feet. This is a re-post of what I have previously writtent regarding the proper sizing of shoes:

You purchase a shoe for hiking or trekking based on how it feels, not based on measurement or current shoe size.

  1. Feet should be measured for hiking footwear after having been on one's feet for most of the day.
  2. Wear your backpack to the shop loaded with 15 to 20 pounds of weight.
  3. Wear the sock(s) you will be wearing on Camino.
  4. Stand up while wearing your gear, with your full weight centred over the foot being measured.
  5. That measurement is only a guide, a starting place of what size to begin trying on.
  6. Bring any third party insole, orthotic, metatarsal pads, etc. which you will be using, and put it in the shoe you are trying on.
  7. If, when trying on the shoe, you can force your toes to even barely touch the front of the shoe, add one size up from the length of the shoe. Try to find an incline to stand on while doing this. Most outdoor stores with good shoe departments -- like an REI -- will have an incline and 'rock pile' setup so you can do this 'toe touch' test.
  8. If the shoe is snug on the width of your feet, try a wider width or two. The shoe should not feel the least bit snug at the width.
  9. Walk around the store for quite a while with your pack on. Go up and down stairs. Force your feet forward as much as possible in the shoe to feel if your toes are clear of touching the shoe.
  10. Ask about return policy. Some stores, like REI, will allow returns even if the shoes are worn outdoors for a few weeks. Most stores aren't that generous. But you do not want to buy shoes from a store which will not allow a return, even if worn indoors, for a few days.
  11. Do not buy into a salesman's pitch that a shoe will feel better after "breaking in". If they feel odd or uncomfortable in the store, it won't get better with age.
Thanks for the reply. I walked every day 5-10 miles in my job and have done the 17 mile hike in back to back days last summer once, the trying to find time has been the issue. I do have my backpack know and have walked once with it on with just my Camelback in it. I don't have any hills around here though. I plan as it gets closer to my time to leave to increase the frequency of my long walks if possible. I want to look for some training guides and do my best and get ready. I guess short stops won't help the sore stiff feet I am feeling and maybe it's a shoe issue. Someone had told me short 5 min stops every hours and elevate your feet. Thanks again for replying.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#7
Changing your socks during the hike may help as your walking will compress the sock's cushioning. Thicker socks might help too but then you have to think about fit and possible heat and sweat problems. Replacing the insoles that came with the boots may help (or hurt.)
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#8
Scott and I used to train by walking 10 to 20kms a day, with a mix of road and off road hills. While it helped with general fitness (and the dogs loved it), it didn't replicate true Camino conditions. On the Camino we averaged over 30kms a day and usually walk around 1000kms. Yes, it does take a toll on your body, but unlike real life when you are on the road all you are focusing on is walking, not your job / family / finances etc. this means you tend to look after your feet, pack balance, fuelling yourself to keep going. By all means continue with your training, just be prepared to listen to your body and adjust as a needed when you hit the trail.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#9
Thanks for the reply. I walked every day 5-10 miles in my job and have done the 17 mile hike in back to back days last summer once, the trying to find time has been the issue. I do have my backpack know and have walked once with it on with just my Camelback in it. I don't have any hills around here though. I plan as it gets closer to my time to leave to increase the frequency of my long walks if possible. I want to look for some training guides and do my best and get ready. I guess short stops won't help the sore stiff feet I am feeling and maybe it's a shoe issue. Someone had told me short 5 min stops every hours and elevate your feet. Thanks again for replying.
Besides walking on the Camino Frances, I have thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Colorado Trail, have thousands of miles of backpacking in the Cascades, Olympics, Sierra Nevadas and Rockies. I can give you some basic training guidelines, if you are open to it. :) This will work even if you are a flatlander :)

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.

After you've been involved in your fitness regimen for the next three months, put on the clothing and footwear you will be using on Camino, load up your pack, and for several days in a row walk for an 8 hour period. 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. Keep thinking about your personal goals for doing Camino and what type of experience you are hoping for. 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.
 
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tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
#10
Of course, some have the philosophy that it's not terribly necessary to train at all...its just walking after all... and that prolonged and aggressive training may risk injury that prevents them from making it to the start line at all. (Never mind the time and energy it takes in an otherwise busy life) I have walked two 900 km Caminos averaging 30k a day with no training and no ill effect.

I wouldn't even dream of going on an 8 hour training walk. If I have the basic ability to be up and about and walkin around all day, that's good enough for me. Unless one is racing the Camino and striving for some sort of competitive result, I, personally, don't believe that months and miles of training offer much benefit and may result in more harm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#11
Thanks for the reply. I walked every day 5-10 miles in my job and have done the 17 mile hike in back to back days last summer once, the trying to find time has been the issue. I do have my backpack know and have walked once with it on with just my Camelback in it. I don't have any hills around here though. I plan as it gets closer to my time to leave to increase the frequency of my long walks if possible. I want to look for some training guides and do my best and get ready. I guess short stops won't help the sore stiff feet I am feeling and maybe it's a shoe issue. Someone had told me short 5 min stops every hours and elevate your feet. Thanks again for replying.
I am 73 and walked the Primitivo to Muxia last September. I took 18 days,and walked a comfortable distance each day. I did have one 40 km day though. I had one small blister on one of my toes. I walked for several months before the trip10 to 15 km 3 times a week with a 26 km walk once a week always with my pack. Have been walking in the Cascades all of my life. Was not in the best of shape but kept up with,and outlasted much younger people. I think that with your age and training,you will do fine! Worry less, Buen Camino!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#12
Of course, some have the philosophy that it's not terribly necessary to train at all...its just walking after all... and that prolonged and aggressive training may risk injury that prevents them from making it to the start line at all. (Never mind the time and energy it takes in an otherwise busy life) I have walked two 900 km Caminos averaging 30k a day with no training and no ill effect.

I wouldn't even dream of going on an 8 hour training walk. If I have the basic ability to be up and about and walkin around all day, that's good enough for me. Unless one is racing the Camino and striving for some sort of competitive result, I, personally, don't believe that months and miles of training offer much benefit and may result in more harm.
Thank you for underscoring the point that prolonged and aggressive training is not advised; I absolutely agree. That is why using target heart rates/zones is one of the best ways to keep this from happening. It keeps conditioning gradual. It also follows the same type of time schedule that one might have if going to the gym, or exercising at home to stay healthy; the kind of thing doctor's want us to do anyway :)

If someone is training so hard that they are becoming injured, that is counterproductive. The idea is to increase enjoyment on the Camino, not -- as you have so aptly put it -- to race along the Camino as a competitive event.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#14
Changing socks is great advice . Three times a day during rest stops while your feet air out . Let the used ones dry out on the outside of your pack and alternate during the day . Dry socks feel like soft clouds to tired Camino feet.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#15
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
That pain is normal, and in my experience, there's nothing to be done about it, except rest.

Short breaks will help a little when you'll be on the Camino or a hiking trail, but OTOH a daily hiking régime will make some of the pain cumulative day-to-day.

But you'll be fine, we all get used to it.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#17
All things being equal sure, but I'd never have been capable of my 2014 without it ... things like this do vary from one person to the next.
I think we are on the same page, JabbaPapa. By aggressive training I mean trying to cram a hard and accelerated pace of conditioning when first starting out. Like someone who is sedentary trying to get ready to run a marathon in two weeks time. Or trying to lift too much weight, with too many repetitions the first day in the gym.

Getting into good cardio fitness and increasing strength is a wise thing to do for a camino. By using a progressive schedule for increasing exercise over a longer period of time, it helps prevent discouragement, is more likely for working out to become a habit, and allows the body adequate time to rest between workout sessions to better avoid injury.

Would you be willing to share a bit about what worked for you?
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#18
Hi,
I am 65 and have done many long distance walks over the last 30 years. Its fair to say that my feet always start hurting after 10 miles regardless of my pack weight, ground conditions, boot types, socks and temperatures. After 15 miles they are pretty sore and that's when i usually give it up for the day. But saying that i have managed to occasionally put in some 25+ milers. But always in the morning after my feet feel OK and i rarely get any blisters. So i just put it down to that's what happens to me - so i wouldn't worry to much about. In my experience their are plenty of opportunities on the Camino for accommodation, so if you are having a hard day just put your feet up early :) Have a great Camino btw.
 

Susu60

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, La via plata, Aragon,
#19
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
Good to take a break. 17 miles is more for the young! Try 12 to 15max when on the Camino, as you will be less inclined to have injuries.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#20
You have some great responses here already. A few additional thoughts:
- Check out HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which helps build cardio and strength despite your flat surroundings
- Arch support, whether your original or substituted insoles. How long have you been training in those shoes? About 500 mi is the "point of collapse" for most foam insoles.
- Core strengthening (abdominals and lower back) will help immensely
 

easygoing

Walking the Camino with my 15 year old self
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 5 times, twice in 2017. (May 2018 and September 2018)
#21
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
Yes, take a short break every hour for 5 to 10 minutes. The little muscles in your feet get sore just like any muscle as you overwork them and they get stronger. And I agree to wear your pack while you train. A pack that feels light in the living room feels different after 10 miles and that will strengthen your feet. Remember also your feet will swell by the end of the day so buy shoes a size larger.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#22
The folks who advise not training before a Camino, as the first week is conditioning-on-the-fly, are correct, to an extent. In my experience and observation, I found that most of these pilgrims start off their Caminos with advantages not enjoyed by the rest of us. for example, but not limited to, they tend to:

1. Be either thinner, lighter or shorter of stature. I noticed that shorter, smaller, lighter pilgrims tend to walk more sure-footedly and faster than those of use 'larger' folks. I have a theory about the relationship between the vertical distance of the person's "pelvic girdle / basket" to the earth...but it is only a theory...

2. Carry smaller, lighter loads.

3. Start in better conditioning generally, as a result of routine daily activities "back in the world," genetics, or a relatively healthier lifestyle, pre-camino.

Because my menisci cartridge (knees) are knackered from two earlier decades of being morbidly obese, I must exercise several times weekly using weight resistance machines in a circuit, to build up muscles in my knees and hips to compensate for this absence of cushioning.

It is a running contest between me, the Camino, and joint replacement surgery. I am trying to hold it off long enough for the emerging stem cell therapy to be able to rebuild my menisci without the need for invasive surgery.

Hope this helps the dialog.
 

Pam Scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago compostella 2015
#23
I've walked a lot of long distance paths and I invariably end up with feet that ache. You could say its par for the course. Especially if you are carrying a pack.
 
#24
The important question is not how you feel when you finish for the day. The important question is how you feel when you set off in the morning. Hopefully your feet are not sore then. As to changing socks i don't wear socks rather I wear loose fitting hiking shoes with a mesh body. Keeps the feet cool!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#25
Would you be willing to share a bit about what worked for you?
Walking 1000 K + over the course of a year in order to prepare for walking 1000 K + (it was eventually 1200 K).

The longest hike I actually did between that training and the Camino was a memorable 40 K or so in Winter through a desert forest with absolute time constraints and absence of any possibility of outside assistance 'til the other side -- that was a significant step towards being sure I could manage a 1000 K +

But well, when I was younger, back in the 90s, multiple 40K training hikes in the week became my norm, and learning that ability to walk 40K daily was absolutely necessary for the time and distance constraints for my 1994 Paris to Compostela Camino (44 days !!).

But I think that the training regimen that I need myself is mostly a consequence of my outlandish and damaged physique -- there's no reason why a more normally constituted hiker without onerous health issues should have to train that intensively.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#26
I've walked a lot of long distance paths and I invariably end up with feet that ache. You could say its par for the course. Especially if you are carrying a pack.
I'd say that -- from a pure hiking perspective, that is NOT the same as a pilgrim one -- as far as the sport itself is concerned, if you're not in constant pain 24H/day, then whatever you're doing isn't long-distance hiking as such.

But of course, nor is that "pure hiking perspective" the Camino, and certainly is it not the pilgrimage.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#27
I would like to emphasise my complete agreement with every single person who has recommended short breaks as a matter of course.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#28
To put the Camino into perspective, even if you have a goal of doing a "reasonable" average of 20 to 25 km / 12 to 15 miles per day, imagine yourself walking a half marathon every day for 35 to 40 days, over terrain varying from hard pavement to dirt (or muddy) trails, sometimes over steep and rocky ups and downs, in weather that can be hot and dry or cold and wet, all the while carrying a backpack weighing roughly 6.5 to 7.5 kg / 15 to 17 lbs. And as @davebugg has reminded us, with only 12 to 16 hours of recovery time between sessions. Now imagine that you've spent your life working in an office, are several kg / lbs overweight, and haven't had time to train or to evaluate key equipment like footwear and backpacks in real-world conditions. That should give anyone an incentive to do at least something to get prepared. Sure, almost anyone in reasonable health and reasonably motivated can do it, but if you think it's going to be like Martin Sheen and friends in "The Way," think again. Just be realistic in your planning and preparation, and build a few rest days into your schedule.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#29
Walking 1000 K + over the course of a year in order to prepare for walking 1000 K + (it was eventually 1200 K).

The longest hike I actually did between that training and the Camino was a memorable 40 K or so in Winter through a desert forest with absolute time constraints and absence of any possibility of outside assistance 'til the other side -- that was a significant step towards being sure I could manage a 1000 K +

But well, when I was younger, back in the 90s, multiple 40K training hikes in the week became my norm, and learning that ability to walk 40K daily was absolutely necessary for the time and distance constraints for my 1994 Paris to Compostela Camino (44 days !!).

But I think that the training regimen that I need myself is mostly a consequence of my outlandish and damaged physique -- there's no reason why a more normally constituted hiker without onerous health issues should have to train that intensively.
Thanks for sharing that; I admire the commitment to do what you felt needed to be done, in order to achieve your goal. :cool::)
 

vwzoo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#30
Thanks everyone. I like I say in the course of my job on walk in average 5-10 miles every day. I want to try and increase the frequency of more then once a week longer walks and I have never had an illusion that it would be an easy walk which is why I am trying my best to prepare within reason of course. I love the movie "The Way" but realize it's fiction and I often wonder how much pain in real life the Martin Sheen character would be from going to guy that won't walk a short distance to hit a golf ball to attempting walking the Camino Frances. I expect lots of physical pain as well as spiritual, mental challenges, but my hope is I am a human and lots of others humans pushed through those same challenges to feel the exhilliration of standing in the cathedral in Santiago. I want to be as ready as I reasonably can be and then move to hope and faith I will get through the challenges. I will encorporate some breaks, adding my back with weight, and changing socks to see what or if they help. Then I guess it's acceptance of beyond 15-16 miles just begins to hurt. I will add finally that the day after my feet have felt fine. Thanks again everyone.
 

owms2323

Credential question
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
#32
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
Unless you have time restraints, there is no need to walk 17 miles at a time.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#33
Unless you have time restraints, there is no need to walk 17 miles at a time.
I would say it is more of a preference for me rather than an issue of time or need. People have their own natural rhythms and pace that they are comfortable with. :) For me, I prefer an 0700 -0730 start and to walk into the late afternoon. That means I will naturally walk between 18 and 24 miles per day, all the while enjoying all the Camino has to offer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#34
The folks who advise not training before a Camino, as the first week is conditioning-on-the-fly, are correct, to an extent. In my experience and observation, I found that most of these pilgrims start off their Caminos with advantages not enjoyed by the rest of us. for example, but not limited to, they tend to:

1. Be either thinner, lighter or shorter of stature. I noticed that shorter, smaller, lighter pilgrims tend to walk more sure-footedly and faster than those of use 'larger' folks. I have a theory about the relationship between the vertical distance of the person's "pelvic girdle / basket" to the earth...but it is only a theory...

2. Carry smaller, lighter loads.

3. Start in better conditioning generally, as a result of routine daily activities "back in the world," genetics, or a relatively healthier lifestyle, pre-camino.

Because my menisci cartridge (knees) are knackered from two earlier decades of being morbidly obese, I must exercise several times weekly using weight resistance machines in a circuit, to build up muscles in my knees and hips to compensate for this absence of cushioning.

It is a running contest between me, the Camino, and joint replacement surgery. I am trying to hold it off long enough for the emerging stem cell therapy to be able to rebuild my menisci without the need for invasive surgery.

Hope this helps the dialog.
Look into Solomon's seal. I was told that I needed a knee replacement years ago and started to make a tea from Solomon's Seal along with taking circuit daily, and actually repaired my knee. Check out the benefits of Solomon's Seal for yourself. I walked the Primitivo last fall with little problems.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#36
t2, which weight resistance machines do you use for your knees and hips? Are the leg curls and leg extension machines useful?
The folks who advise not training before a Camino, as the first week is conditioning-on-the-fly, are correct, to an extent. In my experience and observation, I found that most of these pilgrims start off their Caminos with advantages not enjoyed by the rest of us. for example, but not limited to, they tend to:

1. Be either thinner, lighter or shorter of stature. I noticed that shorter, smaller, lighter pilgrims tend to walk more sure-footedly and faster than those of use 'larger' folks. I have a theory about the relationship between the vertical distance of the person's "pelvic girdle / basket" to the earth...but it is only a theory...

2. Carry smaller, lighter loads.

3. Start in better conditioning generally, as a result of routine daily activities "back in the world," genetics, or a relatively healthier lifestyle, pre-camino.

Because my menisci cartridge (knees) are knackered from two earlier decades of being morbidly obese, I must exercise several times weekly using weight resistance machines in a circuit, to build up muscles in my knees and hips to compensate for this absence of cushioning.

It is a running contest between me, the Camino, and joint replacement surgery. I am trying to hold it off long enough for the emerging stem cell therapy to be able to rebuild my menisci without the need for invasive surgery.

Hope this helps the dialog.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#37
Check out this book and website: www.fixingyourfeet.com
Where is your foot pain? I had metatarsal pain (ball of the foot) and got good information from John on what kind of pads to add to my insoles and where to get them. They are placed *below* the ball of the foot, between the arch and the ball of the foot. Was really helpful to me. Don't know if that's your issue or not.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#38
t2, which weight resistance machines do you use for your knees and hips? Are the leg curls and leg extension machines useful?
The Leg Curl (75 lb) and Leg Extension (75 lb) weight machines are very useful for my knees, calf muscles and lower thighs. I also use a seated leg press machine (180 lbs) to work my lower back and full leg muscle groups.

For the thighs and hips, I use a hip adductor and abductor machine (does two exercises) both at 75 lbs. For my upper body routine, I use a series of torso "crunches," shoulder pull-down, arm curls, chest extenders, and an upright rowing simulator (all at about 70 - 75 lbs.). Of course, I had to work up to those weight points over about 3 months.

All in all, I have 14 machine exercises on 12 machines - two machines perform two exercises on different chest or leg muscle groups. My routine consists of one series of maybe 15 - 20 repetitions on each machine. "One and done, as I call it..."

If can proceed without cooling down between exercises, this can also be my aerobic workout as it takes about 25 minutes in all. Once I get my heart rate into my target range, I move quickly from machine to machine. If I cannot accomplish this, I relegate myself to 20 - 30 minutes on a recumbent bicycle, either watching TV news or listening to my listen and repeat Pimsleur Spanish lessons on my iPhone.

I should mention here, that the only thing I like LESS than stationary exercise, are green vegetables...o_O
My exercise routine is a three-times weekly thing I do to maintain muscle tone.

I will NEVER have, nor am I seeking to have, a six-pack, more like a mini-keg. As long as I preserve my muscles, use them, and keep them in reasonable condition, my Camino days are not yet behind me.

Hope this helps.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#39
imagine yourself walking a half marathon every day for 35 to 40 days, over terrain varying from hard pavement to dirt (or muddy) trails, sometimes over steep and rocky ups and downs, in weather that can be hot and dry or cold and wet, all the while carrying a backpack weighing roughly 6.5 to 7.5 kg / 15 to 17 lbs. And as @davebugg has reminded us, with only 12 to 16 hours of recovery time between sessions.
No imagination needed here, just memory -- but imagine the same with a daily marathon, not half one. o_O
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#40
I would say it is more of a preference for me rather than an issue of time or need. People have their own natural rhythms and pace that they are comfortable with. :) For me, I prefer an 0700 -0730 start and to walk into the late afternoon. That means I will naturally walk between 18 and 24 miles per day, all the while enjoying all the Camino has to offer.
A very similar approach to my own, though I'm also quite happy with 10 AM starts and so on.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#41
A very similar approach to my own, though I'm also quite happy with 10 AM starts and so on.
LOL!!! In a certain country in SE Asia it got to be a habit of a pre-dawn start. Only back then, "ultra-light" meant only a 60 pound load rather than an 80 pound loadout, and it was referred to as a LRRP (culturally appropriated by the Army from the Marines :) ) rather than a pilgrimage. So, I guess any start after O-dark-30 would be luxurious; and 1000 would be absolutely decadent :cool:

Nowadays, I like decadent more and more often.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#43
Lots of great ideas here. We walked our Camino during winter which more difficult walking with sore feet at the end of each day. I am 67 and I walk 3 miles a day 5 days a week before work. Almost every weekend my wife and I will hit the trail for a 10 to 15 mile hike. My feet always hurt at the end of the day. In eleven mos. we will walk our next Camino celebrating my retirement. We are going to add a few more days to experience more of Spain.
 
#44
I favour starting hiking training by walking a few miles every other day with the gear you intend to use. About two/three weeks before you leave I would then do a multi day hike about a third of the distance you intend to do on a trail. This will give you the confidence that you have the fitness and nothing to be anxious about.
However there is always the fit person who turn up, lace up their shoes and do it fine. Key with that is taking the first few days very easily i.e less than 10 miles a day.
 

Yaari

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2014; May 2017
#45
Hi there. I sympathize. I've done five long-distance walks including Portuguese Camino and my feet typically start to ache after 4 hours of walking. Two things have helped me: 1) lightweight walking poles take the pressure off feet, knees and hips. 2) Stop for brief breaks during day, take shoes off, put feet up if possible, massage them, change socks.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
#46
Other then making sure you are properly hydrated, I say after walking 17 miles something has to hurt :)

Zzotte
 

Pxlwiz

Returning Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)Camino del Norte/Primativo
(2018)Camino Inglés
#47
Changing your socks during the hike may help as your walking will compress the sock's cushioning. Thicker socks might help too but then you have to think about fit and possible heat and sweat problems. Replacing the insoles that came with the boots may help (or hurt.)
I found stops to rest my feet to be helpful, as I carried sandals as post camino footwear, I'd lose my shoes and socks during second breakfast, lunch and other breaks and let my socks and shoes dry thoroughly, if the break wasn't long enough for my socks to dry I'd swap socks ( darntough wool btw) and hang the damp ones to dry on my pack. longer breaks I'd lay down briefly ( I was 59 at the time) and elevate my feet. Each day by the end of the day my feet hurt but not intolerably, and they ached before I warmed them up each morning but I was able to make it from Irun to Santiago over the Norte and primativo with only minor pain and one tiny blister which I lost alone and only had for 3 days. Your mileage will vary but my belief is that attentive foot are is key. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances -
Sept-Oct 2017
#48
My suggestion is to take you time & enjoy your Camino. My wife and I (61 & 63) did the Camino Frances from St Jean to Santiago in 46 walking days - that's about 10 1/2 miles per day. Highest day was about 13 miles and we only took 2 rest days. So there was a period of 30 consecutive days without a break. We carried everything and had no blisters or problems and no stress.
We took multiple breaks throughout the day - and not the 5 to 15 minute kind. Sit, relax, enjoy people and the surroundings.
While my wife was really in shape to go, I had only been cleared to begin my training after having Achilles tendinitis about 35 days before we left for Spain. By the time we left I hadn't done more than 6 miles in a single day.
Taking it easy is the key. It's not a race: it's an experience. We hope to go again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to Burgos 2014. Burgos to SdC arriving 5/5/2015. C2C (2016) Le Puy to Moissac April (2018)
#49
Hi VWZoo! Here's what works for me. I order three pairs of hiking shoes on line, have them delivered, and then see how they feel at home at different times of the day, different socks, etc. This allows more time to evaluate them than in the stores. I keep the ones that feel the best, and return the others. I select my shoes by weight, heavier is better. Most of the weight is in the soles, and I check the rigidity of the soles by pressing down with my thumb. Stiffer soles keep my feet from hurting, especially on the rough paths you'll encounter on the Camino. I'm 71 and hiked 400 km from Le Puy-en-Velay to Moissac, France in April 2018 with a 25 lb. backpack. You won't need boots on the Camino, and shoes are lighter and cooler. Good Luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk with my husband June 2018
#50
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
Good idea to walk the long distances, but what I wish I had done was more training on a stair master to prepare me for the steep ups and downs. That has been more the challenge for me rather than the distances. Also train with your fully loaded backpack. This is very important.
 

jpmendes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Way 11-03-2107 until 15-04-2017
Portuguese Interior Way planned
#51
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
You should me more than prepared now. I saw an 83 years old italian wooman walking Camino alone, so don't worry. Use vaseline or Vick's Vaporub on your feet, rest every 2 hours, take your shoes off during the rest period. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"May 2014" & "May 2015"
#53
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
I find taking regular breaks & airing my feet really helps reduce and swelling or pain. Your feet are the most important tool so be kind to them. Vascoline rub on them in the morning. Tape up your toes & any “hot” spots, and intermittent rests help. Massage and/or ice at night before bed. Good luck
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am currently walking the Camino del Norte summer 2018
#54
Hi VWZoo,

I’m 57 and just walked the Norte from Irún to SdC——with little to no training....I was concerned that I would not be able to complete it but with sufficient rest it was very doable....as the days and weeks went on, I gained more confidence....there were days when after walking 30 km, I could do nothing but wash, eat, and sleep....so that’s what I did....then there were days when I had more energy and walked around town, etc....it became very apparent to me the first week (when I was sure that I would NOT be able to finish) that our bodies have a miraculous way of “resetting” while sleeping....yes my feet were sore at night—-and were good to go each morning!!! I loved the daily rhythm of praying, walking, eating, and sleeping....nothing more, nothing less......Buen Camino...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many
#55
but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles
That's not a bug, it's a feature. Time for a long rest or the equivalent. Changing socks helps some, but I don't think that has anything to do with the actual socks. Take off the pack, and the boots, and soak your feet in whatever small river you come upon. I don't know why more people don't do this, but it is healing for both soles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#56
That's not a bug, it's a feature. Time for a long rest or the equivalent. Changing socks helps some, but I don't think that has anything to do with the actual socks. Take off the pack, and the boots, and soak your feet in whatever small river you come upon. I don't know why more people don't do this, but it is healing for both soles.
A lot of people probably don't soak their feet in small rivers along the way because they've read a lot of other people say, in forums like this one, that to get your feet wet during the walk, even if you dry them as best you can, is a sure way to end up with blisters. I can understand them not wanting to risk it, no matter how tempting that water might be.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#57
You lost me at ‘straight without stopping’ - My question is: why would you want to walk without stopping on the way? Besides foot and leg problems, the real issue is - why spend all that energy into trying to get somewhere, rather than being present, occasionally slowing down and taking a few extra breaths, admiring the scenery, etc. personally, though I occasionally got to do 35 km, I would never have rushed that distance, but spread it out over a longer day. Camino = the way, not destination itself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#58
You lost me at ‘straight without stopping’ - My question is: why would you want to walk without stopping on the way? Besides foot and leg problems, the real issue is - why spend all that energy into trying to get somewhere, rather than being present, occasionally slowing down and taking a few extra breaths, admiring the scenery, etc. personally, though I occasionally got to do 35 km, I would never have rushed that distance, but spread it out over a longer day. Camino = the way, not destination itself.
I can tell you that when I walked the Camino Frances with my son in July and August, he certainly wanted to minimize stops. His thinking was "The fewer the stops, the sooner we arrive. The sooner we arrive, the less we are walking in the hottest part of the day." Which isn't to say that we never stopped, never enjoyed the scenery, etc. Just that, depending on when one is walking, I can understand why one might want to get to the destination in a timely manner.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2018
#59
This thread reveals an amazing difference of approach in strategies adopted to cope with the trials and tribulations of long distance walking. Most interesting, as Mr Spock would have commented. I plan to commence my 1st Camino (Frances) on 22 September (7 weeks time!!!). I've been planning for it for almost 2 years. I retired from a spare time job three weeks ago in order to be able to fully concentrate on Camino matters. I'm no stranger to walking the sort of distances that vwzoo quotes in his post i.e. 15 to 20 miles. Like vwzoo I would do these walks (almost) without stopping. My attitude was that the less time I stopped the quicker I would finish. In truth I did stop maybe for a couple of 15 minute breaks for water/juice and some sort of sandwich/energy bar that I'd brought along. I'd finish without too many problems with my feet, never ever any blisters but with the knees and calf muscles feeling they'd been given a good workout depending on the type of terrain and weather.
But earlier this year I encountered something in the way of a moment revelation/enlightenment. I'd planned a 22 mile walk. Unfortunately on that same day the UK was hit by one of the two wintry blasts from Siberia that we had earlier. In addition to that we'd had weeks of cold and very wet weather that had transformed the countryside into a huge muddy quagmire. Undaunted I set off. One of the first obstacles being the main road bridge over the river in Southampton that rises almost 100 feet at its highest point. Wind speed at the top must have been gale force 8 or severe gale 9 and an air temperature of about 2 degrees Celsius. As this was still in an urban area, there was a cafe displaying the sign 'Serving Breakfast' just beyond the other side of the bridge. Too much of a temptation to walk past having just about survived the crossing of the bridge. 40 minutes later I emerged well fed, watered, and alive again., transformed utterly. I do admit to feeling extremely guilty about having gone into the cafe at all as though it had somehow violated some unwritten ruling that 'proper walkers' don't stop until the end and only then should they be allowed to enjoy the 'fruits' of a good meal and a decent drink in comfortable surroundings. Later that day I stopped again at the 15 mile mark at a pub - for beer and bar meal. When I got home I felt much much better than I thought I would have done -given the extreme wind chill that day and at least 11 miles of the route ploughing through footpaths either under knee deep water or energy-sapping ankle deep mud.
Upon reflection I realised that what I did that day will in fact replicate quite well what I expect to find along much of the Camino, in that there will be in many cases no shortage of opportunities to eat and drink and rest in between. On all the recent walks that I've done with my fully packed rucksack I now adopt the same strategy of having something to eat before I set off, then take a cooked breakfast at mid morning, then cooked lunch mid afternoon. No more sandwiches and energy bars unless I know I'll walking in an area without refreshments.In between I pick up bits and pieces such as ice cream etc. I feel pretty good at the end of the 20 miles, but to be honest I can feel that the knees and feet have had a bit of a workout. So my recipe for success is keep the body's internal fuel tank well topped up, take a couple of decent rests, and plan your day in advance factoring in the time taken whilst resting
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances -
Sept-Oct 2017
#60
I have been prepping for walking the Camino in Sept. I am 56 and have been increasing my walking the last few years to get ready. My question is, I walk a trail 17 miles straight with out stopping. I have done this at least once a week for the last 3 months. My whole body feels fine, no blisters or anything, but my feet will start to hurt the last couple miles. Will taking short breaks help or does people have an opinion it's a shoe issue. It is flat as I live in SW Michigan.
Last year my wife and I (61 & 63 respectively) went from SJPP to Santiago in 46 walking days with only 2 rest days: coming to an average of 10.5 miles a day. That was after a training period for me of only one month because I was recovering from Achilles tendinitis. 33 days before leaving for Spain, I began by walking only one mile a day. By the time we left, I was up to 6 miles a day with my pack. So, we took plenty of rest periods. I was sore at the beginning, but by not doing anything stupid, I did just fine.

Like everyone else says; keep the pack weight down. I learned to use trekking poles and they were a God-send to me. However I saw plenty of pilgrims with poles and absolutely no idea how to use them properly.

Our approach was to see how my walking held up and if we started falling significantly behind our schedule, we could always bus ahead to Sarria and finish up from there. In the end, no need for buses, taxis or pack shuttles. No blisters, and only took the 2 rest days because we had to: the festival in Logrono consumed all of the rooms there and in Navarette forcing us to stay in Vianna another day, and by the time we got to Sarria, we were a day ahead of our albergue bookings so we burned an extra day in Sarria.

Take you time - it's not a race. An easy-going pace (and light pack) will save your feet and not stress out your tendons. Bien Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances -
Sept-Oct 2017
#61
This thread reveals an amazing difference of approach in strategies adopted to cope with the trials and tribulations of long distance walking. Most interesting, as Mr Spock would have commented. I plan to commence my 1st Camino (Frances) on 22 September (7 weeks time!!!). I've been planning for it for almost 2 years. I retired from a spare time job three weeks ago in order to be able to fully concentrate on Camino matters. I'm no stranger to walking the sort of distances that vwzoo quotes in his post i.e. 15 to 20 miles. Like vwzoo I would do these walks (almost) without stopping. My attitude was that the less time I stopped the quicker I would finish. In truth I did stop maybe for a couple of 15 minute breaks for water/juice and some sort of sandwich/energy bar that I'd brought along. I'd finish without too many problems with my feet, never ever any blisters but with the knees and calf muscles feeling they'd been given a good workout depending on the type of terrain and weather.
But earlier this year I encountered something in the way of a moment revelation/enlightenment. I'd planned a 22 mile walk. Unfortunately on that same day the UK was hit by one of the two wintry blasts from Siberia that we had earlier. In addition to that we'd had weeks of cold and very wet weather that had transformed the countryside into a huge muddy quagmire. Undaunted I set off. One of the first obstacles being the main road bridge over the river in Southampton that rises almost 100 feet at its highest point. Wind speed at the top must have been gale force 8 or severe gale 9 and an air temperature of about 2 degrees Celsius. As this was still in an urban area, there was a cafe displaying the sign 'Serving Breakfast' just beyond the other side of the bridge. Too much of a temptation to walk past having just about survived the crossing of the bridge. 40 minutes later I emerged well fed, watered, and alive again., transformed utterly. I do admit to feeling extremely guilty about having gone into the cafe at all as though it had somehow violated some unwritten ruling that 'proper walkers' don't stop until the end and only then should they be allowed to enjoy the 'fruits' of a good meal and a decent drink in comfortable surroundings. Later that day I stopped again at the 15 mile mark at a pub - for beer and bar meal. When I got home I felt much much better than I thought I would have done -given the extreme wind chill that day and at least 11 miles of the route ploughing through footpaths either under knee deep water or energy-sapping ankle deep mud.
Upon reflection I realised that what I did that day will in fact replicate quite well what I expect to find along much of the Camino, in that there will be in many cases no shortage of opportunities to eat and drink and rest in between. On all the recent walks that I've done with my fully packed rucksack I now adopt the same strategy of having something to eat before I set off, then take a cooked breakfast at mid morning, then cooked lunch mid afternoon. No more sandwiches and energy bars unless I know I'll walking in an area without refreshments.In between I pick up bits and pieces such as ice cream etc. I feel pretty good at the end of the 20 miles, but to be honest I can feel that the knees and feet have had a bit of a workout. So my recipe for success is keep the body's internal fuel tank well topped up, take a couple of decent rests, and plan your day in advance factoring in the time taken whilst resting
Take time after about an hour and a half after starting each day to sit down and enjoy a local breakfast of cafe' con lechi and totillas (which is actually a Spanish omelette type of pie shaped dish and not a flour or corn tortilla in sight!) and enjoy the morning. 'Proper' pilgrims take breaks all the time - however I didn't partake in a mid-day beer until my second to the last day near the Santiago airport.
 



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    Votes: 54 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 228 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 93 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
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