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How do you train for the Camino?

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Why train FOR the camino when you can train ON the camino and enjoy every step of it?
Why? Because training for the camino is a multi-tasking activity (remember dual purpose items?) and it is excellent conditioning for your good health. If the camino helps to motivate, that's fine! There is no reason you can't enjoy the training too.
 
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Natcats

Veteran | author | graphic designer | walker
Year of past OR future Camino
Chemin des Outaouais (2014)
Le Puy 1 of 2 (2015)
Le Puy 2 of 2 (2022)?
Camino Francés (2022)?
They are also called soap nuts. I haven't used them myself, but they sound interesting.

🤯
 

topazy

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
Prior to my Camino, I did no hiking what so ever. I did yoga for flexibility, had done some tai chi, nothing super strenuous.

While walking, I tried not to do a "speed run" of Spain and kept my pace leisurely. As soon as I loosened the toe box of my shoes and shortened my days to between 15-20kms, I stopped getting blisters, and the rest was pretty easy.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Honestly, I don't USUALLY train. I just go and start slow. I usually take a route or part of a route for at least 2 weeks before I pick up my group, so that's my training.

HOWEVER... since my surgery, I find I'm extremely out of shape. I'm shocked, really, at how my stamina has disappeared. So as soon as this icy rain finishes in Dallas, Oregon and I'm able to walk without slipping and sliding around again, I plan on getting back to walking more and more each day. I'm shocked to admit I'm starting at 3-4 k. It's crazy. . .
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
since my surgery, I find I'm extremely out of shape. I'm shocked, really, at how my stamina has disappeared.
I think that I must be in the same situation, but I don't know yet, as the weather is so foul that I don't attempt to go out without necessity. There will be better weather in a few days, but then I must face the piles of snow which make walking very difficult. I am not too worried, as there are about seven months still before I can expect to be vaccinated and be closer to going on camino, when conditions are right. Good luck and buen camino to you, as you get your strength back from your surgery.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It's varied tremedously.

For the 1993 basically not at all.

For the 1994, an aggressive dieting and hiking programme, leading eventually to doing about 200K/week in training hikes.

For the 2000 to Rome, erm just a few days of leisure hiking, albeit 25K to 40K ones.

For the 2005, Baptism and Confirmation into the Catholic Church.

For the 2014, a full year's worth of preparation in knee braces to get 'round the arthrosis amounting to 1000K or more in initially very short then longer training hikes in all seasons, including some good ones through woodland and vineyards in Burgundy (that's the last time I managed a 40K, though I've done a 35K since). Then I started at Lourdes, and a few days later I just put the knee braces in my backpack. I did, I suppose, ask only for enough healing of my knees for the Camino, so my fault I suppose that they continue to hurt like mamma mia !!

For the 2019/2021, some number of mostly dilettante local hikes along the local Camino (historic route), Rome-wards from La Turbie.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Living in flat Florida is tough to train for the variable terrain in Spain.
We have the opposite difficulty to each other -- my preferred hiking terrain is the flat, but I live on an Alp !!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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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.
Fast hiking staff technique is very similar.
 

Ascension

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?
I have walked the Camino eight times and was not able to last year for obvious reasons. My training consists of walking at last 3 miles M-F at night and 5 miles Sat and Sunday. I also bike at least 8 miles on Sat and Sunday. I walk year round and during the Pandemic we biked more than we walked as an added distraction. I break in my new hiking shoes at least 2 months before my Walk and I stop walking 2 weeks before my walk (superstitious I guess). The shoes and socks are probably the most important components on my Walk. I only use thick wool socks to cushion my feet. I never take more than 22 lbs in my backpack. Since I fly from the U.S. I always take my hiking shoes with me, separate from my backpack. This is because my backpack never made it to Paris on one occasion and I had to buy everything for my Walk at St Jean Pie Duport. Thank God I had my hiking boots with me. I don't hike up mountain trails before my walk to minimize any possibility of an ankle or knee injury before my Walk. Hoping to go back this year. Being vaccinated certainly will help.
 
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