• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

How do you train for the Camino?

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
 
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi C clearly, it really is hard to do the training especially when working. We walk in winter so start training 6 months prior in our Australian winter, short walks first, maybe 5km, increasing to 10-15km on the weekends - it takes up a huge part of the day. We then start doing smaller walks of an evening with our empty backpacks - the only weight is our water bottles and picnic lunch. Pretty quickly we start putting our gear in our packs and walk 10 and then 15km and then have a full pack. We generally end up 20km in day but usually only two days in a row.

During the week we aim for shorter walks. We always train in our camino gear. Our average training walk is around 15km.

We get our shoes part way through training and walk very short distances and buid up - our week-day walking training)

Our go-paths are pretty flat but we do try and seek out hills. For the Aussies - Hanging Rock and Halls Gap are good training spots for walking up Roncesvalles!

Its not perfect, we always wish we had done a bit more but it is about all we can manage.

Also - we walk with our children and while the like walking the camino they despise, absolutely despise training. Partly because its boring and partly because it gets really hot (30+ deg C). For our next camino, my husband and I will do more training than them - win/win, they get out of training and then we have half a chance keeping up with them when we walk or next camino hahaha!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
It's great advice @C clearly.
I just really struggle to do much training.
I find it so boring :rolleyes:
But I know I should do it. And next time I will.

Walking at home just doesn't have a lot of interest for me.
Extended road walking just damages my achilles tendons.

And unless I drive for an hour or so, I'm limited to circuits around a couple of local parks.
Though one local park does have a 'bushwalk' of 4.5 kms around a lake. So that tends to be my preferred training location.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Hi @C clearly , similar pattern here.
Working from home gave me the advantage that I can use the time I previously spent commuting to go for a walk near my place, so I've added daily 2-3km walks into my routine. They are not enough to sort all gear, but help break shoes and keep me fit.

On weekends with sunny or cloudy weather, I go for longer walks in different types of paths. Usually around 15km. As you said, I use my exact camino gear, from sunglasses and full backpack down to bra and underwear. I really don´t want to find on the route that anything is too tight, pinching or rolling.

Yesterday I went on a 20km walk, mild weather. It was great, but I had the horrible surprise that my current runners let LOTS of pebbles in. In shorter walks I'd get the eventual pebble, but the longer walk showed me that it was too much - I was stopping every 40min-1h to remove those micro demons from my shoes. In the shorter walks, I was loving the runners because they were so breathable! Only found out the down side of it in a longer walk in a mountain... Oh, well, time to find something else and break them.
 

OZAJ

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
I walk about 5km most days. This is not training, it is normal. I have never trained for a Camino and consider the first week or so to be my training. Of course I have to take it easy. As they say, start off an oldie and finish as a young person. Works for me ... so far. I expect things might change as Anno Domini takes charge.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I don't do training before I go on camino, I never have. On my first camino, I walked the Napoleon Route and I just slowed down to the point where I was comfortable walking, then stayed at Orisson overnight and scheduled several short days to follow. This worked perfectly for me. Now, of course, half my life is training to walk, as I get my new knee functioning. When my physiotherapist approves longer walks, I shall do what I can with deep snow on the ground and get back to longer walks when it melts, probably not before spring. I was walking a few kms. each day just for pleasure before my surgery, including some uphill and down. I shall probably get back to that when I can, in part, to insure that the new knee is functioning well. I shall buy new orthotics, as my physiotherapist recommends this for my new knee. I may walk from Banff to Lake Louise through the mountains again, if I can arrange it before I leave for Spain. I guess that will be training, as I shall have in mind what shape my knees are in to set off on a long camino trek. But I still am likely to just walk a few shorter days to start my trek on the Levante, rather than organized training.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Before my first Camino I went away for several weeks on a planned writing retreat to complete a project in relative solitude from a usually grueling care-giving schedule. I took my cats with me for company, and headed to our remote cabin near Algonquin Park, in Canada. The cabin is itself a fair amount of work... to cut wood, stack wood, make fires etc, maintaining the pile as one burns through. We have a large wood lot... so that provided one kind of strength training.

While I was there, I found the Kyte 36L pack I would take to Camino, and I started walking round-trip to town for groceries with the pack — 21K round trip, with the pack filly weighted on the return. I guess I was doing that walk 2 times a week, and I’d do the same walk 2 times a week without shopping; I’d just go to my favorite bakery, get myself a treat (a latte and a whiskey brownie) and use their WiFi to communicate with my editors at the time.

I guess I bought my hiking boots at the outfitter up there too. So that was how walking replaced cycling in my life. I’d used cycling around at home to get to and from work for about 7 years, but I’d been gaining weight for years, and cycling and rock climbing were not demanding enough from me anymore. I’m a very small person who had hit a size 8 when I really can’t handle more than a 6, and do best at a 4 (roughly size 35 EU). So I moved from “fit but chubby” to “fit and thin-ish” in those several weeks.... and something shifted for me.

I stopped hating walking. I’d take photos of the scenery; I discovered streams and waterfalls I’d not known existed 100 yards away from a road I’d been travelling for 35 years...

Then I did my Camino — age 47 — lost my pack-weight while I was out there, and came home fit and very thin (I developed what looked like scrapes on my clavicles and iliac crests from pack-chafing in the final weeks).

When I came back to city life, I did not return to cycling or public transit. Distances had changed for me. I went back into intensive care-giving, but pulled my Beloved autistic adult child into my routine. He does best with lots of physical activity, so we’d walk out and back from his gym, 6K each way, and I would work while he was doing his thing. I’d take him on hikes with me, and he’d help carry groceries home. We started to travel local trails together just to make it more interesting to get around town. We took up night-hiking...

I started listening to my texts on audio so that after I’d read them, I could listen to them on my way into campus to do my lectures.

All told, I built a new life post Camino that just includes walking. I don’t train. I have almost every shoe I can imagine needing for any kind of weather. I have summer gaiters for rain, winter gaiters for snow. Ice cleats, layers and layers of merino and down.... What is the saying? “There’s no bad weather, only bad gear”...? I try not to have bad gear.

I loathed walking in my pre-Camino life. LOATHED it.

But now it’s just built into my life. It takes me 35-40 minutes to get to work, usually just a little longer to get home because I’m tired by the end of a day with students and colleagues.

Maybe I get groceries on my way home and toss them into my pack. If I’m going to do that I take the old 36L Kyte with me. Otherwise, I use my 26L Talon.

COVID kinda messed with everything. At first it was OK. I took Beloved up to the remote shack for all of April and May total lockdown when people were being fined for being out for a walk more than 1km from home. We did fine, but had to haul water in buckets for the first 2 weeks as out water lines were still frozen. We had to toboggan our groceries down our laneway for the last 500 feet of 1200 because we don’t plough that end of our drive way as it gets quit narrow there....

But work required that I return to proper internet. His studies demanded the same thing... and so we returned to the city.

And we both tossed on Covid weight. I’m carrying an extra 10 pounds around now and my “walks built into daily life” are more difficult because nothing is open; I don’t go to campus anymore...

So: we’ve set up a gym at home, and I’m walking the virtual caminos... I read the thread about the Lana when it updates; I watch the Alicante tourism videos about the villages along the Lana... and I’m watching the BK Lee Camino (on silent) while I walk on my treadmill (wearing a loaded pack) and my dear spouse rides the stationary bike beside me as a very polite bici-grino. Sometimes at the end of a day we will eat as we do in Iberia. It’s partly nostalgia, but it’s also that we generally prefer life in the EU, and prefer to hold onto lessons from there about *when* to eat (late!) and what to eat (cheese! Yogurt! Almonds and figs, membrillo, insalata mista...). I bought a citrus press and we can get juice oranges at a local shop. We do our virtual stuff, and after an hour or so, stop for a cortado and a zumo...

Camino changed our lives. Restored our lives.... and in some way we find it is sustaining us through COV.

So, in answer: I did train... but I don’t anymore. I altered my life on the road to Santiago, and I’ve aimed to live by those lessons ever since. It will be 7 years in late summer since my first Camino. I returned from my last one Nov 30th 2019. Hoping to head out March or April of 2022 for my next. My workplace has us on a travel ban until Sept 2021, and I’m grounded by teaching and research duties in the fall anyway.... but sabbatical is coming, the virus will falter and peter out.... and the Norte is calling me for 2022.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Hi @C clearly , similar pattern here.
Working from home gave me the advantage that I can use the time I previously spent commuting to go for a walk near my place, so I've added daily 2-3km walks into my routine. They are not enough to sort all gear, but help break shoes and keep me fit.

On weekends with sunny or cloudy weather, I go for longer walks in different types of paths. Usually around 15km. As you said, I use my exact camino gear, from sunglasses and full backpack down to bra and underwear. I really don´t want to find on the route that anything is too tight, pinching or rolling.

Yesterday I went on a 20km walk, mild weather. It was great, but I had the horrible surprise that my current runners let LOTS of pebbles in. In shorter walks I'd get the eventual pebble, but the longer walk showed me that it was too much - I was stopping every 40min-1h to remove those micro demons from my shoes. In the shorter walks, I was loving the runners because they were so breathable! Only found out the down side of it in a longer walk in a mountain... Oh, well, time to find something else and break them.
If you love the shoes, get summer gaiters to go over them and your stone problem will be solved.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
If you love the shoes, get summer gaiters to go over them and your stone problem will be solved.
You are completely right and that's a good idea. My "find something else" comment should not be restricted to shoes - gaiters can be a good option, I just need to find some tiny ones and train with them :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
You are completely right and that's a good idea. My "find something else" comment should not be restricted to shoes - gaiters can be a good option, I just need to find some tiny ones and train with them :)
I have some very tiny ones made by Outdoor Research. They were great on an autumn Camino in the interior Portugués in 2019, and I wore them plenty this past summer on the rail bed I frequent. It’s lovely but is loaded with itty-bitty stones that can travel right down my socks!!! Gaiters solved the issue.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
After I had chosen my footwear I found it very important to walk 10 miles/16 km on at least 3 consecutive days to see how my feet did with that amount of walking day after day. I've met plenty of people who never had blister problems doing long hikes at home, but they hadn't done them in several consecutive days.
I'm probably lucky because I don't train much with a full pack, but I've never had trouble carrying it, even though the Camino was my first ever backpacking experience.
I do agree that it's important to try out all your gear before you go - and that goes for things like shampoo and how you're going to wash your clothes.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
After I had chosen my footwear I found it very important to walk 10 miles/16 km on at least 3 consecutive days to see how my feet did with that amount of walking day after day. I've met plenty of people who never had blister problems doing long hikes at home, but they hadn't done them in several consecutive days.
I'm probably lucky because I don't train much with a full pack, but I've never had trouble carrying it, even though the Camino was my first ever backpacking experience.
I do agree that it's important to try out all your gear before you go - and that goes for things like shampoo and how you're going to wash your clothes.
Yes! Washing clothes! I take soap berries with me. they work a charm, and have no significant weight because they are dry husks. I usually carry 9, using 3 berries for 2 weeks at a time.
 

gidivet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to SdC - April - June 2014
Le Puy to Conques May 2016
Multiple CF sections since 2014
Hi @C clearly , similar pattern here.
Working from home gave me the advantage that I can use the time I previously spent commuting to go for a walk near my place, so I've added daily 2-3km walks into my routine. They are not enough to sort all gear, but help break shoes and keep me fit.

On weekends with sunny or cloudy weather, I go for longer walks in different types of paths. Usually around 15km. As you said, I use my exact camino gear, from sunglasses and full backpack down to bra and underwear. I really don´t want to find on the route that anything is too tight, pinching or rolling.

Yesterday I went on a 20km walk, mild weather. It was great, but I had the horrible surprise that my current runners let LOTS of pebbles in. In shorter walks I'd get the eventual pebble, but the longer walk showed me that it was too much - I was stopping every 40min-1h to remove those micro demons from my shoes. In the shorter walks, I was loving the runners because they were so breathable! Only found out the down side of it in a longer walk in a mountain... Oh, well, time to find something else and break them.
Hi @C clearly , similar pattern here.
Working from home gave me the advantage that I can use the time I previously spent commuting to go for a walk near my place, so I've added daily 2-3km walks into my routine. They are not enough to sort all gear, but help break shoes and keep me fit.

On weekends with sunny or cloudy weather, I go for longer walks in different types of paths. Usually around 15km. As you said, I use my exact camino gear, from sunglasses and full backpack down to bra and underwear. I really don´t want to find on the route that anything is too tight, pinching or rolling.

Yesterday I went on a 20km walk, mild weather. It was great, but I had the horrible surprise that my current runners let LOTS of pebbles in. In shorter walks I'd get the eventual pebble, but the longer walk showed me that it was too much - I was stopping every 40min-1h to remove those micro demons from my shoes. In the shorter walks, I was loving the runners because they were so breathable! Only found out the down side of it in a longer walk in a mountain... Oh, well, time to find something else and break them.
Trail gaiters may work for you. Costs less than new shoes.
 

gidivet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to SdC - April - June 2014
Le Puy to Conques May 2016
Multiple CF sections since 2014
This is a useful discussion. I trained for my first camino but my attitude has changed. I discovered that I love walking so it is now part of my lifestyle. I live close to the South Downs, which is a blessing. There are many options to discover new trails and never get bored. And finally, I try to walk with other people at least weekly. This motivates me to get out of bed on chilly wet mornings. Every walk is a mini camino. And with our current reality I'm not sure I'll get to Spain anytime soon. Therefore I'm looking at national trails to use my annual leave instead.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
I am retired and walk every day, usually about 4k. When I was training for Camino I upped that to 8k and some days to 12k, I only walked 2 days with a full pack before leaving and that was to get the packing and adjustments right. I always felt that there was no point in walking your camino before walking your camino, too much risk of injury before you actually leave.
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
Novice should definately prepare....

Raw edit from a presentation in Oslo last autumn.....10 minute segments on topics towards what is suggested as the
first Camino....part one....worktitle «homesoil»...;


Enjoy.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I am retired and walk every day, usually about 4k. When I was training for Camino I upped that to 8k and some days to 12k, I only walked 2 days with a full pack before leaving and that was to get the packing and adjustments right. I always felt that there was no point in walking your camino before walking your camino, too much risk of injury before you actually leave.

Yep. Happened on my 1st Camino.
Arrived injured.
Injury permanent......
 

Stroller

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
Interesting that you can start slowly and, by implication, easily. If you start from SJPD on the second day of easy walking you will face a day of almost constant climbing. Not easy for many from flat areas the world. So either you need to train, to have goodish aerobic fitness or start from somewhere else.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I live in a very beautiful part of the UK with easy access to the South West Coastal Path and various short and longer paths on Dartmoor, so if I am not working training is easy for me.I don't have a planned build up but I do have waymarked stages of where I am fitness wise on how I cope with certain walks, some walks I don't go near until I feel I have acquired enough fitness because they are so challenging, one such walk is a 12 mile walk from Shaldon( Teignmouth) to Torquay train station on the South West Coast Path, such is the continuous short sharp ascents and descents that I feel once I can cope with that then there is nothing the Camino can throw at me walk wise which would overwhelm me, I am looking at walking it in April as a marker for my Camino in June.
 
Last edited:

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Interesting that you can start slowly and, by implication, easily. If you start from SJPD on the second day of easy walking you will face a day of almost constant climbing. Not easy for many from flat areas the world. So either you need to train, to have goodish aerobic fitness or start from somewhere else.
My first camino I trained line crazy and still had problems going up that hill. Second time I walked the CF I started in Le Puy so it was a piece of cake.
Since the second Camino I lived in a hot climate and couldn’t train walking long distances. In fact I walk for an hour very early and it can still be horribly hot and humid and then an hour at the gym doing 12 degrees or so on a treadmill. The Norte Camino was pretty brutal the first week or so but I have learned how to walk. Always stop when I need to without pushing myself and go shorter distances. With age comes amore time to enjoy what I love. It always reminds me I can’t walk like I used to and if I want to keep walking I better do it the way my body tells me to.
If I was going to do another Norte I would start a week or so back and walk myself into better hill climbing shape. Probably not going back to the CF as I like quieter less traveled Caminos and want to experience new ones. VDLP is next for me after my vaccine and travel opens up and hopefully albergues will have mostly survived especially on Caminos that are less traveled. Good for pilgrims but far more important good for the dine people of Spain.
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

LTfit

Veteran Member
It really depends on your normal lifestyle and fitness routine. Living in The Netherlands we bike everywhere and as a physiotherapist my work was non-sedentary. I also spinned several times a week so before my first Camino in 2010 I just walked on numerous Sundays and two entire weekends up to 7 hours a day (without a pack). That's it! Since I had no problem walking all day at about 5 kph I assumed that I would be fine. Luckily I was and (knock on wood) I've continued to walk Caminos without any specific training. I must say though that a) my backpack is only 5-7 kg depending on the season (30L or 36L) and b) since my first Camino I've been able to walk 1-2 Caminos a year (muscle memory and carryover?).

Need incentive to walk? Get a dog! My furry friend Bea will be 2 in April and we walk a minimum of 20,000 steps or 15 km a day. I guess you could say that we're Camino ready😉.

Addendum:
I turned 54 during my first Camino and am now 64 so I am no spring chicken!
 
Last edited:

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
My training has evolved as I’ve grown older. At the time of my first walk, my job (firefighter) required my being in above average physical condition. My preparation consisted on little more than breaking in my shoes and working out my kit. After I retired I had to devote more time and effort to conditioning. This effort has waxed and waned, and I am not in the condition I was when working full-time.

I trained fairly hard for my second Camino. 3-5 km walks a number of times a week, building up to much longer walks with a day pack full of water bottles. What seemed to work best was walking/running up and down the stairs at a local outdoor stadium multiple times a week. I cutback significantly a few weeks before leaving for Spain to reduce the chance of an injury. I found this preparation prepared me well.

Last year my Camino was planned at the last minute with little or no time for conditioning. This lack of preparation haunted me. With only a few days walking before beginning the long climb to Cruz de Ferro followed a few days later by the slog to O’Cebreiro I was miserable. I found myself beyond sore and more interested in laying in bed than eating in the evenings. It wasn’t very enjoyable.

Currently I’m trying to walk or bike most days to maintain a decent baseline level of fitness. I’ve also added in yoga for flexibility and stretching. I will increase my conditioning as my Camino gets closer. The one thing I can say is any level of pre-Camino conditioning is better than none at all. This is especially true as I grow older.

frm
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
What a wonderful topic :)
Being "only" 38 myself, i feel like i'm cheating a bit, since i am well aware that training and more importantly maintaining a good fitness gets significantly harder with age.
So some of the things i do will be feasible to adapt for everyone, some might not.

I figure there are 3 things important when it comes to physical fitness for the camino:

- endurance, or general fitness if you will. this can be trained by simply moving. Walking, Biking, Swimming, whatever. Oh, and those fitness center thingies if they are not closed due to C19.
- core stability. To some extent, you have to counter the movement of your pack. It might not feel much, but it ads up. To train that, theres many excercises of verious intensity. Planks, Crunches, those rubber band things etc.
- well trained tendons. This is a sucker. For me it took years to get to a comfortable level and training is no fun for most parts. Luckily i am now in a spot where i can do longer downhills without getting problems in ankles or knees. Theres also trainings of various intensity. For myself, playing beach volleyball seems to help a lot. I am told, walking barefoot when possible is also helping. Then theres training excersises with or without tools. Balance boards are also something nice in that regard.

So for my Primitivo next year i will probably do what i do anyways. Walk with the dog, hike, some exercise at home, play volleyball. Skiing is likely not going to happen this winter and gyms probably wont open here till March or April.
Likely i will do a couple of preparation hikes before starting of, but then, they are not to much different from my normal hikes. Maybe another 3-4kg on the back and slightly shorter distances (20-30k instead of my usual 30-40k)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Hi Everyone
I am lucky to live by the seashore on a peninsula with direct access to the dunes and beaches. I walk 5 or 6 kms at a quick pace every other day and try to make the double on week ends.
I feel good and with a strong heart I guess, Never our of breath.

Since the swimming pools are closed because of the Covid I was thinking of how to exercise my upper body better and I made myself a present for Christmas .... a rowing machine !! Arriving in a few days!

My doctor told me for a senior (I am 67) this the best piece of fitness device to have. Besides ... the company which makes it is Spanish!

I also ordered a new pair of shoes

When I walked the Camino ( 2018 Pamplona Burgos- Burgos Santiago in 2019) I didn’t over exercise before leaving.

I was able to walk 10 or 15 kms each day the first weeks and 25 a few time after !
This is enough for me. I didn’t get any blisters, no other physical pain either.
I will keep on with my this rhythm which makes me happy and gives me extra energy left to visit and to enjoy meeting so many wonderful people on the Camino

I have a very good diet too

Good luck for your training!

I try to walk 5 or 7 kms at a quick pace on the seashore and very other day and double the distance on week end
Sometimes I gets very windy and quite cold. So I think my heart is quite good and it never feel out of breath
The swimming pools are closed because the Covid situation and I miss it
Since I think I don’t exercise enough my upper body... I made a present for myself and Christmas
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
We have changed preparation almost every year and train differently depending upon what time of year we intend to go on the camino! So we no longer have a fixed schedule...a lot is dependent upon the weather and our bodies. And one can train almost anywhere.

For a late Feb./ early March camino, we incorporate, strictly pavement walking or hard tile walking In shopping malls (if too much ice and snow outside) supplementing it with cross training - upper and lower body machines and standing cycle at health club. Our goal is to try to get up to about 13Km of hard walking, using polls then another 4km on hills intervals on the treadmill carrying a backpack with a few pounds inside. In addition we do strength training on machines. In winter, we normal walk 6-9KM a day at home. So we start about 10 weeks before we leave and we build from there, we usually start increasing a Km per day on a weekly basis till we reach about 13km outside and we continue to do so until a few days before we travel to rest our bodies.

For a warmer weather Camino. We start about 3 months prior to departure. We start increasing about a mile per week. So, if we start at 3 miles per day...we increase a mile each week. But not necessarily every day. Especially at the beginning, we may alternate 3 miles with 4 miles, then, 3 with 5 miles , then 4 with 6,...and we take one or two days off a week. After about 7 weeks we are up to 10 miles and we continually build until we can do 10 miles consistently, with only 1 days rest a week. Sometimes it is very hot. We leave the house early with the dog for the first 3 miles walking in streets and hills near our house. Pavement Pavement, Pavement! We walk slower in the streets making sure our feet get hardened. By the time the sun comes up the dog is back in the House, fed, and the sun rises as we are leaving to drive to the state park only 7 miles from our home. We do 3 miles on a hilly trail, stop at a Deli, get breakfast,and return for another 2miles. Then in the evening we take the dog out for another two mile walk. Eventually, over the weeks,our gear fills the pack which we wear in the park. We do not do this everyday, however, because, we must garden, cut the grass, shop, etc. If I need extra upperbody strengthening, I use free videos on the internet. Before we leave, I make sure we do at least two 13 mile days, and continually increase pavement walking to simulate conditions as much as I can that we may later encounter. Then I know, we should be able to reach any of our planned stages with its terrain. Never gotten blisters! We may walk like snails but we will eventually arrive!
 
Last edited:
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

BookGirl305

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
Hello- I have not yet walked and my comment in the other thread spurred this new one. I am not physically fit, age 53, so this whole thing is new to me. I've never walked distance, I've never carried a backpack... This time last year, I could barely do 2 miles before my feet collapsed. By the summer I was up to 4, now I am at 7. I can go 10-13 if I have to but I can't walk the next day. I want to get to 12 in a day before I book my trip. I will only have a week to walk my camino, so it is important to me that I can do 12 miles/20km a day for 6 days in a row to complete the walk. Right now I walk in the park 3 of 5 work day mornings for 3miles/5km a day. On the weekends, I do longer walks and about once a month I push myself to see what distance I can accomplish without hobbling back to the parking lot. All told, I walk about 35-40km a week in the park. I haven't added on the backpack yet. My biggest hurdle is that my feet and legs simply aren't strong enough yet to go longer distances. My feet will just quit while the rest of me is good to go. I switched from trail runners to boots after reading that beginners and heavier people (I am both) do better with a more structured shoe.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@BookGirl305 - I think that you will find that on the Camino you can walk farther each day than you can at home for a couple of reasons. Each day on the Camino you won't do one 12 mile walk, rather you will walk 3-5 miles, take a break, have a meal or snack and relax with you fellow pilgrims. Then repeat that until you get to your destination. Secondly, on the Camino walking is your only job. There are no distractions and worries from your everyday life, which seems to make it easier to walk longer distances. You have done well working up to 7 miles. I'm confident that by the time you go on the Camino you will be ready.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
What are soap berries? Thanks.
They are also called soap nuts. I haven't used them myself, but they sound interesting.

 

RibbonRomanceAuthor

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (2020)
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Excellent advice! I was trained this way when I did fundraising marathons in the states and knowing how everything performs at mile two and mile 25 made my ability to complete in comfort possible.
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Hello- I have not yet walked and my comment in the other thread spurred this new one. I am not physically fit, age 53, so this whole thing is new to me. I've never walked distance, I've never carried a backpack... This time last year, I could barely do 2 miles before my feet collapsed. By the summer I was up to 4, now I am at 7. I can go 10-13 if I have to but I can't walk the next day. I want to get to 12 in a day before I book my trip. I will only have a week to walk my camino, so it is important to me that I can do 12 miles/20km a day for 6 days in a row to complete the walk. Right now I walk in the park 3 of 5 work day mornings for 3miles/5km a day. On the weekends, I do longer walks and about once a month I push myself to see what distance I can accomplish without hobbling back to the parking lot. All told, I walk about 35-40km a week in the park. I haven't added on the backpack yet. My biggest hurdle is that my feet and legs simply aren't strong enough yet to go longer distances. My feet will just quit while the rest of me is good to go. I switched from trail runners to boots after reading that beginners and heavier people (I am both) do better with a more structured shoe.

Might, I suggest, working with a good trainer for a couple of sessions to access-your strengths and weaknesses and tailor a program that will assist you in strengthening your core and legs. Heavier shoes may provide more support but they also contribute signicantly to fatigue. I forget where I read this
One extra Lb on your foot is like 5lbs in your backpack.....There are tradeoffs
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Might, I suggest, working with a good trainer for a couple of sessions to access-your strengths and weaknesses and tailor a program that will assist you in strengthening your core and legs. Heavier shoes may provide more support but they also contribute signicantly to fatigue. I forget where I read this
One extra Lb on your foot is like 5lbs in your backpack.....There are tradeoffs
@BookGirl305 Marbe2 makes a very good point. Think about getting a trainer. After your mid-twenties building up fitness gets more difficult and time consuming. When you train up from "nothing" in your fifties the whole thing will take time. Lots of time. Months, maybe years. And there is some real danger to hurt yourself if you do to much. So getting some professional help might be a good option to figure out a program to slowly but steadily build up to some level you can rely on.
Depending on your area it might be even quite easy. My towns university has a rather large sports sciences derpartment and those students are always looking for opportunities to make some cash...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
My biggest hurdle is that my feet and legs simply aren't strong enough yet to go longer distances. My feet will just quit
Might I suggest that you see a podiatrist about your feet? Many camino walkers have foot problems of one sort or another, most of which can be treated. A podiatrist can advise you on your foot problems, on the right type of footwear for you, and can fit you for made-to-measure orthotics, if you need them. Good luck.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Some, and with luck, some more.
There will always be threads about pre-Camino training and it’s understandable there will continue to be as more people tackle their first Camino.

I’d like to offer two thoughts.
1. I believe you can’t train to walk a Camino, for they are all different. The best we can hope to do is to be in a condition that allows us to walk the first few days without stress or injury, then walk into more fitness.

2. On the Frances route you do not have to start at StJPdP.

Buen (happy training) Camino
 
Last edited:

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
my feet collapsed... My feet will just quit while the rest of me is good to go. I switched from trail runners to boots after reading that beginners and heavier people (I am both) do better with a more structured shoe.
Oh oh. You need to check this out further. There is a lot to consider in selecting the right shoes for your feet and body. Be careful not to take a generalized rule of thumb as the solution for your feet.

[I think you are providing inspiration for yet another new thread. Stay tuned.]

Might I suggest that you see a podiatrist about your feet? Many camino walkers have foot problems of one sort or another, most of which can be treated. A podiatrist can advise you on your foot problems, on the right type of footwear for you, and can fit you for made-to-measure orthotics, if you need them. Good luck.
I agree 100%. Without changes to my orthotics, every year or so to help my feet, I don't think I would be walking Caminos anymore.

By the way here is another older thread (now closed) about Training Schedules if you want more discussion on this topic.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I believe you can’t train to walk a Camino, for they are all different. The best we can hope to do is to be in a condition tat allows to walk the first few days without stress or injury, then walk into more fitness.
I think that most of us think of "training" as getting to a level of fitness which will allow us to walk 10 - 15 miles a day without injury or being completely miserable. And you are right, that you do keep developing more fitness as you go on the Camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
My first Camino I did no training at all. I was sixty and my first five days were very tough. After that, it is Ground hog day. You get up every morning and repeat. The Frances has a Pueblo every 6-10km, with the exception of two days, and is the best choice for any first time walker, imo.

I also find most walking, to just walk, is very boring. I find if I am destination walking it is much easier. I recommend 10km walks and hill training. Hill training you probably need a treadmill or Gym unless you live in a hilly region. Have someone drop you off 10k from your home, favorite coffee shop, bar vs. just going out for a walk. Alternate that with hill climbing, I start and 4% and work to 15% grade for a mile to 2 miles.

I believe this is adequate training and will definitely be enough to break in your shoes and let you know if they are a good fit.

After you get comfortable with these distances start doing it with your pack.

I also recommend you distance plan your Camino walk. I like to walk 10k (2hr), break (15min) 10k (2hr), lunch(30min) 10k (2hr) arrival at destination distance covered 30km in 7hr. You could tack on another 10k or take off 10k but this is a doable model, imo.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
What are soap berries? Thanks.
They are dried fruit from saponins in the same family as Sycamores and Lychees. You can purchase them via Amazon, or at a local health food store.... you toss 43-4 of the dried berries into the laundry tub in a little canvas bag... and they produce the soap that cleans your clothes. I love them. They are very effective, and completely unscented. I think the 9 I take on a camino weigh less than 1 oz with their little bag.

Here is an example... calling them "soap nuts" https://www.amazon.ca/Eco-Nuts-Cert...09709682&sprefix=soap+berries,aps,192&sr=8-16
 

Farmer Col

Aussie Col
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I don't do a lot of training prior to a Camino. I live on a small farm on a mountain, well, hill by European standards, so I get a fair amount of exercise every day. I am 69, fat, but reasonably fit, if that makes any sense. The training I do is usually a couple of 20km walks with full gear, more to test and break in the gear rather than a training regime. It is a long way to Europe from Australia, so the Caminos I do are usually about 800km and take around 5 weeks. As Trecile said, you tend to gain fitness as you walk, so as long as you walk at your own pace, take frequent breaks and remember it is not a race, you should be okay. I find day 3 is usually the day I get a little bit of muscle soreness, nothing too bad, but I definitely know that I have got calves and hamstrings. Having said all this, I believe you must have some basic fitness and the ability to walk at least small distances with a pack without discomfort before starting a Camino, so if this means you need do some serious training then do it and you will enjoy your Camino more, and like me, you probably won't want to stop walking when your time runs out. I find the walking on the Camino to be secondary to the people you meet,the scenery you see, the cafes you stop at and the uplifting spiritual feeling that you get while on your journey.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
..... My feet will just quit while the rest of me is good to go.
When I first started walking longer distances I was getting sore feet after about an hour. At the time I just thought that this was a normal part of getting fit.

On a whim I went into a sports shoe shop to look at their shoes and the assistant used a video camera setup to analyse my walking gait. He diagnosed me with pronation and sold me a pair of running shoes with higher insteps.

I was a bit hesitant initially but soon found that not only was I not getting sore feet, I was also walking faster with out any extra effort.

Now, that was my situation and it may not apply to you but it seems that it might be productive for you to get checked out by someone who is an expert in feet and shoes.
I switched from trail runners to boots after reading that beginners and heavier people (I am both) do better with a more structured shoe.
I find that the lighter the weight of the shoe, the better I walk. I now rarely walk in hiking boots unless I am very sure that my hike will be in very muddy conditions. Again, your experience may vary.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
This is a great thread. I am glad someone started it and I stumbled upon it.
It's great to see so many varied ideas from individuals of all ages and experience levels. I utilize many of these and find as I am getting older I have to "adjust" my training to match my fitness level(s).

One of the ways I have been training during these Covid times and the not knowing of if and/or when I will be going to Spain again is by short term goal setting workouts. Some of these goals have been to complete a course in a certain amount of time and improving on that time 4 times within the following month. Another goal I recently set is to walk 25,000 steps per day for 7 straight days. This was interesting and I found when I was done I had also lost 6 pounds of body weight at the same time.
In February I will attempting a 100,000 step day (within 24 hours). I have been told this goal will be not only a physical challenge, but a mental one as well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
In February I will attempting a 100,000 step day (within 24 hours). I have been told this goal will be not only a physical challenge, but a mental one as well.
That's quite a challenge! It takes me almost 5.5 to get in 10,000 steps. So, I'd have to walk over 50 miles to reach 100,000 steps! According to my Fitbit, the most steps that I've done in a day was in the 50,000's.
 
Last edited:

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
The same here. I get 10,000 at 5.6 miles. Doing the math this is going to be a long day for me....
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I know I’ve said this before, but I think it’s really important to remember that we come to this thread from very different baselines, as recently confirmed in the NYT. If you live in the US, you are likely to take your car to any destination that is more than a quarter of a mile from your house. I know people who drive four blocks to go from office to a meeting. This translates into lower fitness levels, higher weight, and more health issues when starting out.

My experience was similar to what @Faye Walker described. I trained for my first camino, and I probably trained for my second. But then I thought — why not just keep up my fitness level when I’m not walking so I don’t have to train?

On one of my first caminos, I remember a discussion about training over dinner. Everyone was talking about their pre-camino training regimens, and a pilgrim from northern Europe, can’t remember where, looked at us all in disbelief and said — do you really have to train to walk?!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
On my first Camino, I had three days of more than 60,000 steps (into Logrono, into Castrojeriz, and into Santiago). Each of those days was about 26-27 miles of hiking. My training for the CF was just a switch from my normal running routine (still running competitive half-marathons at 65) to hiking for a few hours with a full pack for several days in a row about two to three weeks before the actual trek. I actually carry more weight in the pack for training than what I plan to carry on the Camino. Then the actual first Camino days feel like a light load.
I live at sea level, but on the flank of an old volcano where I can climb 2000 feet (650m) in less than five miles (3KM) from my home, so I make sure that some of my final training walks are ascents of a couple of the steeper paths to get my body ready for the climbing.
My only surprise on the CF was a case of shin splints that developed on the downhill jog from Cruz Ferro and then flared again on the downhill from O Cebreiro... [The solution is to find duct tape (yes, they have it at shops in Spain) and tape up both sides of your shin bone from ankle to just below the knee and then put strips of tape across the shin in a herringbone pattern from just above the ankle to about an inch below the knee and then keep on walking.] Slowing down and using a walking stick on the downhill stretches is a good preventative practice.
I have great respect for anyone who regularly trains in any way, be it a program of walking, running, cycling, dance or any other cardio activity. The benefits to your brain health, cardiopulmonary system and overall quality of life will only multiply with each bit you do. Training (and competing) have taken me around the world to do things I never dreamed of as a boy hiking in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The Camino hikes have just been icing on the cake (no competition and wonderful new friendships) and I can't wait for the next one to begin.
Buen Camino and Happy New Year
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Even after training starting off and going up can be exhausting.

Hiking 20 km upto the 1060 meter Ibaneta pass via the Valcarlos route to Roncevalles the first time in 2004 at 65 was one of the most difficult days on the Camino and certainly the most physically exhausting day of my adult life then to date. I was pooped!

Although I had hiked throughout the summer along the Marne River and over nearby hills in preparation for the trip, nothing had prepared me for such an effort. Beneath a deep blue sky and brilliant sun I gasped and ached while my pack weighed like bricks.

After hiking about 5 hours I finally staggered over the pass into a picnic area filled with a munching mob; they had arrived by bus and cars! Never will I forget the look that one très correct French woman drinking champagne from a crystal flute, no plastic for her, gave me as I trudged past exhausted! ET would have been better received. A kindly couple from Scotland offered me the best ever cup of tea from their thermos. Refreshed I continued on to the monastery, happy that the path was now slightly downhill....Eventually I made it to Santiago wearing my pack and walking all the way.

On that first Camino I learned the hard way that this was NOT a walk in the park! For the next nine times what preparation mattered most was to keep moving daily. Each time I gardened on our hillside, carried a load of groceries, or stooped to make a bed, etc. I liked to think that such efforts would make it easier the next time climbing up passes or trudging through snow.

At any age what matters is TO CONTINUE to move.
 
Last edited:

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
It is a long way to Europe from Australia,
It's even longer to swim from Aotearoa / New Zealand. My route is across the Ditch then below the Great Bight and the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope and at Gibraltar divert to whichever port is closest to my start point. All the while towing a waterproof floating device with my pack and food for the journey. And it is part of my final training effort.

At least, that's what I told those on Camino across France and Spain when they realised how far I lived from their home. Then I would wait for the smile in their eyes, and have a smile of understanding with one another.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
It's even longer to swim from Aotearoa / New Zealand. My route is across the Ditch then below the Great Bight and the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope and at Gibraltar divert to whichever port is closest to my start point. All the while towing a waterproof floating device with my pack and food for the journey. And it is part of my final training effort.

At least, that's what I told those on Camino across France and Spain when they realised how far I lived from their home. Then I would wait for the smile in their eyes, and have a smile of understanding with one another.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
I Vve been there ... the most incredibly beautiful country
You have a sample of every beauty of the World
Thé Kauri forest, Lake Ruapehu , Tekapo, Akaroa, Waimeha , the volcanoes and thermal rivers .,Mont Cook glacier.. Bay of Plenty
It was in 1997! Memories still very vivid.. and I would like to go back and see more!
So far .. but so worth the adventure!
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
For those who say to increase distances and in the final weeks to walk with the pack as you would have it on Camino can I suggest you replace some of those clothes, toiletries, whatever with water bottles, two or three 1 litre or 2 litres. Then when you first start doing the "practice backpack laden walks" should it get too much at first, simply pour some away. No need to beat yourself up about it and it may indicate you need to rethink your pack weight BEFORE Camino rather than on it.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
The most important part of my training is to lose some body weight, while still keeping muscle. Anything that contributes to general fitness helps. I always think of the first two weeks on the Camino as "getting trail fit" and expect them to be difficult. Over the years I've started with various levels of preparedness and there is no doubt it makes a huge difference. The only time I was really brought up short was the first time I attempted the Via de la Plata, starting half way along, when I split the tendons in one foot. I've never really worked out why it happened because I had done a reasonable amount of preparation, but maybe it was being too heavy, carrying too much and walking too fast, too soon. Or because I put slippery stuff on my feet for the first time, thinking to avoid blisters, and my feet were slipping all around in my sandals! Don't try to fix something that is not broken.
 
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
This is a great thread. I am glad someone started it and I stumbled upon it.
It's great to see so many varied ideas from individuals of all ages and experience levels. I utilize many of these and find as I am getting older I have to "adjust" my training to match my fitness level(s).

One of the ways I have been training during these Covid times and the not knowing of if and/or when I will be going to Spain again is by short term goal setting workouts. Some of these goals have been to complete a course in a certain amount of time and improving on that time 4 times within the following month. Another goal I recently set is to walk 25,000 steps per day for 7 straight days. This was interesting and I found when I was done I had also lost 6 pounds of body weight at the same time.
In February I will attempting a 100,000 step day (within 24 hours). I have been told this goal will be not only a physical challenge, but a mental one as well.

My big question is why would you do this. This in a rough estimate is about 60 miles or 100km's. At 4mph or 6+km's per hour this is 15 hours a day. That does not account for breaks or eating.

What is your rationale for walking this much in a day?
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I have always been inclined to accept "challenges" in my life, from climbing/summiting some of the highest mountains in the world to accomplishing 100,000 push ups in a year.
Now, in Covid times enduring lock ups and shut downs with only daily walks available I try to get out as often as possible for as long as possible, all the while remaining within current acceptable social norms. I have done the math and am aware of the potential distance to be accomplished. I acknowledge this will be a challenge, but am willing to attempt it all the while enjoying the beauty of the route which I have chosen.
Stay tuned...
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
You do you.....and you know you

One thing though.....your confidence is given gains through any physical challenge....that is my understanding of what you write....and as long as you not mistake this to replicate what is needed in situ....that is just fine👍

Beeing able to finely tune in on smallish symptoms and make ample adjustments in the now is highly recommended when you perform these tests on home soil....

Why?

On a camino....weeks on end;

Small problems get big.....fast

Big problems get small.....slow

At home these lessons is easy to succumb...on a camino it’s vital to adjust
91CBC4D2-9635-47C9-B52C-A1F8EB54A57F.jpeg

Here and now
Now and here

Ultreia!

I have always been inclined to accept "challenges" in my life, from climbing/summiting some of the highest mountains in the world to accomplishing 100,000 push ups in a year.
Now, in Covid times enduring lock ups and shut downs with only daily walks available I try to get out as often as possible for as long as possible, all the while remaining within current acceptable social norms. I have done the math and am aware of the potential distance to be accomplished. I acknowledge this will be a challenge, but am willing to attempt it all the while enjoying the beauty of the route which I have chosen.
Stay tuned...
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.

Henriette46

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy en Velay -Santiago (2011) Vezelay -Limoges (2013)
Interesting that you can start slowly and, by implication, easily. If you start from SJPD on the second day of easy walking you will face a day of almost constant climbing. Not easy for many from flat areas the world. So either you need to train, to have goodish aerobic fitness or start from somewhere else.
Or start in Le Puy en Velay, as we did. By the time you arrive at the Pyrenees you are well-trained and the walk up is a piece of cake.
 

ortemio

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances,14,
Frances,15
Madrid,15
Salvador,15
VdlP,Sanabres
Porto,16
Levante,17
Mozarabe,18
Norte,19
Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Hi C,

Living in flat Florida is tough to train for the variable terrain in Spain. So my training adaptation is to train every day about 10km with the following additions ...

1) This one helps so there are no surprises when you add the backpack that first day at the starting point :


Henkelion Weighted Vest Weight Vest for Men Women Kids Weights Included, Body Weight Vests Adjustable for Running, Training Workout, Jogging, Walking - Black - 12 Lbs

2) I hate the sound of the walking poles when am out there but I have learned that they are great for training. Look up Nordic walking in youtube and add it to your schedule. I added this rubber thingy's to my poles :


Hiking Pole Trekking Pole Replacement Tips for Hiking Poles-6pcs

No need for fancy nordic poles. The speed with the added weight is unbelievable ...

After a long walk those two simple additions leave me feeling like I have really trained for a day in the camino. After a real hard workout in hot humid Florida I put up the poles and go dance some Argentinian tango. happiness ;--)
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I saw a lot of people-of all sizes, shapes and ages doing just fine on the Camino. I'll put money down and bet that most did not train. Keep this in mind, the lighter you go, the less you need to train. Walk at a comfortable pace, listen to your body. The moment something starts to hurt, slow down or stop and rest if necessary. Chances are that the aches will subside as fast as they began. At least that's what I experienced during 35 day of my camino- and I walked with a super heavy pack due to camera gear that I packed. I'll never make that mistake again. :D Buen camino.
 

lisaflora

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte, Jul 2021
I live at 8000' in the mtns of Colorado...I walk down my mountain and back up about once a week, 7 mi. But the most important for me is practicing with trekking poles. A bit challenging as I also walk with 2 leashed dogs, haha. But it forces me to pay attention to cadence and pole plant.
I also wear a fully loaded pack [12 lb] and the Merrell Moabs that I love!
But I like how you all here are doing back to back long walks...havent done that yet due to ice/snow but I will incorporate that into training after the freeze. Thanks!
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

TrvlDad1

Covidyard Bob
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
Off topic a bit, but where do you get your hiking poles? I have been training with paint brush extender poles; they are heavier and help me condition and train for handling the lighter poles. In Nepal and Peru, I bought poles at stores that collect and sell the poles left behind by trekkers. Is this possible in Madrid, Santiago, Pamplona, etc.
Thanks, getting excited about renewing the trekking life!
 

Afri-Can

Not so new member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Finisterre (2017)
Baztane (2019)
Norte (?)
Like many, my wife and I did not know how to go about preparing for our first Camino. Although we were both active sports types when we were younger, we were definitely not into the longer endurance type activities. So, this was all a mystery to us. I did some research and found Prof. Tim Noakes' book "Lore of Running". I definitely did not read the whole book but found a section on how to prepare yourself from nothing to be able to run 10km in 25 weeks. And the book contained a very nice simple training schedule. The gist of this training schedule was that most novice runners develop injuries like shin splints because they want to go too far too quick too soon. So, the training schedule seems very basic, but I guess Prof Noakes' main goal is to build the legs up before you attempt anything substantial. In any case, I adapted his 25-week training-to-run schedule to a 35-week training-to-walk schedule and we used this as the basis for our Camino prep.

Now, nothing is foolproof! Although we completed this training schedule and mostly on concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads and felt well prepared, I have to agree that nothing can prepare you physically for the Camino as the Camino itself. The repetitive nature of the Camino can just not be simulated. So, we found that after about 3-4 days we were as tired as everybody around us......but I think we recovered quicker than most and we got passed that. Also, we developed no blisters because our socks and shoes were broken in. I did however develop peroneal tendonitis after about 4 weeks that I'm not sure a training program would prevent.

I notice that there is a lot of interesting but vague "I did this" and "I did that" in the thread but no real info, so for those interested, I have attached a pdf of our training schedule. It is not written in stone so you can obviously adapt it to suit your requirements and circumstances. And don't fret if you miss a day here or there; it won't make a noticeable difference. I would suggest that if you follow this training schedule, you will be as well or better prepared than most. I would recommend walking with your backpack for the last couple of weeks (or at least on the longer days) and ending a week or 2 before you leave for your Camino to give your body time to recover before the long haul. You won't loose your fitness in that time.

I should note that we changed this program for our other Caminos to include more rest periods but longer distances in the week to maintain volume, and more dynamic activities on the in-between days because we never lost our basic walking endurance and we found that to work fine as well.
 

Attachments

  • 35-Week Camino Prep.pdf
    285.6 KB · Views: 15

lisaflora

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte, Jul 2021
Off topic a bit, but where do you get your hiking poles? I have been training with paint brush extender poles; they are heavier and help me condition and train for handling the lighter poles. In Nepal and Peru, I bought poles at stores that collect and sell the poles left behind by trekkers. Is this possible in Madrid, Santiago, Pamplona, etc.
Thanks, getting excited about renewing the trekking life!
Leki on Amazon. A bit hard to find all the specs I wanted...shock absorption, cork handle, quick release, but they exist. Just PACK them or they will get take at US airport. You can also google TSA and find the app that allows you to bid on procured gear like knives, trekking poles and bid...last I checked nice poles in a group of 5 for about $40-50 but you have to pick up in person.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
Off topic a bit, but where do you get your hiking poles? I have been training with paint brush extender poles; they are heavier and help me condition and train for handling the lighter poles. In Nepal and Peru, I bought poles at stores that collect and sell the poles left behind by trekkers. Is this possible in Madrid, Santiago, Pamplona, etc.
Thanks, getting excited about renewing the trekking life!
Hi Trvldad1:

You can find cheap ones at Walmart sport section. Think $20 for a pair. Not bad for a start up.
 

David Fletcher

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Autumn, 2015
I did the Camino in 2015 as a 60 year old man, able to walk 20 km without a whole lot of issues (but no hills). I didn't stress about "training" per se, but basically walked from an hour to four hours daily in the month before I began. The best advice I got was to remember it isn't a competition or track meet. If your personal goal is to achieve a bunch of personal bests, then highly athletic training is probably what you need; if your goal is spiritual then your disciplines around prayer and meditation should be strengthened; if you want the Camino to speak to you, then just keep putting one foot in front of the other and find your contentment in all the new and novel experiences of each day. For me, quality was more important than quantity....some days were 10 or 12 km; some were 26 or 28 km. Every day was a blessing.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Training is not always fun, but it does provide big advantages on the Camino:

1) Able to handle the Pyrenees mountains on Day 1
2) Less injuries, less time spent mending injuries
3) Able to focus mind on the Camino rather than the body aches
4) Able to take longer, alternate routes that are more scenic and less crowded
5) Able to carry your on pack, less time spent finding pack delivered to wrong place
6) Able to fully explore each village in the evening
7) Bigger sense of accomplishment
8) Less pain, more enjoyable Camino
9) Improvements in you health
10) Able to maintain tight travel schedule

And many more benefits!


-Paul
 

mdelag

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
**CAMINO FRANCES: LEON-SANTIAGO sept. (2015)
**CAMINO FRANCES SJPP-SANTIAGO (2019)
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Hi C, my Camino started late April 2019. I started training in January, thought I waked (treadmill) as part of my daily routine. I trained 6-8 km daily and Sunday went to the beach and walked 12-14 km Trained with my camino shoes, socks and clothes since January and with my pack 8kg (2 dumbbells wrapped in towels) started first day of March. I live in Tampico (mexican gulf coast), so there are no mountains, had to find streets with some inclination...so when I got to SJ I was nervous but felt secure at the same time. Could not cross the Pirinees because there were storms and there were pilgrims rescues, so the office told me it was not safe. Had to start in Roncesvalles...I had no blisters, no cramps, al most no pain and made 20-28 km per day. Had only 3 rainy days, very rainy but it felt good to be under the rain. I haven’t stopped walking because I am ready to pack my things when ever Spain opens, as I am sure most of us are.
Buen Camino peregrinos !!!!!! 🎉👣🎉👣🎉
 

M and M

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
After June, 2017
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Probably some of the best advice I've read on this forum; especially with regard to testing all your gear on both a dry day and a rainy day before doing your Camino.
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Everybody is different!
But here is what worked for me - YMMV.
A little background first - I did the French Way in 2018 when I was 62, was not in great shape and started hiking my Camino at the end of May:
  • Feb 1 Took the batteries out of the TV remote :cool:
  • Feb- I have an old-school NordicTrack and did 30-45 minutes a day x 3-4 times a week
    • 1610231500269.png
  • March - added a little weight training focusing on core/shoulders/back
  • Mid-April (7 weeks before the start)- Started hiking - stopped the other training (backpack filled with bottles of water~25 pounds... Although I knew my final Camino pack weight was ~22pounds)
    • Week 1 - 5 Miles x 3 times (no backpack)
    • Week 2 - 5 Miles x 3 times (with backpack)
    • Week 3 - 10 Miles x 2 times (first time without backpack)
    • Week 4 - 10 Miles x 3 times (with backpack) Included 2 consecutive days
    • Week 5 - 15 Miles x 2 times (first time without backpack)
    • Week 6 - 15 Miles x 3 times (with backpack) Included 2 consecutive days
    • Week 7 - 15 Miles x 1 (with backpack) (I wanted my body to rest before the Camino)
A few notes:
  • The NordicTrack worked great for me since I planned on and did Nordic walking with my hiking poles on my Camino. The NordicTrack simulates these motions quite well (plus you can get them for ~$50-$75 on Craigslist/FleaBay). A few fun facts about Nordic walking:
    • Activates 90% of the body's muscles
      Burns up to 46% more calories than regular walking
      Increases aerobic effect by up to 25% compared to regular walking
      Decreases load and strain on the lower body
      Tones upper arms, shoulders and back muscles
      Improves lateral mobility of the spine
      Develops core stability and strength
      Promotes an upright posture
  • My planned average for the Camino was 15 miles/day. So I was very confident I could do the Camino once I was able to do back-to-back 15 miles hikes (since you will hiking every day on the Camino)
  • I think it is important to train with the equipment/clothes you will take to the Camino. However, I made one mistake... I trained exclusively with my "Camino" hiking boots and ended up putting too many miles on them (~150 miles) before I started the Camino. As a result my hiking boots failed (wore a hole in the bottom of the soles) about 3 days before my Camino ended. FYI... I just used duct tape for the last few days. So I would suggest training with your "Camino boots/shoes" every other hike to break them in. Then use another pair for the rest of your training.
  • Since you will be hiking for 6-8 hours everyday on the Camino it is tough to train for that. My strategy was to get in good shape enough to survive the first couple of days. After that, my body will adjust and continue to get in shape.
  • Net result of this training (YMMV!) - I hiked everyday until I got to Burgos (12 days) and surprisingly I was never sore. (I was actually shocked)
  • However, I decided to take a rest day in Burgos, even though I really didn't need it, and explore the "big city". BIG MISTAKE (for me)... I was so sore and aching when I started hiking again. So I hiked the rest of the Camino without a rest day (21 days) and felt fine... YMMV.
Hope this helps!

-jj
 
Last edited:

JJinWI

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Hi C,

Living in flat Florida is tough to train for the variable terrain in Spain. So my training adaptation is to train every day about 10km with the following additions ...

1) This one helps so there are no surprises when you add the backpack that first day at the starting point :


Henkelion Weighted Vest Weight Vest for Men Women Kids Weights Included, Body Weight Vests Adjustable for Running, Training Workout, Jogging, Walking - Black - 12 Lbs

2) I hate the sound of the walking poles when am out there but I have learned that they are great for training. Look up Nordic walking in youtube and add it to your schedule. I added this rubber thingy's to my poles :


Hiking Pole Trekking Pole Replacement Tips for Hiking Poles-6pcs

No need for fancy nordic poles. The speed with the added weight is unbelievable ...

After a long walk those two simple additions leave me feeling like I have really trained for a day in the camino. After a real hard workout in hot humid Florida I put up the poles and go dance some Argentinian tango. happiness ;--)
I Nordic walked my Camino and found it very beneficial. It really helped me going uphill and saved my knees on the downhill. I ended up teaching a few pilgrims how to Nordic walk while on the Camino. Since most/many people on the Camino have hiking poles... why not Nordic walk with them??
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

JJinWI

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Off topic a bit, but where do you get your hiking poles? I have been training with paint brush extender poles; they are heavier and help me condition and train for handling the lighter poles. In Nepal and Peru, I bought poles at stores that collect and sell the poles left behind by trekkers. Is this possible in Madrid, Santiago, Pamplona, etc.
Thanks, getting excited about renewing the trekking life!
Here are the poles I used... They worked great and where $22!!!
Amazon.com : Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles - Aluminum Walking Sticks with Adjustable Twist Locks Expandable to 54" (Set of 2) : Sports & Outdoors

Cheers,

-jj
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Or start in Le Puy en Velay, as we did. By the time you arrive at the Pyrenees you are well-trained and the walk up is a piece of cake.
Very good idea ! True that I began from Pamplona because I was afraid of the second day beginning from SJPP... and I had no idea really of what I was capable of!
Now that I know that with a week of training it will be ‘ a piece of cake ‘ to cross the Pyrenees .. !!! ( hopefully!)
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
OR send your bags ahead on the first day so you can cross the Pyrenees without your backpack.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
You have a good plan here! There’s unfortunately a bit of mythology out there that not training at all is a good approach. Many of these folks do make it fine but many others need to quit during the first week. My preparation before 2 Caminos was to spend a month in Oaxaca Mexico, which is at 5500 ft and to walk up 400 steps each day to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the city and to continue for another hour up there on a trail that very much mimics the Camino. I find that as good preparation mentally, physically, and spiritually. I start out very slowly but build up stamina during that month.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
Hi C clearly, it really is hard to do the training especially when working. We walk in winter so start training 6 months prior in our Australian winter, short walks first, maybe 5km, increasing to 10-15km on the weekends - it takes up a huge part of the day. We then start doing smaller walks of an evening with our empty backpacks - the only weight is our water bottles and picnic lunch. Pretty quickly we start putting our gear in our packs and walk 10 and then 15km and then have a full pack. We generally end up 20km in day but usually only two days in a row.

During the week we aim for shorter walks. We always train in our camino gear. Our average training walk is around 15km.

We get our shoes part way through training and walk very short distances and buid up - our week-day walking training)

Our go-paths are pretty flat but we do try and seek out hills. For the Aussies - Hanging Rock and Halls Gap are good training spots for walking up Roncesvalles!

Its not perfect, we always wish we had done a bit more but it is about all we can manage.

Also - we walk with our children and while the like walking the camino they despise, absolutely despise training. Partly because its boring and partly because it gets really hot (30+ deg C). For our next camino, my husband and I will do more training than them - win/win, they get out of training and then we have half a chance keeping up with them when we walk or next camino hahaha!
I loved hiking at Halls Gap!!!!!
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
For my 2016 Camino, I did no training. I did, however, try and take it somewhat easier early in the camino as "en route" training. After the first day from Roncesvalles to Zubiri, I did about 15 km each for the next three days and gradually increased the length to 25 km/day in the meseta. But it was really hard, and I had significant knee issues.

I did a lot more training for my next camino, in 2018.

After I came back, I joined a local "Camino Community" walking group that organizes walks twice a week on weekdays. I would join them every few weeks (I am not yet retired so their walks often conflicted with my work), upping it to closer to weekly in the summer. I also designed a nice 10 km circuit by my house with some decent hills that I could walk mornings, evenings, or weekends.

Once I was committed to my 2018 camino, I started walking with a loaded backpack, filled with the same items I would take on Camino. I also wore the shoes I would be wearing on Camino. I started walking 10 km or so several times a week. Then I would turn one of those 10 km walks to 20. I gradually increased things until I could, without strain, over a long weekend walk 3 consecutive 20 km days without too much strain. I knew then that I was ready.

I picked that marker of readiness because I remembered from my 2016 camino that it seemed to take 3 days for my body to accept that, yes, I really was in this for the long haul and it might as well settle down for the walking. And I had no issues with my fitness on my 2018 camino..
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I Nordic walked my Camino and found it very beneficial. It really helped me going uphill and saved my knees on the downhill. I ended up teaching a few pilgrims how to Nordic walk while on the Camino. Since most/many people on the Camino have hiking poles... why not Nordic walk with them??

I've watched a few videos on Nordic walking, and I'm obviously a bit stupid :rolleyes:

The motion looks just the same as 'normal' hiking pole use, but with the poles set a bit longer and the arms extending forwards a bit more.

Or is there something else I'm missing? :oops:
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Prior to our first camino in 2015 (age 57), my wife and I decided we would not engage in any specialized training for the camino. We both were fit for our age, working out on the treadmill or elliptical in our basement for 30 minutes, five days a week. Our thinking was that if we were fit, we would adapt to camino hiking within several days or a week. We hiked the Napoleon route in 2015, and the Valcarlos route in 2017 and 2019. The health issues we experienced were a few blisters, black toes, and some knee pain for my wife, which caused us to use Jako trans to transport her backpack from Carrion de los Condes to Santiago in 2015, and every stage the other two caminos. We are hoping to hike our 4th CF this fall, and our workout regimen will be the same. Bob
 

LotusCompass

Conscious Travel Coach
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portugal (2020)
Camino del Norte (2020)
Yes! Washing clothes! I take soap berries with me. they work a charm, and have no significant weight because they are dry husks. I usually carry 9, using 3 berries for 2 weeks at a time.
Where can you buy soap berries? I've never heard of that before! I want to try!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Where can you buy soap berries? I've never heard of that before! I want to try!
I think that they are more commonly called soap berries. You can find them on Amazon and many other places. I did read one site that said that they need hot or warm water to activate them - so that could be an issue on the Camino since many laundry sinks only have cold water.

"Can I use loose soapnuts to hand wash clothes?

Yes, of course! Just add a handful of crushed shells into a washing tub together with the items you need to wash. Run hot water over them, or if you prefer to use cold water, make sure you soak your soapnuts in a cup of boiling water before pouring both the liquid and the shells into the tub. This laundry system is particularly recommended for delicate fabrics, such as silk and wool, or garments that would release dye in the washing machine and therefore need to be washed separately."


Above quote from this site:

 
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Create your own ad
Have a camino related project that you are interested in promoting on the forum? Create your own ad right now.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I think that they are more commonly called soap berries. You can find them on Amazon and many other places. I did read one site that said that they need hot or warm water to activate them - so that could be an issue on the Camino since many laundry sinks only have cold water.

"Can I use loose soapnuts to hand wash clothes?

Yes, of course! Just add a handful of crushed shells into a washing tub together with the items you need to wash. Run hot water over them, or if you prefer to use cold water, make sure you soak your soapnuts in a cup of boiling water before pouring both the liquid and the shells into the tub. This laundry system is particularly recommended for delicate fabrics, such as silk and wool, or garments that would release dye in the washing machine and therefore need to be washed separately."

Above quote from this site:

One could, I suppose, use a kettle in many of the albergues to warm the soap berries... or even just a bit of warm water from one’s shower put into a traveling flask with the husks for a bit.
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
This is SO good, thank you!
 

JJinWI

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
I've watched a few videos on Nordic walking, and I'm obviously a bit stupid :rolleyes:

The motion looks just the same as 'normal' hiking pole use, but with the poles set a bit longer and the arms extending forwards a bit more.

Or is there something else I'm missing? :oops:
The big difference is nordic walking involves a very intentional push backwards with your hiking pole which propels the hips forward. If you are doing it correctly, you will feel the burn in your arms/shoulders when you first start nordic walking. After a while this goes away as your muscles strengthen.

Here is good example (notice how he pushes with the poles) (577) Nordic Walking / Jumping / Running - prezentuje Aleksander Wilanowski. - YouTube

FYI many of the YouTube video don't really point this out.

It is similar to cross county skiing, but without the skis :)
 

Barney12

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Gosh this is really helpful.. thank you so much for sharing. I am approaching my 6oth and was intending on walking the CF this Sept to celebrate that. It wont be happening now but hopefully 2022. My issue is.. and I was going to ask about this further down the track but feel it could be helpful to know now... is that I have a very dodgy right knee which is now affecting my right hip. I rather suspect a new knee is in order ( following MRI 7years ago ). Are there folk who have walked with a knee replacement? And if so did it make the walk arduous or was it totally fine? Thanks in anticipation!
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Can you confirm, please, whether or not the airlines will allow hiking poles? If I am to board with only my Camino backpack, I was told that the poles would be confiscated. It was then suggested to me that I should buy my hiking poles in SJPDP once I arrive, before I begin the trek.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Can you confirm, please, whether or not the airlines will allow hiking poles? If I am to board with only my Camino backpack, I was told that the poles would be confiscated. It was then suggested to me that I should buy my hiking poles in SJPDP once I arrive, before I begin the trek.
Oh dear, go on then, ask the most controversial question you could possibly ask on this forum and then see what happens. Of course you could just use the search facility and discover all the previous arguments, or you could just enquire of airport security at your local airport. All the advice you have found is true.
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I did the Camino in 2015 as a 60 year old man, able to walk 20 km without a whole lot of issues (but no hills). I didn't stress about "training" per se, but basically walked from an hour to four hours daily in the month before I began. The best advice I got was to remember it isn't a competition or track meet. If your personal goal is to achieve a bunch of personal bests, then highly athletic training is probably what you need; if your goal is spiritual then your disciplines around prayer and meditation should be strengthened; if you want the Camino to speak to you, then just keep putting one foot in front of the other and find your contentment in all the new and novel experiences of each day. For me, quality was more important than quantity....some days were 10 or 12 km; some were 26 or 28 km. Every day was a blessing.
Thank you. This was wonderful to read!
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Oh dear, go on then, ask the most controversial question you could possibly ask on this forum and then see what happens. Of course you could just use the search facility and discover all the previous arguments, or you could just enquire of airport security at your local airport. All the advice you have found is true.
Thank you for extending grace to me (with my questings), as I am a brand new member and I'm still discovering how to navigate this site!
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I'm going to try the 'Search' bar right now - haha!
The answer is ‘nobody knows’.
Many will tell you they have walked through any European airport with poles with no issue; others will claim they that their poles were wrenched from their hands and crushed in front of them; others will refer you to the detailed terms or conditions of carriage and tell you to stand your ground when confronted by armed police. I might trot out my two (allegedly) - funny stories about the armed police in Chicago and the time I fell on the drug-dog.

There are only two sensible things to do, in my opinion:

1. Check your poles in the hold - with your rucksack, if I were you. The number of bags which go astray is miniscule. If you don’t believe me, I’ve got an anti-rfid wallet and a tinfoil hat that you might want to buy.
2. Buy some when you get there. I’ve got several pairs of £30 poles and a set of £120 poles. Either spent half their time resting on the floor - otherwise you’ve not grasped the concept, so weight’s not an issue - and you stress less about your cheap poles when they rest unguarded in a big basket at the albergue door.
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
I'm going to be 76 in May. As a retired Marine, I thought walking the Camino would be a piece of cake (2008), I was very wrong. I pushed too hard, ignored tell tale signs my feet and knee needed rest and drank more beer than water. Since 2008, I've walked five Caminos, the last four were without incident. Here's my takeaway. Walk slowly! Listen to your body. Carry no more than twenty pounds in your pack. Less if possible. Although the number of pilgrims on the Camino is drastically reduced due to Covid, I'm certain the numbers will begin to return to relative norms by this summer. The key will be increased pilgrims from outside the EU. As the need for beds increases consider setting a daily pace of no more than 20 km a day. When possible, reserve a bed so you aren't forced to rush. I like to stop about every five days and book into a hotel for one night. Good food, hot showers, fluffy towels and complete quiet.
Buen Camino
Arn
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

RecCarey

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Since many people are seriously hoping for a walk in 2021, I'm starting this thread on training for the Camino.

Walking is almost always very good for you, whether or not you get to Spain, so there is every reason to build it into your life style. Now. But walking is slow - typically 3-6 km/h - so it can be hard to find the time for it. That's why I suggest setting goals that are realistic for your circumstances.

I am 72 and moderately fit. My target is to walk 40-50 km/week all year, and perhaps increase to 75 km about 6 weeks before a Camino, and ease off for the last week. Who has time for more? You should toss in an occasional day with 25 km, then perhaps 2 days in a row at 25 km in order to see how you do, but not every day. Similar you might add in a hill or two. But truthfully, I don't, and I just go up the hills in Spain very very slowly.

A few months of training gives you the chance to test and perfect your foot wear - that would be a separate thread. But for me, training is needed in part to sort out my shoes, socks, and adjustments to my custom orthotics. They are quite important to my walking comfort.

A couple of months before your Camino, do a 25-km day with your full backpack and all your exact planned walking clothes - on a clear day and on a rainy day. That's important because you'll find that the particular belt buckle catches on your pack strap, or your sun hat keeps brushing against the top of your pack, or rain drips from your hood onto your glasses, or your phone is too hard to get out of your pocket quickly, or your water bottle is inaccessible, etc. If you don't discover those annoyances at home, you will discover them by day 2 on the camino when it is harder to fix them.

Your body needs to be comfortable walking for hours, several days in a row, and you want the stamina to walk 25 km or so without needing bed rest the next day. Keep walking so that it feels completely natural, but don't over train.

Everybody takes a different approach to their personal routines. What are yours?
Nice thread for training for the Camino.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I am a walker, runner, triathlete. And a firm believer in training for that which you are about to do. Many months before a Camino I stop running. And train only for walking. Because they are entirely different. I thereby ensure my boots/socks work and there are no issues. I thereby reduce my chances of a running related injury by 100%. Increase my daily walks from 10k to 18k. Add upper body in gym 3x/week to adjust for carrying a pack. And have never had a Camino -related injury, or a single blister. Most problems on the Camino are entirely preventable. Train now for an event-free Camino later.
 

mikebet

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Why train FOR the camino when you can train ON the camino and enjoy every step of it? Of course you have to be familiar with your footgear, pack and equipment before starting but why not just plan shorter days until fitness kicks in?
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: Camino Frances April/May 2019
Canceled: Primitivo May 2020
Why train FOR the camino when you can train ON the camino and enjoy every step of it? Of course you have to be familiar with your footgear, pack and equipment before starting but why not just plan shorter days until fitness kicks in?
In itself not a bad idea. But if you happen to find out ON the Camino that your footwear is not really playing together nicely with your feet, then it would have been better to have tested that before with some long-distance walking at home.

I personally never really train for it, but this is because I do walk alot anyway and know my shoes well :)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Why train FOR the camino when you can train ON the camino and enjoy every step of it? Of course you have to be familiar with your footgear, pack and equipment before starting but why not just plan shorter days until fitness kicks in?
That was my thinking when I walked with my son in 2016. After the first day (Roncesvalles to Zubiri) the next three days were all just 15 km as "training days" and we gradually increased from there. But even with those shorter days he developed blisters and I developed knee issues.

When I walked the Portugues a couple of years later, I made sure to do a fair amount of training walks before the Camino and I had no issues at all along the way.

It can be walked "training on the Camino" as you suggest. I am proof of that. But it involved a lot of pain. The pain was a lot less when I trained for the Camino.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 60 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 207 14.9%
  • May

    Votes: 337 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 100 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 29 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 399 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 171 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 10 0.7%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top