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How much training before?


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Want to go for 1 week in May/Juni 2019 with 2 girlfriends.
We are 3 girls doing a 5 day walk only. Our first time. It might be this distance.
My question is, how much should we practice/walk before we get there?
I found recommendations saying that I for a periode should walk 20 km 3 times a week - but I assume that is if I'm doing a longer distance. Not only for 5 days... Or what do you think?
How much did you train/walk before you went?


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
as much as you can squeeze into your schedule would probably be best. certainly with the shoes you plan to walk in and at least sometimes with a fully loaded backpack so that you and your body get a real feeling of what to expect. about four hours of walking for starters?

(all that coming from someone who does zero training. but does go on an occasional walk or hike or bike, and does plan so that the first week is easy going - below 20k a day.)


Helsinki, Finland
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
It depends on how fit the most unfit person in you group is, how far you realistically would want to walk each day and how tender/hardened your feet are. Go out together and do a training walk of about 4 hours or 20km to see how your fitness is and how your feet react. As you are doing a short section I'd look for the camino section with the most interesting places to see each day / nicest alburgues at stick to max 20km a day (or less). Walkers who average 30 km plus per day are usually trying to walk the whole camino in less than a month - but you can be more leisurely? If 20km is fine then do it once a week for a few weeks and then try it on consecutive days e.g. Sat + Sun to see what it feels like. Be guided by the slowest or most unfit person in the group and don't exceed their ability.
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
Hi @LiseB and welcome,

I see you've posted in the Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia section. This was the first Camino experience I had back in 2013 and for me it was a great trip in itself as well as being perfect preparation for taking on the Camino Frances a couple of years later. It also has the advantage of not being mountainous (which can be a shock to the system), though there certainly are hills, it also for a relatively short camino takes in lots of different environments.

The amount of training you need really depends on your base point. Living near the centre of a big city as I have for a lot of my adult life having a car hasn't been practical and as a result I would do a good deal of walking, not on purpose, just to get from A to B. This put me in a position where I was used to walking up to 5kms and not really thinking about it. I'm currently in a much smaller city and drive everywhere which I can feel is destroying my walking fitness. As a consequence on the first trip I really did no training and was fine, now I'd at least want to do a couple of days back to back walking at least 10kms with a pack just to see how it felt. Unless I was absolutely exhausted I'd be happy with that as it's very unusual that I'd walk much longer than that without taking a break.

Sorry for the long winded post, but really the answer is....it depends.

Buen Camino,



New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 17/09/2018
I completed the five day walk from Sarria to Santiago this year; it was more a learning experience, as have ambition to do the whole French Camino one day and confident to start from Leon from March next year, with a plan to do the whole thing in September 2019.

I suffered a bit, as made some wrong decisions on footwear. I had some big well worn boots that were just too heavy and hot, I thundered along and the next day was already getting, what now I know are 'hot spots'. The next day I started getting blisters and pain in the arches. I really had trouble walking on the third day, so stopped in Palas de Rei and bought some much lighter trail type running shoes. This gave me some pain relief , as felt much better, but because where cheap and soft, I had more blisters and problems.

Apart from all the pain, I enjoyed every moment. I come from a more cycling background and had done a lot of spinning classes before hand, so my cardio was good and felt generally fit, I did a long walk once a week, so was confident. , I didn't realise how important it is to wear the right shoes and train more before the Camino, I only did the last stage and had problems, so more aware now for the next time.

My advice is to wear good quality hiking shoes, breathable and wear them everyday and do train, walk 5k and then longer distances on different terrain's. Bring a blister pack, lot's of vaseline and wear the right socks, Merino wool is good, change them twice a day to avoid compacting. Go steady on the first two days, and keep feet dry if you can, it's the skin stretching in hot boots that caused my blisters.

It really starts with the feet, my fitbit watch was reporting an average of 40.000 steps a day, so even if you do nothing, just make sure your footwear is correct and walked in.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances may 2019 Portuguese Feb 2019
We are 3 girls doing a 5 day walk only. Our first time. It might be this distance.
My question is, how much should we practice/walk before we get there?
I found recommendations saying that I for a periode should walk 20 km 3 times a week - but I assume that is if I'm doing a longer distance. Not only for 5 days... Or what do you think?
How much did you train/walk before you went?
I'm training at the moment and I've given myself a touch of tendonitis I think due to a pronation of left foot. My husband is out walking locally 15km a day for 3 days with full rucksack. The rucksack training is important. He s also realised he's got tight calves which need to be worked on. So a prolonged stint of 3 days or so to feel potential problems is a must and be corrected whilst still at home . You don't see the body problems going out once a week . Ive got to rest now sonit makes me think about my speed and distance on the CF in Jan
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Hospitalera at Roncesvalles 2015/2016/2017/2018
Camino Portugues (Sept. 2018)
Whether you will be walking 5 days or 40 days, there is no difference. Your body and your feet have to get used to walking long distances day after day, with a rucksack. You have to learn to listen to your body, just to know how far you can go.
If your training was sufficient, you can really enjoy your Camino, without serious problems.
If your training wasn't sufficient your Camino may become a painful, disappointing experience, and not a joy at all.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances in September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
I was advised on this forum to train at 5km+ per hour pace which I did and felt helped build stamina. Also increased length of training walks over time. As others have said right footwear for you most important. Also get into habit of stretching all parts of your legs and back.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
Train walking up and down hills. 20Km on flat ground is nothing like 20km of walking up and down hills and that is what you will be doing on the Camino. Hill walking strengthens your cardiovascular system and it strengthens leg muscles that will be needed on the Camino. Flat ground walking won't help much with the muscles you will use walking up and down hills.

Train with your pack loaded with the gear (or the weight of your gear) while training. This makes a big difference in building cardio and the leg muscles AND it conditions or toughens up your feet. You could faithfully train doing 20kms per day on hills with out your pack and then when you get to the Camino and add a heavy pack and your feet could have all sorts of different problems due to the addition of your pack weight. It doesn't seem like it would be a big difference...adding the pack weight but it is!

Get good fitting shoes and socks and wear them when training. Search this forum for discussions on shoes and socks, there are many discussions to choose from.
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
but I assume that is if I'm doing a longer distance. Not only for 5 days...
Do you regularly walk 20km a day every day for 5 days straight? If not, training will definitely make your Camino much more enjoyable. Plus, you can work out if your footwear causes blisters or pain. Better to do that at home than on the Camino.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Ingles March 2018
Walked the Ingles earlier this year. 5 days, all days over 20km except the last one, and the longest stage 32km. The Ingles also is not flat.

Am in my 50's, do no sport and did no training. But, living in London, on most days I walk 10km, over the whole day, and regularly walk 20 to 30 minutes faster than the traffic to the shops, etc. Reasoned that walking 30km at even a slow pace of 4 km per hour is 8 hours slow walk, 9 hours with lunch, or 10 hours with lunch and rests. Therefore, doable, as the main purpose each day is to walk to your destination. Once I had done that, the fear of walking 20km, 25km, or 30km distances per day became much less. Just put one foot in front of me, counted down the km on the waymarks as to where I was staying each night, took rests where I could / needed (albeit in the week I walked, that meant taking shelter from the rain) and just took it slow and steady.

The key thing, as many have posted above is to make sure you are comfortable in whatever footwear you will walk in, and if the footwear is new, break them in. Also the advice from @Cybermum to walk some time with your pack on is also invaluable. If walking with a pack doesn't feel comfortable, consider sending the packs onto your destination by Correos each day. There is no cheating or shame in doing this, especially if it means that you can effectively take your creature comforts with you.

What kept me going was walking with plenty of bottled water, fruit, snacks and chocolate. I also stayed in pensions and casa rurals and giving my legs a good soak in a hot bath where I could did wonders for keeping them going for the next day.

If you are walking for 5 days, consider the Ingles from Ferrol. You walk a whole Camino start to finish (which, believe me, does give you a sense of achievement when you complete it), you arrive in Santiago, qualify for a compostela, the first two days are picturesque walking round the coast, and then, when I have the ability to be able to have longer times off, sets you up for the urge to walk longer Caminos.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
As someone above mentioned, try to get some hills in your preparation!
I regularly walked 25-30km as my training before my first Frances last year but it was mostly flat (as I live in London).
I really wished I had done some serious hill training.
Also...try to do some squats regularly if you can. That’s what I learnt. :)
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
falcon269 Santiago to Finisterre and Muxia 20

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