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How to choose a Camino Prep Fitness Program?

HBS60

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
August 2024 (planned)
I’ve been trying to decide on a fitness regime in preparation for the Camino, but upon reviewing this board, YouTube, etc, there’s an overwhelming array of suggestions and programs, but I’m less clear on how I can choose what may work best for me.
About me: I’m 64, male, in reasonable good shape but slightly overweight, mostly on my belly. I’m 5’8” and weight 170 lbs (I believe that’s 1,72 M and 80 Kg if my math is correct. I actually have been working out at the gym for the last year, I did bulk up a little on my upper body, but was not able to lose the weight, I think I even gained some but it may be from increased muscle mass. I did have a personal trainer, but he just quit, and my membership at the gym is up and I didn’t want to renew. The trainer gave me all kinds of exercises each time, I never knew what to expect so it was hard to come up with a consistent routine.
I walk every day, at least 1-2 miles, some days I walk more. I’m at the local pilgrim chapter and we do monthly 5 mile walks (I think that’s 8 Km) in fact I have one tomorrow.
My sister gave me an old clunky treadmill that still works, I have some elastic resistance bands, and I might get hold of a working out bench. I’ve been doing squats, leg stretches, pushups, planks, but I don’t have a coherent routine.
I think that, despite my belly, I’m otherwise in reasonably good shape, but since I’ve never hiked up the Pyrenees or tried to walk 800 miles, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I had a treadmill test a couple of years ago (so I could start my gym membership) and I passed it with no problems, I have bouts of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which are bothersome but not dangerous. I have mild sleep apnea on cPAP, borderline fasting glucose, questionable kidney issues (apparently resolved on last set of labs). Never smoked, I don’t usually drink alcohol except on very rare ocassions.
I’m planning my Camino for mid August, so I’m confident that I’ll have time to prepare, my problem is knowing how to decide on a routine, so any pointers or guidelines will be most welcome. I’m not asking “which program”, but “how do decide on a program?”
Thanks!
 
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Ok, disclaimer, I'm no expert let alone a medical professional. Consider consulting one.

I concentrated on my legs and reducing my waistline.

Firstly, I walked more than you - my daily walks were similar but after a few weeks I would do 8 to 16 Kms (5-10 miles) at least once a week. And after around eight weeks I started doing a couple of days back to back.

As to program :

What I looked for was something that included core training, and leg exercises such as step- ups, calf raises, squats, knee-ups. Plus flexibility - and stretching! (Important)

Because that's what was suggested to me by various people, some of whom were professionals, some of whom are simply long distance hikers.
 
I’ve been trying to decide on a fitness regime in preparation for the Camino, but upon reviewing this board, YouTube, etc, there’s an overwhelming array of suggestions and programs, but I’m less clear on how I can choose what may work best for me.
About me: I’m 64, male, in reasonable good shape but slightly overweight, mostly on my belly. I’m 5’8” and weight 170 lbs (I believe that’s 1,72 M and 80 Kg if my math is correct. I actually have been working out at the gym for the last year, I did bulk up a little on my upper body, but was not able to lose the weight, I think I even gained some but it may be from increased muscle mass. I did have a personal trainer, but he just quit, and my membership at the gym is up and I didn’t want to renew. The trainer gave me all kinds of exercises each time, I never knew what to expect so it was hard to come up with a consistent routine.
I walk every day, at least 1-2 miles, some days I walk more. I’m at the local pilgrim chapter and we do monthly 5 mile walks (I think that’s 8 Km) in fact I have one tomorrow.
My sister gave me an old clunky treadmill that still works, I have some elastic resistance bands, and I might get hold of a working out bench. I’ve been doing squats, leg stretches, pushups, planks, but I don’t have a coherent routine.
I think that, despite my belly, I’m otherwise in reasonably good shape, but since I’ve never hiked up the Pyrenees or tried to walk 800 miles, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I had a treadmill test a couple of years ago (so I could start my gym membership) and I passed it with no problems, I have bouts of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which are bothersome but not dangerous. I have mild sleep apnea on cPAP, borderline fasting glucose, questionable kidney issues (apparently resolved on last set of labs). Never smoked, I don’t usually drink alcohol except on very rare ocassions.
I’m planning my Camino for mid August, so I’m confident that I’ll have time to prepare, my problem is knowing how to decide on a routine, so any pointers or guidelines will be most welcome. I’m not asking “which program”, but “how do decide on a program?”
Thanks!
I can’t suggest one but am not sure you need one tbh, based on what you have said. But of course if you want one, why not, can’t do anything but help I guess!

We are all different of course , but based on some of your other posts, I think you may be thinking this is more difficult than it is. If you are 64 and in good shape (your BMI is slightly over but not too much) with some history of exercise I can’t foresee any issue!

That said my issue is poor upper body strength so check on that. I travel very light so didn’t matter but if I carried a heavy pack it may be an issue.
 
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Whilst significantly older than you, I try to replicate what I will be doing on the Camino (apart from the drinking!). So I walk every day 10-15 miles (that includes just wandering around the house) but I also walk up and down stairs at least 20 times a day. Weight wise I have never seriously tried to lose much before as I have been active all my life playing one sport or another however as I am off on 31st May on the CF I decided that if I would lose a bit (although I'm not much overweight) so whilst the main meals haven't changed much I have been serious about cutting out the little (frequent!) snacks during the day, it is encouraging to see that weight has been reducing by about a pound a week. I check my weight daily first thing in the morning and then average the weight over 7 days to try and get a fair reflection on what is happening rather than being concerned over the figure from one day to the next.
 
I don't think a program or app is needed unless you're the type that won't do something unless it's on a schedule.

Walk. Walk more. If you are not walking with a pack, start with 5lbs of anything inside to get used to the weight. Add another 5lbs when that is comfortable. Walk with your loaded pack, up and down hills. There is one tiny hill in my neighbourhood and I would walk the 2km there and then spend an hour or two walking up and down it on all sides (3 sets of stairs, steep grass path, slow gradual pavement). Doing this every day (or most) will also give you a good idea if you need to rethink your gear choices. Stay hydrated.

Please see your medical professional for advice on managing your health while walking a long distance.
 
It may be good to get your Camino gear together (packed pack, shoes, socks, etc.) and do a few hikes in that to see how your shoes and socks do and whether your pack is comfortable on a couple of longer hikes. Other than that, perhaps just increasing the amount you are walking each day. I walk about 3-4 miles per day (5 or 6 km) to school and home again with a day pack of my work stuff and my lunch. You may also think about where you live and whether it has many hills or not. For me it is the day after day of hiking that has the most impact on me during the Camino. That being said, I am diabetic, wear a CPAP, am overweight, and I am short with short legs. I try not to let the guidebook tell me how far to walk each day and/or how fast to do it. I just find my own walking rhythm.

My husband who is 12 years older, walks more than I do each day when we are at home and also goes to the gym two or three days a week for strength training. The last two years he has had more difficulty carrying his pack on the Camino and walking much more than 10 miles (16 km), especially in hilly areas. A test this year showed he has some early emphysema, although he stopped smoking more than 10 years ago.

We are all different and some people may not work out at all and find the Camino routes quite easy while others of us may put in some effort and find them a daily challenge. You will find what is right for you. Kudos for already being active.
 
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I'll give you my training program for this years camino and why I'm using it.

I walked the camino last year as well and I over emphasized cardio type exercises; rowing, cycling, walking, running etc. I had it in my head that if I was able to do 2 hr runs prior to the camino than I could handle anything it threw at me.

I ended up creating a significant muscle imbalance in my body, a combination of poor technique and over use, resulting in an affected gait pattern and patella stress syndrome diagnosed about 10 days before I had to walk. Still managed the walk but first 10 days were tough.

My observation about the camino is that walking it exposes any compensation patterns in your gait pattern. Day to day most of us are fine, walking 2-10km, our bodies can manage it. But 20+km day in day out exposes any compensations we bring into the walk. You see it so often with young fit people and their bodies acting up on the walk when they really shouldn't be.

And really the Camino is not that much of a cardiovascular challenge. Sure there are the few steep climbs, but its not a race, you can stop when you like and walk as slow as you like so being out of breadth really isn't a common experience on it.

So to remedy my mistake last year, this year I'm focusing almost purely on the five compound movements our bodies are designed for. Them being push, pull, squat, hinge and gait pattern.

I literally pick one exercise per movement and train for that, focusing on the form of the movement, not the size of the weight being lifted. I think if you address any muscular imbalances in your own body that will translate into a better walking pattern, which in turn makes the walk so much easier.

Compound movements in those categories work almost every muscle together, the way our bodies move. I see a lot of times people put serious amounts of training into the mileage they walk before they go, but they haven't addressed any strength exercises. You see it often with marathon runners who have knee issues, because they do nothing but run 100 miles a week but haven't done a glute strength exercise in years. The exercises I do are:
  1. Bench press: (Push)
  2. Squat: (Squat)
  3. Deadlift: (Hip Hinge)
  4. Pull up: (Pull)
  5. Farmer suitcase Carries: (Walk/gait)
Caveat Emptor, with that advice, but assuming you are otherwise of normal fitness, anyone would benefit doing exercises like these and remember you don't have to do heavy weights with these and you can certainly scale them up / down with intensity.

I'm already noticing the undoing of my last year's poor training program this time around, hiking is easier as my legs are stronger and the cardio component comes with being out there walking.

Hope that helps.
Jack.
 
I'll give you my training program for this years camino and why I'm using it.

I walked the camino last year as well and I over emphasized cardio type exercises; rowing, cycling, walking, running etc. I had it in my head that if I was able to do 2 hr runs prior to the camino than I could handle anything it threw at me.

I ended up creating a significant muscle imbalance in my body, a combination of poor technique and over use, resulting in an affected gait pattern and patella stress syndrome diagnosed about 10 days before I had to walk. Still managed the walk but first 10 days were tough.

My observation about the camino is that walking it exposes any compensation patterns in your gait pattern. Day to day most of us are fine, walking 2-10km, our bodies can manage it. But 20+km day in day out exposes any compensations we bring into the walk. You see it so often with young fit people and their bodies acting up on the walk when they really shouldn't be.

And really the Camino is not that much of a cardiovascular challenge. Sure there are the few steep climbs, but its not a race, you can stop when you like and walk as slow as you like so being out of breadth really isn't a common experience on it.

So to remedy my mistake last year, this year I'm focusing almost purely on the five compound movements our bodies are designed for. Them being push, pull, squat, hinge and gait pattern.

I literally pick one exercise per movement and train for that, focusing on the form of the movement, not the size of the weight being lifted. I think if you address any muscular imbalances in your own body that will translate into a better walking pattern, which in turn makes the walk so much easier.

Compound movements in those categories work almost every muscle together, the way our bodies move. I see a lot of times people put serious amounts of training into the mileage they walk before they go, but they haven't addressed any strength exercises. You see it often with marathon runners who have knee issues, because they do nothing but run 100 miles a week but haven't done a glute strength exercise in years. The exercises I do are:
  1. Bench press: (Push)
  2. Squat: (Squat)
  3. Deadlift: (Hip Hinge)
  4. Pull up: (Pull)
  5. Farmer suitcase Carries: (Walk/gait)
Caveat Emptor, with that advice, but assuming you are otherwise of normal fitness, anyone would benefit doing exercises like these and remember you don't have to do heavy weights with these and you can certainly scale them up / down with intensity.

I'm already noticing the undoing of my last year's poor training program this time around, hiking is easier as my legs are stronger and the cardio component comes with being out there walking.

Hope that helps.
Jack.
This actually addresses a concern I have: When I was working with the fitness trainer, I was noticing gait imbalance, which I attribute to the inconsistency of the exercises he was having me do. I dont’ know enough to pinpoint the exact mechanics or muscles involved, but I could tell that something in my pelvic girdle (or whatever it is called) seemed to be off, particularly after doing a leg workout. Well-meaning guy but showing me different exercises each time we met might have thrown me out of whack. In all fairness, the Camino wasn’t even in my thoughts for most of the year, until recently, so he didn’t have it in mind, but still, I was always concerned about the lack of structure in his approach. So, now I’m on my own, just wanting to be careful not to injure myself. You gave me some great ideas, and I’m grateful!
 
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You sound like you’re in pretty good shape so I’m sure you could do it without more training. But if you want to train harder you will not regret it!
I walked and did Pilates. Pilates is great for strengthening all the little muscles that support our joints and contribute to balance. I did a one hour class on days I wasn’t walking and I had a 9 minute walking warm up Pilates routine that I did before long training walks and on Camino. I can feel the difference at the end of the day if I don’t do the warm up. I should have done a post walk routine too. I didn’t have a walking schedule but I did try to do a 20km walk once a week. I tried to replicate a Camino day: early start, walk, stop for breakfast, walk, stop for lunch, walk, stop for snack, walk, stop. I ramped up too fast in the beginning though and had some plantar fasciitis. It was resolved fairly quickly with new shoes, stretching and a massage ball. As I got closer to d day and I got my gear assembled I would walk with my pack. This is really valuable to help you get familiar with your pack! My biggest challenges in training were boredom and mental stamina. I don’t drive so I was walking the same streets over and over. Thankfully on Camino this was rarely an issue. Everything is so interesting!
 
See the book The New Aerobics by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, an update on his slightly older Aeobics. There is a version specifically for women also. The books are old but the advice still holds. You get points for meeting cardio goals by walking or running but other means too. There are programs to allow you to progress by slow increases.
 
This actually addresses a concern I have: When I was working with the fitness trainer, I was noticing gait imbalance, which I attribute to the inconsistency of the exercises he was having me do. I dont’ know enough to pinpoint the exact mechanics or muscles involved, but I could tell that something in my pelvic girdle (or whatever it is called) seemed to be off, particularly after doing a leg workout. Well-meaning guy but showing me different exercises each time we met might have thrown me out of whack. In all fairness, the Camino wasn’t even in my thoughts for most of the year, until recently, so he didn’t have it in mind, but still, I was always concerned about the lack of structure in his approach. So, now I’m on my own, just wanting to be careful not to injure myself. You gave me some great ideas, and I’m grateful!
Very welcome.

Funny I had (and still have but less so) a hip muscle imbalance issue too which greatly affected my walk. Essentially what I did was too much rowing, and rowing toward one side (my left) resulting in the muscles from my legs up to my shoulder on that side being much stronger than my right.

I tried everything to fix it, personal trainers, mri scan, physio and even got a full blown gait analysis which to be fair showed me the data that as I walked my left side of my hip rotated 6 degrees while my right side rotated 3 degrees. I could feel that happening day to day but to see it in the data was interesting. It also had the effect of changing my weight distribution with all of my weight at the time being on my left heel and toes and almost no weight on my right hand side.

The rehab exercises I received had a particular focus on bilateral exercises so single leg exercises on my right side, but they failed to retrain my body to move together in a compound movement.

So I ended up going back to basics with those 5 compound movements, which really if you're new to strength training, anyone would benefit from. A couple weeks of that and I'm really noticing the difference and improvement in my gait pattern.

It's fine to have one side stronger than the other, but they need to be in some sort of proportionate balance. That includes muscles on the front side of your body (anterior) and back side (posterior). If you do a program that targets all of them you'll eventually iron out any major imbalance, then if you want to do isolated single sided exercises you can, but for me anyway the whole body approach appears to be working.

Supplement this with walking and I think you have a balanced training program for the camino.
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I’ve been trying to decide on a fitness regime in preparation for the Camino, but upon reviewing this board, YouTube, etc, there’s an overwhelming array of suggestions and programs, but I’m less clear on how I can choose what may work best for me.
About me: I’m 64, male, in reasonable good shape but slightly overweight, mostly on my belly. I’m 5’8” and weight 170 lbs (I believe that’s 1,72 M and 80 Kg if my math is correct. I actually have been working out at the gym for the last year, I did bulk up a little on my upper body, but was not able to lose the weight, I think I even gained some but it may be from increased muscle mass. I did have a personal trainer, but he just quit, and my membership at the gym is up and I didn’t want to renew. The trainer gave me all kinds of exercises each time, I never knew what to expect so it was hard to come up with a consistent routine.
I walk every day, at least 1-2 miles, some days I walk more. I’m at the local pilgrim chapter and we do monthly 5 mile walks (I think that’s 8 Km) in fact I have one tomorrow.
My sister gave me an old clunky treadmill that still works, I have some elastic resistance bands, and I might get hold of a working out bench. I’ve been doing squats, leg stretches, pushups, planks, but I don’t have a coherent routine.
I think that, despite my belly, I’m otherwise in reasonably good shape, but since I’ve never hiked up the Pyrenees or tried to walk 800 miles, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I had a treadmill test a couple of years ago (so I could start my gym membership) and I passed it with no problems, I have bouts of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which are bothersome but not dangerous. I have mild sleep apnea on cPAP, borderline fasting glucose, questionable kidney issues (apparently resolved on last set of labs). Never smoked, I don’t usually drink alcohol except on very rare ocassions.
I’m planning my Camino for mid August, so I’m confident that I’ll have time to prepare, my problem is knowing how to decide on a routine, so any pointers or guidelines will be most welcome. I’m not asking “which program”, but “how do decide on a program?”
Thanks!
Train as you fight. If you are walking then walk. If your walking with your gear, then walk with your gear. Throw in some stretches and talk with your health care provider about your upcoming long distance adventure.
 
I’ve been trying to decide on a fitness regime in preparation for the Camino, but upon reviewing this board, YouTube, etc, there’s an overwhelming array of suggestions and programs, but I’m less clear on how I can choose what may work best for me.
About me: I’m 64, male, in reasonable good shape but slightly overweight, mostly on my belly. I’m 5’8” and weight 170 lbs (I believe that’s 1,72 M and 80 Kg if my math is correct. I actually have been working out at the gym for the last year, I did bulk up a little on my upper body, but was not able to lose the weight, I think I even gained some but it may be from increased muscle mass. I did have a personal trainer, but he just quit, and my membership at the gym is up and I didn’t want to renew. The trainer gave me all kinds of exercises each time, I never knew what to expect so it was hard to come up with a consistent routine.
I walk every day, at least 1-2 miles, some days I walk more. I’m at the local pilgrim chapter and we do monthly 5 mile walks (I think that’s 8 Km) in fact I have one tomorrow.
My sister gave me an old clunky treadmill that still works, I have some elastic resistance bands, and I might get hold of a working out bench. I’ve been doing squats, leg stretches, pushups, planks, but I don’t have a coherent routine.
I think that, despite my belly, I’m otherwise in reasonably good shape, but since I’ve never hiked up the Pyrenees or tried to walk 800 miles, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I had a treadmill test a couple of years ago (so I could start my gym membership) and I passed it with no problems, I have bouts of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which are bothersome but not dangerous. I have mild sleep apnea on cPAP, borderline fasting glucose, questionable kidney issues (apparently resolved on last set of labs). Never smoked, I don’t usually drink alcohol except on very rare ocassions.
I’m planning my Camino for mid August, so I’m confident that I’ll have time to prepare, my problem is knowing how to decide on a routine, so any pointers or guidelines will be most welcome. I’m not asking “which program”, but “how do decide on a program?”
Thanks!
You’ve gotten some very good advice here. I can only offer a few specific areas/ideas. I’m starting the Camino in less than 2 weeks. Although I bicycle 200-300 miles a week I still have a few fitness issues to resolve.
For muscular endurance.. I’ve found that planks have helped tremendously in strengthening my low back and core muscles. I also do a good bit of upper body work to strengthen my shoulders, neck and arms. The leg work, for me, comes from cycling but you can easily adapt as you walk longer ..6-8 miles a day for as many days in a row as possible.
I would think, with the slowest pace, you should be fine with 6-8 miles.
As I’ve heard many who have walked, they find their general level of ability increasing daily after the first week.
You may also consider, on the days your legs feel especially tired, having someone take your backpack to the spot you plan to end for that day. Good luck and enjoy the walk! Bien Camino!
 
A guide to speaking Spanish on the Camino - enrich your pilgrim experience.
Walking with a pack is the best training in my experience, start with light loads and the distances you are already doing and slowly increase both (over say 10 weeks) until you have reached your planned camino pack weight and similar day distance. I don't stress too much about elevation but I do try to include a variety of surfaces and hills.
Of course, wear your shoes/boots, pack, walking clothes that you plan to take on at least some of these walks to ensure they and you work well together.
You already have a good exercise background and sound fit. Continue with the exercises you like and ensure you include stretches.
Then start your camino slowly/shorter distances and finish like a hero.
Enjoy!
 
I’ve been trying to decide on a fitness regime in preparation for the Camino, but upon reviewing this board, YouTube, etc, there’s an overwhelming array of suggestions and programs, but I’m less clear on how I can choose what may work best for me.
About me: I’m 64, male, in reasonable good shape but slightly overweight, mostly on my belly. I’m 5’8” and weight 170 lbs (I believe that’s 1,72 M and 80 Kg if my math is correct. I actually have been working out at the gym for the last year, I did bulk up a little on my upper body, but was not able to lose the weight, I think I even gained some but it may be from increased muscle mass. I did have a personal trainer, but he just quit, and my membership at the gym is up and I didn’t want to renew. The trainer gave me all kinds of exercises each time, I never knew what to expect so it was hard to come up with a consistent routine.
I walk every day, at least 1-2 miles, some days I walk more. I’m at the local pilgrim chapter and we do monthly 5 mile walks (I think that’s 8 Km) in fact I have one tomorrow.
My sister gave me an old clunky treadmill that still works, I have some elastic resistance bands, and I might get hold of a working out bench. I’ve been doing squats, leg stretches, pushups, planks, but I don’t have a coherent routine.
I think that, despite my belly, I’m otherwise in reasonably good shape, but since I’ve never hiked up the Pyrenees or tried to walk 800 miles, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I had a treadmill test a couple of years ago (so I could start my gym membership) and I passed it with no problems, I have bouts of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which are bothersome but not dangerous. I have mild sleep apnea on cPAP, borderline fasting glucose, questionable kidney issues (apparently resolved on last set of labs). Never smoked, I don’t usually drink alcohol except on very rare ocassions.
I’m planning my Camino for mid August, so I’m confident that I’ll have time to prepare, my problem is knowing how to decide on a routine, so any pointers or guidelines will be most welcome. I’m not asking “which program”, but “how do decide on a program?”
Thanks!
Lots to choose from in these posts, but how to decide......Best if your program includes things you like or do not mind doing. Boring things can really throw a program off track. Excessive soreness that does not diminish in a few days indicates you may need to try something different or lighter. Partner with like minded individuals. Continue with gym routine at home; buy used or new bench and some weights. Your program needs to concentrate on legs for strength, stamina and cardio. Face it, you really are not doing much in the way of walking right now. Think hiking, biking, elliptical, (I hate treadmills). Goal might be to achieve three 15 mile hikes in hills for 3 consecutive days with loaded pack. 20 miles with overloaded pack would be better. You really need the distance to determine how well your feet, tendons, shins and knees will hold up. You would benefit greatly with an hour of stretching each day. Get a diet plan. Read the book, EAT, MOVE, SLEEP. Practice with trekking poles. I'll be 64 in a few months, 175 lbs, 5'7" so we have a lot in common.
 
Thanks for all the helpful advice.

A little (and somewhat embarrassing) update:

I went to the pilgrim walk on Saturday as I’ve shared before (Local chapter of American Pilgrims). I was expecting a 5 mile walk, maybe 6, but…it was 7 miles. It was a beautiful wooded nature trail but a bit tricky because of lots of roots and tripping hazards. I had a fully loaded backpack and wanted to try out a little drinking contraption so I could sip through a long straw connected to a water bottle, but it malfunctioned, so I couldn’t hydrate myself. If I was alone, I would simply have stopped and take care of it, but these guys were walking at a brisk pace (they were unencumbered by a backpack so that makes sense). we were told that at the 2 mile mark, we had the choice to turn around so we could walk 4 miles instead of 7, so that’s what I did. I was feeling something uncomfortable poking me on the back, something else seemed to be out of place, but despite that, I was able to keep walking, so at least I got to walk 4 miles with less than optímal hydration. I was able to maintain a conversation although sometimes a bit breathless as I would have preferred to walk slower. I had my trekking poles which helped tremendously maneuver along tree roots, my feet were fine most of the time, I thought i had a hot spot but nothing happened.

I went home and crashed, drank and drank and drank, took a nice hot shower, felt OK after that, with some shoulder and upper arm aches. I don’t recall any leg issues or pain, feet somewhat achy but I expect that.

The next morning I felt much better, still a bit sore but feeling what i think was an endorphin high. I also think that the fact that it’s been a very warm weekend and I was doing some yard work the day before may have partially dehydrated me. I”m in good spirits despite feeling bummed out that I didn’t do the whole 7 miles, but I chose to respect my body. BTW, any suggestions on those electrolyte powders I’ve heard about? I’ve never tried them but I want to know what to look for, as I’ll probably need them.

I’m attaching for your benign amusement selfies I took of myself first thing in the morning, dressed in Full Pilgrim Regalia, looking magnificent, ready to kick butt and conquer the trails, and the pitiful crumpled mess I became after a 4 mile walk kicked my butt. But at least I came to covering a distance similar to SJPDP to Orisson (almost, and minus the elevation). And you get to see what I look like at my best…and at my worst 😉

All that being said, I do need to get on with the program. A friend is going to sell me his working out bench, I have elastic bands which will do until I get dumbbells, I have my treadmill, and I see lots of walking in my immediate future.

Thanks to all!
 

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If I was alone, I would simply have stopped and take care of it, but these guys were walking at a brisk pace (
This is a common issue. On your camino feel free to stop and check/fix things. Only walk with others if this suits you - you will catch with them again.

but I chose to respect my body.
excellent choice!
 
see lots of walking in my immediate future.
Yes, not that the rest won't also be beneficial - especially a few stretches and core exercises - but walking is by far the most important. Build up gradually, focus on regular walking ( 3-4 times a week).
Electrolyte's - ironically what most of us use is a drink. Very commonly available in the bars and supermarkets in Spain, it's called Aquarius. A couple of different flavours, great for rehydration.

Although frankly the best is simply good nutrition. A banana and a fresh OJ (readily available), and a few salted nuts for example.

Another great option is gazpacho. Readily available in the supermarkets. Perfect for at days end, all you can share a litre with somebody during a longer break. There's a whole thread on here about options if I can find it!
 
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Good for you! You took a shake down hike and found some things you need to correct! Remember, you'll be walking day after day, so these kind of adjustment and readjustment trips will make the final path easier in the long run.

Give yourself some time, make the changes and try again soon. My husband enjoys a Gatorade for rehydration at home. We carry powder packets for him to mix with a bottle of water. In Spain, he drinks a Kaz or Aquarius which you can buy at a store or bar. (One is fizzy and one not, but I can't remember which is which now.)

As @Richard Smith indicated, it is not good to try to keep up with others. Walk your own pace and that will help you avoid injury. Just increase your daily walking a little at a time and that will help a lot.
 
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Hi HBS60!
Whatever makes you feel confident for your walk go for it!!
But don't overdo the training.

This is my training regime no gym ,no weights (to lazy) just walking my G/dog 10 to 14 km a day cos i have to :) (he's a big boy he needs exercise i have been doing that kinda distance for nearly 30 years)

I walk everywhere and carry a backpack shopping for everyday items i need.

However a couple of months before i leave i fill said pack with my Camino Gear 4.8 kg with 1 litre of water) and carry that; leaves enough room in the stretchy front pocket for the shopping!

Last year's Camino from Leon i started at 105kg !.88metres tall i finished at 96kg and 1.70 metres tall it was a long walk ;)!

I start from SJPP mid May on my third Camino i am 105kg again (fat boy🤣 people ask me when the baby is due)
This is only my opinion walking is the best training for walking, i only have one hill where i live so up and down that a few times.
The 20km+ days are not so terrifying if your doing the Frances put a few kms under your belt before you have second breakfast , stop for coffee and lunch .

I start on my 70th birthday hopefully i will still be breathing by then; other vise somebody has got to push a dead weight in a shopping trolley up a very big hill🤣
Buen Camino
Woody
I also use Aquariuss great for electrolytes
 
I’ve been trying to decide on a fitness regime in preparation for the Camino, but upon reviewing this board, YouTube, etc, there’s an overwhelming array of suggestions and programs, but I’m less clear on how I can choose what may work best for me.
About me: I’m 64, male, in reasonable good shape but slightly overweight, mostly on my belly. I’m 5’8” and weight 170 lbs (I believe that’s 1,72 M and 80 Kg if my math is correct. I actually have been working out at the gym for the last year, I did bulk up a little on my upper body, but was not able to lose the weight, I think I even gained some but it may be from increased muscle mass. I did have a personal trainer, but he just quit, and my membership at the gym is up and I didn’t want to renew. The trainer gave me all kinds of exercises each time, I never knew what to expect so it was hard to come up with a consistent routine.
I walk every day, at least 1-2 miles, some days I walk more. I’m at the local pilgrim chapter and we do monthly 5 mile walks (I think that’s 8 Km) in fact I have one tomorrow.
My sister gave me an old clunky treadmill that still works, I have some elastic resistance bands, and I might get hold of a working out bench. I’ve been doing squats, leg stretches, pushups, planks, but I don’t have a coherent routine.
I think that, despite my belly, I’m otherwise in reasonably good shape, but since I’ve never hiked up the Pyrenees or tried to walk 800 miles, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I had a treadmill test a couple of years ago (so I could start my gym membership) and I passed it with no problems, I have bouts of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) which are bothersome but not dangerous. I have mild sleep apnea on cPAP, borderline fasting glucose, questionable kidney issues (apparently resolved on last set of labs). Never smoked, I don’t usually drink alcohol except on very rare ocassions.
I’m planning my Camino for mid August, so I’m confident that I’ll have time to prepare, my problem is knowing how to decide on a routine, so any pointers or guidelines will be most welcome. I’m not asking “which program”, but “how do decide on a program?”
Thanks!
Now electrolytes needed. Water is fine. They salt most of the food, and as long as you eat healthy and stay hydrated you will be fine. Unless you run this thing, it’s no intensive workout.
 

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