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How to train for the Camino

2020 Camino Guides

aikisilvi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese. Future: Via de La Plata 2019.
Hello Everyone,

I'm new to this site and I'm wondering how do you train to do the Camino? I've been hiking every Saturday and each week adding more time/miles, but listining to my body so that I don't over do it and get injuries.

Any suggestions? I'm planning on walking next year not sure if summer or early fall (probably).

Thanks,
Silvia
 

sebastianpuss

New Member
Hi Silvia.
I also plan to walk next year, the Le Puy route from the start of November.
The training that I have started is doing around 10km in one stretch once a week for a few weeks, basically until I felt comfortable with this and not feeling too tired afterwards.
Then I started doing up to 15 km until comfortable, I will keep adding on around 5km until I can do around 25-30km a couple of times a week.
When this has become comfortable for me I will lower the distance again but add a weighted pack on. At the minute I usually carry around 5kg with me, and after adding up the kit I intend to take with me, which comes to around 13kg, I will build up to this weight.
This is just my training schedule, and I'm sure others have different ideas, but what I would say is most important is to listen to your body as much as possible while training.
I walk pretty fast in my daily coming and going, and I noticed I was doing this when training, and I was getting very tired afterwards, the last few weeks I have tried to zone out while walking, so basically letting my body set the pace, and I've noticed a real difference in how I feel afterwards. It takes me slightly longer to complete training, but I feel much better afterwards.
I hope this helps,

Tony
 

jeff001

Active Member
I personally think that the need to train for a long period prior to starting is greatly overrated. It may, if fact, do more harm than good since you will putting a lot of "wear" on your joints. I found on my two caminos that by starting slowly for the first few days I worked myself into condition. The important thing is to be sure that your footwear is comfortable and that your pack fits properly.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
The training sounds fine but the best advice would be to halve the weight - 7kgs should be fine - a fleece is light, so too would be anything in silk, thermals and/or merino wool - and you'll need to carry less liquid than in summer
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019;
For training, please try to go 'off-road' on trails as well as on pavement. And do hills as much as possible. There are so many different muscles that you use in your legs, ankles and feet for each kind of terrain that if you don't strengthen them all you will wind up with problems.

As someone who had to stop their 1st Camino due to leg problems I can't agree more with the advice to go slow the first several days, even 1st week, until your body gets used to this new 'endurance' test. There is no reason you 'have' to get to a certain town each night, there are plenty of places to stay, at least along the Camino Frances.

And, although its very much considered the 'start' of the CF, I'd suggest NOT starting in St Jean-Pier-de-Port as its a very very long, arduous first day's walk to Roncevalles and then a long downhill the next day. You'll be feeling tired and sore from this first day's stage for many days afterwards...
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
13 kgs!!!! as someone else has said 7kg is plenty. I do believe in preparation-especially if you start from SJPDP. The body needs to be used, to some extent, to walking 20-35 kms every day-I usually walk at home between caminoes 3 times a week totalling about 40kms. I've seen lots of walkers with terribly blistered feet after just a few days walking because they did no training or had new boots. One woman on the VDLP was stuck in an out of the way albergue for 3 days before she could hobble out and try find transport home. Walk in the autumn-especially if you're going on the freeway called the camino frances otherwise summer will be too crowded.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I remember reading somewhere in a blog not long after I heard about the Camino, that there was no point in walking the Camino before one started! My interpretation of that was - don't overdo it, and I don't. I will give my training schedule here as just one more thought on what people do.

I walk about 5-6 days around the block. My block is 5kms and has a couple of substantial hills in it. Once I feel myself getting fitter, I cranck up the pace and as soon as I get faster I then start to race walk (on the flattish bits) which, in turn, is wonderful for strengthening the calves and shins! Because of the arm action it also strengthens the upper body too. Sometimes I add weights to either ankles or arms or both. Last time I went I also went to the gym for 4-5 days a week for 6 months to build up strength. I have a very big "hill" near where I live and walking up and back is about 10 kms and so near the departure time I usually walk up and back a couple of times with a pack on. Because I am used to bush walking and the weight of my Camino pack is a lot lighter than a bushwalking pack I don't bother to train with a pack. However if I were not used to it then it would be a different story.

I don't have time to do a lot of training, and I found that this regime worked well for me. The advantage I have is that I live amongst hills and so I am automatically building aerobic capicity when I go out. Like everyone else has said - find what works well for you. Janet
 

sebastianpuss

New Member
13kgs is a lot, but I should have explained that I'm a photographer, and I plan to photograph my entire pilgrimmage.
Half of this weight is camera equipment! A lot I know, but necessary for me.
The advice about the merino wool base layers is spot on, Icebreaker is a good make, Helly Hansen also do a good one the LIFA Warm, which has a specific wicking layer beneath the merino wool, and this only comes in at 200g each.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
There was an interesting post on cameras earlier this year.

equipment-questions/topic3756.html#p20376

It started with a few questions:

1. should i take an slr camera with me
2. I shoot in raw (250 pictures per 2GB card), should i take 3-4 SD cards? Is that too many/few?
3. I hate leaving pictures on SD cards *should* something happen. Is there a convenient way to burn them on to DVD?
4. If I carry an SD card reader, can i upload pictures from an internet cafe (i.e. are internet cafes easily at hand)
5. Should i buy an extra rechargeable battery for the thing?
6. is there any slr equipment anyone carried that i should keep in mind?
7. any thoughts/inputs will be appreciated
 

Sagalouts

RIP 2015
Hi silvia
great post, "how to train for the camino" well to start you are on the right site,read the posts,read as many blogs as you can, learn from their mistakes, make your own choices.with a year to go before our own camino the walking and training has become a way of life,I have a problem with new things, the strange food i will be eating,sharing bed space with strangers,interacting with people that don't share my views,
to my mind the walking is a minor thing you just put one foot in front of the other,how can you train for all the other more meaningful things that hopefully the camino brings to you and me in time, I suppose you just relax and open your mind and enjoy the experience.
Ian and rosie
http://sagalouts-theroadtonowhere.blogspot.com
 

sebastianpuss

New Member
Many thanks to sillydoll, I've not been on this site for long but you really do seem to be the guru here!
6kgs camera equipment is a lot, admittedly, though taking into context a pro body, 3 pro lenses and a tripod, even a carbon fibre one, it really does add up quickly, and belive me I have been very selective!
It is planned as a documentary, and as an exhibition.
My pilgrimmage is however spiritual, and a winter pilgrimmage also makes it a greater challenge, and the extra burden of camera equipment adds to the many weights I will have with me on this trek, but rather than get me down this adds some substance to my challenge.
Every pilgrimmage is personal, my pilgrimmage will not feel a pack weight.
 

aikisilvi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese. Future: Via de La Plata 2019.
jeff001 said:
I personally think that the need to train for a long period prior to starting is greatly overrated. It may, if fact, do more harm than good since you will putting a lot of "wear" on your joints. I found on my two caminos that by starting slowly for the first few days I worked myself into condition. The important thing is to be sure that your footwear is comfortable and that your pack fits properly.
Hi Jeff,

I think that if you're feet are not happy, then you are not happy and your whole body is not. I've decided that I will train with trail running shoes. I'm used to them, I used to do ultras and I find that my feet can adapt to the terrain better than hiking boots, which are heavier and add more weight (for me). I belive in training, not excessively. I want to be able to next year to be strong and be able to walk without too much difficulties.

Thanks for the post,
Silvi
 

aikisilvi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese. Future: Via de La Plata 2019.
sagalouts said:
Hi silvia
great post, "how to train for the camino" well to start you are on the right site,read the posts,read as many blogs as you can, learn from their mistakes, make your own choices.with a year to go before our own camino the walking and training has become a way of life,I have a problem with new things, the strange food i will be eating,sharing bed space with strangers,interacting with people that don't share my views,
to my mind the walking is a minor thing you just put one foot in front of the other,how can you train for all the other more meaningful things that hopefully the camino brings to you and me in time, I suppose you just relax and open your mind and enjoy the experience.
Ian and rosie
http://sagalouts-theroadtonowhere.blogspot.com

Dear Ian & Rosie,

Thank you for your post. So much info at times it is overwelming and scarry. I've read several books so far but I'm still so lost. I hike every Saturday and walk often (not regularly yet) but I still feel I have time (I've heard that before) and before you know it...next year is here! I love an adventure and I'm looking forward to all of it. It is like a bug that bites you and you can't stop itching it...that's how it seems; obsessed and overwhelming, but fun and crazy and loving it!

Thanks for your post,
Silvi
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Don't feel lost. I have read a lot of posts on these boards from people who seem genuinely terrified of the Camino! You don't need to train like a demon, but you do need to be sure that you can carry the weight of pack you will be taking, so do a few practice walks with your 'real' pack on with ALL the stuff in that you intend to take. Suddenly that 'very important' gadget or item will seem a whole lot less necessary! I did this twice before I got my pack weight down to what was right for me. You will be walking between 12 and 25 km a day so you need to be sure that you can walk about 20km without being half dead, with your pack on. Other than that I would just chill out. If you want to start at St Jean don't be put off, just use the refuge near the top of the mountain so you don't have to go over in one go.

Please know that although some people seem to imagine it as some appalling ordeal, the camino is a very health-giving thing - if you do simple things like healthy food, plenty of water, moisturise your feet and get plenty of sleep. Being out in nature for 5 weeks is just so life-giving: I finished the camino absolutely glowing with health and vitality. I hope you have a wonderful time.
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hi everybody,

When I walked my first Camino, I was much younger than now - I was only 31 - and my back had to support 13 Kg. I didn't know many things about the weight, the Camino and other things than todays are well known for everybody. Internet wasn't so popular than today.

Now I usually walk with 7-8 kg. It's enough, I'm quite strong so for me it's not important to reduce 500 gr. my backpack.

The only reason to walk with 13 kg in your back is to be interested in taking professional photos. It's not strange to meet pilgrims with good cameras, and to walk thinking of good photos is a reason so good than any other.

To train? try to walk about 15-20 km with the same boots and backpack than later in the Camino. And backpack means the same weight. Try to walk several days, not just one. This is a physical training.

For the mental training, try to decide now when you are going to walk, and to maintain your decision even if the weather is bad. Or if you have to walk alone. Because both can happen in your real camino.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
I think this is an interesting and helpful subject.

I think the need for preparation/training depends on the route. With the Camino Frances the pilgrim infrastructure is developed therefore it is possible to walk shorter distances, take things easy, build up stamina and get your body used to it.

However even there I encountered people who had just looked up a packing list on the internet, packed a rusack and departed for Spain. IMHO this seriously increases the chances of encountering very real problems of blisters and pain which can take all pleasure out of a Camino even to the point of people becoming so disheartened they have to go home.

Before walking my first route which was the Va de la Plata I did a lot of preparation - regular little walks, building up to longer city walks using http://www.walkit.com then fully kitted 10 - 12 mile hikes before increasing these to longer rural walks. I had some discomfort at the beginning carrying a full pack but no blisters.

And so I set off. What I hadn't realised fully was that I had picked a route where often there was no alternative to walking 25 - 30 kms to the next bed whether an albergue or a hostal. Then there were those little directions in the guide book which in my innocence I hadn't realised had a real sting: " Turn left at the end of the road and walk in a straight line along the road for 16 kms " then turn right and walk over the mountain!

Within two - three days I had large and painful blisters. It was time for reflection.

As has been said, again and again, there is a huge difference between the kind of day walking or even two - three days walking I had done for a lot of my life and long distance walking for 6 - 10 hours every day for several weeks. Although I had read in this forum and elsewhere about the importance of keeping weight down the bottom line is I thought that I knew best. I was walking in Winter, the days were short - dark by 6 pm and so I took a little radio. I was walking in winter and so I did what I would have done in Scotland ...I took a flask ( lightweight!) and a supply of dried soup. Just in case! I took spare everything. Just in case.

I came to the painful realisation that despite my preparations all of my problems stemmed from the amount of weight I was carrying and like many pilgrims before me I ditched stuff, sent some on ahead and as I dressed my blisters in the evening began to think about what was essential....even small places have Farmacias, why did I have a first aid kit I in fact have never needed having walked a number of routes now? Why was I carrying that plastic bag of spare bits and pieces...clothes pegs, a ball of string rather than a length of string - scissors for heaven's sake!

Nowadays I am disappointed if I am tempted to pack any more than 7 kgs. But in saying that I know that I learned the lesson the hard way. I also know that over time you come to know what you are really going to need everyday and you begin to swap clothes for lighter versions, picking up things in sales and so on. My problem in the beginning was I read all of this advice but I never understood the vital importance of it.

Finally I think as well as choosing the route and concentrating on getting weight down it is important to think about the time of the year. If walking in winter the days will be short - the daylight hours can be cut to 8.30 - 6pm. So if it is best to walk slowly sometimes taking plenty of breaks pick a time of the year when you can do that.

Weight, weight, weight :)

John
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
From my experience in the CSJ of SA, I would estimate that up to 25% of pilgrims have to either have to start taking transport and rest days to recover from injuries or give up walking the camino altogether.
Often the younger pilgrim feels that they are young and invincible and they suffer more injuries than the more experienced, trained older person.
People who cycle a lot, run or swim, play squash or tennis, often feel that they are fit enough to walk 800km - 1800km without having to train. Walking uses different muscles and hiking on rocky, gravel pits is completely different from cycling or running the London Marathon on flat, tarred roads.
No mountaineer worth his salt would dream of attempting to climb Everest without putting in the right training. (Not that the camino can be compared to the Himalaya but some routes are 800 - 1800km long and from base camp to the 8,848 m peak is about 10km.)
Swimmers don't hike with heavy packs to prepare for a swim meet (except as a form of relaxation) and runners don't walk unless its absolutely unavoidable.
Most of the injuries on the caminos are due to a lack of specific training, unrealistic daily schedules (especially in the beginning), carrying too much weight and not preparing mentally or psychologically for the long distances they plan to walk.

I included a post on training on my blog


http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2008/08/t ... amino.html
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
The valid point has been made that there are differences between the different routes.The CF is a piece of cake compared to others-I think the longest stretch between bars/cafes etc is about 17km-not so on the VDLP where there are much longer stretches with nothing-to me that;s the attraction. Of course you need to prepare for whichever camino you choose but it's unwise to take more than 7-8 kgs, leave the hair dryer,walking sticks,mats and cosmetics at home!
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
Just to enlarge on Sil's point about duration of walking as I think that otherwise people might think that they need to do lots of training - in my opinion, training is less important than weight and equipment - I do walk on average about an hour each day but the only specific training (and I don't run or cycle) I did was six four-hour flat walks in the couple of months before I set off - I then found it relatively easy, after the first week or so, to repeat this once in the morning then an hour's break for lunch and then again in the afternoon on the Camino - and then have the rest of the day to rest and sleep - so find a distance that you do in four hours and assume that on the Camino you can cover between that distance and twice that distance each day, depending on how long you intend to walk each day
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Training and blisters are not related (except for finding "hot spots" caused by your boots during training walks). Following is the fool-proof way to avoid blisters:

Work in your boots for several hundred kilometers before heading for a long walk. When buying boots, wear the sock combination detailed below in order to get a proper fit. Do not be surprised if the size you buy is different from your normal shoes, perhaps a 1/2 size larger and a step wider (I wear narrow A or B width shoes, but buy a D boot to accommodate socks and an anti-pronating inner sole).

Use a silicone-type lubricant on clean feet each morning (Sportslick and Hydropel are two brands available in the U.S.; Amazon.com carries Sportslick). It waterproofs your skin. Moisture is the primary cause of blisters.

Wear a polypropylene inner sock to wick away moisture. DO NOT USE COTTON SOCKS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Wear a wool or wool-blend outer sock (Thorlo). I use medium weight socks, but you may like heavy or light weight. Pick the one that does not make your boots too tight. Much of the friction inside your boot will be absorbed between the polypro liner and the wool sock. In effect, the polypro adheres to your foot and its lubricant, and the wool sock adheres to your boot.

Carry some Compeed. Compeed on the shelf of a nearby farmacia will not help you when you really need it! If you detect a "hot spot" on your foot, stop IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait for the mentally-scheduled break on the hour. Do not let walking companions deter you. Their desire to get to that first cafe con leche could end up ruining your five week Camino as you limp along with a growing blister. Eventually your other foot and leg will develop problems as you change your gait to compensate for the blister. While everyone else is having fun doing eating, drinking, and doing laundry, you will be tending your blister. Honestly, your friends are NOT worth it! You can always find new friends, but the blister-to-be is your private-enemy-number-one and needs you now.

Thoroughly clean the hot area with isopropyl alcohol so that the Compeed will adhere. Warm the Compeed in your armpit for a minute, then apply it over the hot spot. Do not remove it until it falls off of its own volition. It will rip a hole in new skin even better than it prevents a blister!

A minor cautionary note: The silicone lubricant can make your bare feet very slippery on some surfaces, so tread carefully to and in the shower.

If you follow ALL the steps, I guarantee that you will never have a blister. Skip one, and all promises are off.

Other things that help promote foot comfort are removing your boots and socks each hour to let them dry a bit (a Japanese fellow pilgrim squeezed lemon juice onto his feet at each stop to dry them!); changing socks midday; and putting on dry socks after the rain stops (though I have hiked for several days in wet/damp socks and been protected by the silicone).
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Falcon, everything you say is correct - for perfect conditions.
But, there can be extenuating circumstances for blisters no matter how prepared you are, or how immune you think you are.
Like 3 days of torrential rain in the Pyrenees, nowhere to sit down, no dry land at all - only mud and slurry with nowhere to take off shoes and socks and dry them. Even stuffing them with newspaper overnight doesn't help because you step right back into a deluge the next day! So, on the 2nd day you cover those little hot-spots with Compeed, apply the Vaseline and put on your brand new Seal Skinz, gortex, waterproof socks over your Bridgedale liners, pull on your heavy damp boots and hope they will prevent the hot spots from yesterday developing into anything more sinister.
It is in these conditions, when the trusty old Dubbin coated boots are immersed in a river of watery mud that seeps over the top of the boot and into the socks, that retain the water inside, and the boots and socks start to weigh a ton and drag up and down on the back of your heels turning the hot-spot Compeed plasters into lumps of silicon sludge that stick to your socks and rip the skin off when you remove them.
This has got nothing to do with training. Its just a force of nature.
Plan B: Dressings and sandals.
In case this happens to you, pack an antiseptic cream, a few Dove pads (or similar) and two wash up sponges. Try to scrape off as much of the disintegrated Compeed as possible because it will continue to eat into your skin.
Cover with antiseptic cream, then with a Dove pad. Secure with a plaster or tape. Pull on sock liners. Cover affected area with sponges and put on 2nd sock. Gently put on sandals and walk the remaining 650km.
 

lckgj

Active Member
Ouch!
This months Country Walking magazine recommends stuffing a disposable nappy into your boot to dry them out more quickly. Apparently it is much more effective than newspaper as the crystals inside are designed to draw the moisture away from the baby.
Probably not practical on the camino but possibly a good tip for walking in bad weather at home. (Does anyone know if it works?)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Personally, I never get to the Compeed stage! Silicone, polypro liners, wool socks, and worn-in boots that fit are the trick. Blisters just do not appear!

Guaranteed. (And I have done the ten days in rain, when the boots never came off until the day was done.)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I used to brag that I never get blisters too. Never, ever, ever - not in my whole life!
Not after umpteen marathons, Comrades ultra, previous caminos, cross country races, hike across England, climbing in the Alps (yes in the snow) - no blisters: zilch: nada, nothing, never! Not me, no siree!
Until the end of August 2007 - camino frances - Roncesvalles to Estella.
My clean record was shattered and my heels were raw
and my trusty boots were waterproof no more!
I'm so pleased for you Falcon that you never get blisters - I wouldn't wish them on anybody.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
It is a no-blister guarantee! Silicone with double socks. Wet or dry. Honestly, from thousands of miles of walking in a dozen different boots (all of which fit properly).
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I am sitting here very bemused by this thread! What about the sort of walking I used to do in NZ. Within an hour or so one would be faced with a river crossing (this was in the days before silicone preparations!) and we would link arms and wade across - anything from knee deep to waist deep! Let me tell you - NOTHING is waterproof then! Still, I never got blisters even though I was hiking in wet and soggy boots for days on end! - yet once or twice I have got them on the Camino. The one thing that helps is to be constantly aware of your feet and giving them IMMEDIATE attention. Even worse than the blisters though is when they callous and crack - if you think blisters are painful, allow that to happen (which is very easy to do because the heel of our foot is difficult to see for all but the most flexible!) regards, Janet
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
So, has anyone used silicone and double socks and gotten blisters? I have hiked with dozens of Scouts and Scout leaders who used the technique, and NO ONE got a blister. I honestly do not have a dog in the hunt when it comes to your feet, but I still offer the guarantee!

I can lead a horse to water, but the drinking part is up to the horse ...
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Falcon, I believe you.
I have always been a believer.
I've used Sports-Lube - a silicon based lubrication gel - all my running/hiking days. (Never hiked with the Scouts but I was Baloo at Cubs!)

I think it was the mud and Gortex socks that did the damage last year.
When waterproof Seal-Skinz socks fill up with water they can blow up like a balloon. If water gets into the socks while you are walking, it can't escape. Walking with heavy, wet boots is almost impossible because you battle to lift each foot out of thick, cloying mud that almost sucks the boots off your feet. The wet socks rub up and down on the back of the heels causing friction.
.... it happens!
That's all it is.
 

Attachments

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Re: How to train for the Camino - Blister prevention

Blisters dominate the conversation on the Camino. The long list of mistakes that cause blisters includes:
new boots;
boots that do not fit (old boots?);
cotton socks;
wet feet; and
failure to tend to feet when a "hot spot" appears.

Maybe we can add Gore-Tex socks!

The mistakes do not include:
silicone lubricant;
polypropylene liner socks; and
wool outer socks.

After there are blisters, the conversation includes:
misuse of Compeed;
draining blisters;
blisters on top of blisters;
more blisters from adopting an unnatural stride due to the first blisters;
walking in sandals;
infection; and
giving up the pilgrimage.

I am not trying to be a "know-it-all" here. If no one takes my advice, I promise not to be offended. My sons never have listened to me in their lives (except for using this anti-blister technique when hiking). But if you use silicone ointment, polypropylene liner socks, and wool socks inside properly fitting boots, you WILL NEVER GET A BLISTER.

Pilgrims take lots of advice on pack size, load weight, albergues to avoid, sleeping mats, bed bugs, and ponchos. All that advice comes to nothing if you cripple yourself with blisters by ignoring my advice. Many other walkers do not get blisters simply because they avoid friction or are lucky. However, those are not prevention techniques! They work for some; they do not work for others. Silicone, liner socks, and wool socks will work for EVERYONE, ALWAYS.

My fingers are worn raw from writing on this subject, so as long as the rivers flow and the grasses grow, I will write no more on it, forever. (Maybe I should have put silicone on my finger tips...)
 

vjpulver

Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Camino(s) past & future
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
I was in the US Air Force for many years and for several years, I was a recruiter. I have expwerience watching people head off to boot camp - it's about six plus weeks of physical and psycholgical demands.

When I went off to boot camp, I was a bit older than most recruits. I was a housewife and mother and I did not have a regular fitness regime. It made for a rocky start. It was pretty hard to keep up with women almost ten years my junior and women who had played sports or exercised regulily and who had never had babies. I struggled on, and I finished with dignity and honor.

Most of my basic training counterparts did not prepare physically for the demands of training. Why? Because that is what boot camp is about really.

We were issued boots and did not have the luxury of breaking them in before donning them (we wore running shoes for running - thank goodness!) so many of our flight-mates had to deal with blisters too.

So, when I walk my Camino, I will have an edge. I will have my boots well broken in. I will be (I am) fit because I walk several miles each day at dawn (my pup is my coach and trainer!). Closer to my departure I will don my loaded pack (every other day) and follow my morning regime. (We are in the mountains and have snow to deal with and very cold temps and my paths include both pavement and trails, hills and flats.)

I plan to start my Camino in good health, with proper, lightwieght gear that I am familiar with. I plan to be flexible in my daily decisions and listen to my body and my heart. I want to spend my days and nights on the Camino focused on other challenges rather than my body and my equipment.

Just my thoughts on training for the Camino... :D

Life is good...

"Ginn"
In Sunny Santa Fe
Planning my Camino for Late April/May 2009
 

aikisilvi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese. Future: Via de La Plata 2019.
notion900 said:
Don't feel lost. I have read a lot of posts on these boards from people who seem genuinely terrified of the Camino! You don't need to train like a demon, but you do need to be sure that you can carry the weight of pack you will be taking, so do a few practice walks with your 'real' pack on with ALL the stuff in that you intend to take. Suddenly that 'very important' gadget or item will seem a whole lot less necessary! I did this twice before I got my pack weight down to what was right for me. You will be walking between 12 and 25 km a day so you need to be sure that you can walk about 20km without being half dead, with your pack on. Other than that I would just chill out. If you want to start at St Jean don't be put off, just use the refuge near the top of the mountain so you don't have to go over in one go.

Please know that although some people seem to imagine it as some appalling ordeal, the camino is a very health-giving thing - if you do simple things like healthy food, plenty of water, moisturise your feet and get plenty of sleep. Being out in nature for 5 weeks is just so life-giving: I finished the camino absolutely glowing with health and vitality. I hope you have a wonderful time.
Thank you for your post. I think training is going well. I haven't decided as of yet when I'm leaving next year, but since I feel that training is going well...I have "time" to adjust to hiking with a backpack and I Just bought new trail runners and I need to break them in and hope to use them on the Camino.

I was wondering where you mentioned "Moisturising your feet? are you referring to Vaseline and if so, do you "coat" your entire feet or problem areas?

Thanks for your post.

Take care,
Silvi
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
notion900 said:
Please know that although some people seem to imagine it as some appalling ordeal, the camino is a very health-giving thing - if you do simple things like healthy food, plenty of water, moisturise your feet and get plenty of sleep. Being out in nature for 5 weeks is just so life-giving: I finished the camino absolutely glowing with health and vitality. I hope you have a wonderful time.
notion........ I think you have put this so well!!!!! I am going to put this quote on the sidebar of my blog if that is OK?
Margaret
 

Timo

Member
Hello,
planning my first Camino in 2010. I´ve been hiking more than 30 years in Finnish Lapland and Noth-Eastern woods carrying all my gear includung food supplies. The load is usually 25 kg.My trips lasts about ten days. Never done anything to compare with the Camino, walk on a daily basis 20 - 35 km for four weeks. It could get tough.
To practice I walk daily about 7 -10 km. I don´t have a car. So I think it would be easy to start systematically practise longer hikes with moderate load on my rucksack. I have to do this even in winter time. In my experience the distance is not the problem but speed kills!
-T-
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Phsew!! 25kg pack!!
You'll breeze through the camino! Just take away about 20kg from that pack and add a few kms to your training walks.
 

Timo

Member
Hello Sillydoll,
what a lovely name! I think I manage. The physical training isn´t the hardest part. At this momoent it is quite hard just to wait June 2010 and count the days. I think I´ll get the extra time to practise more. Walking is kind of therapy or meditation. I used to listen to music while walking. I´ve given it up. This way I can walk "mindless" Zen-walking? I have a feeling that my pilgrimmage has allready started...
-T-
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Use that silicone ointment; that repels the moisture and prevents the friction.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Timo - I have two mantras to share with you:

Here begins the Journey
Now begins the Day.
With one step upon the Road
My soul is on its Way.
© JS Selfe


“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure, then from all the stones and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you and become a holy fire in you”.
Ancient Hasidic Saying:


Buen camino peregrina!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
KiwiNomad06 said:
notion900 said:
Please know that although some people seem to imagine it as some appalling ordeal, the camino is a very health-giving thing - if you do simple things like healthy food, plenty of water, moisturise your feet and get plenty of sleep. Being out in nature for 5 weeks is just so life-giving: I finished the camino absolutely glowing with health and vitality. I hope you have a wonderful time.
notion........ I think you have put this so well!!!!! I am going to put this quote on the sidebar of my blog if that is OK?
Margaret

Thanks that's very kind! Of course you can quote it.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Dear Silvi
Re your question about moisturising, you can use whatever you like. Vaseline would do fine. They sell a beautiful greasy, slightly scented, homeopathic arnica ointment in Spanish farmacia which I got quite addicted to. The main thing is to prevent the build up of hard skin that will then crack and be painful, so I would smother it on the whole foot before bedtime. I also used a pumice stone in the shower to remove hard skin. My mother could not believe how soft and healthy my feet were when I got back, she was expecting them to look like a war zone! I did get a couple of blisters but with proper care they didn't cause a hassle. Happy walking!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
sillydoll said:
Timo - I have two mantras to share with you:

Here begins the Journey
Now begins the Day.
With one step upon the Road
My soul is on its Way.
© JS Selfe


“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure, then from all the stones and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you and become a holy fire in you”.
Ancient Hasidic Saying:
Those are beautiful quotes! I so felt the sparks thing, I got all obsessed by photographing dried up seed heads, berries etc.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
I was lucky to not suffer badly from blisters, but I saw plenty who did. I think the main causes of blisters as far as I can tell are:

bag too heavy, or ill fitting so causes poor gait
trying to walk too fast to keep up with a companion, and failure to take rest stops to avoid keeping the faster companion waiting
wet weather to the extent of causing wet socks
 

+@^^

Active Member
thank you, Falcon 269, for your blister guide
there are 2 aspects you raise which I'd like to hear more on, if you will...
1. the draining of blisters - some pundits lobby for the immediate puncturing and inserting of cotton thread. Some say leave the cotton thread in permanently...
2. compeed misuse. I've not used compeed before and see much written, but mainly that it should be used - not the correct or incorrect application.
.
Also, I see you don't mention
3. duct tape - on these pages i've seen it mentioned as a substitute for plasters, and have tried it, with success - what's your experience
.
your further guidance would be great
thanx
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
The danger in draining blisters is infection. However, it is pressure on the fluid build-up that makes blisters painful, so undrained blisters are painful for walking. Piercing and draining a blister with a needle sanitized in alcohol should not introduce bacteria. Compeed over the blister will protect it from infection and absorb the fluid as it drains. If you leave Compeed on until it falls off naturally, it works very well. If sides of the Compeed come off, you can clip them away with small scissors, as the ones on a Swiss army knife, and put another Compeed over that part. If you put Compeed on healthy skin, then try to remove it, you can remove the healthy skin! Compeed is excellent for preventing a blister. Put it over a hot spot when you first detect it, then LEAVE IT ON. The adhesive is quite strong. The Johnson and Johnson product marketed in the U.S. for Compeed does not stick nearly as well. I suspect the FDA would not approve the strong adhesive, so they made the product much less useful with the weaker adhesive. I do not recommend the American product.

Thread left in a blister will wick the moisture away, but also can introduce bacteria. Keep it covered and sanitized if you use that technique. Compeed will make the thread like a zip-open thread on an envelope! However, by the time the Compeed comes off and opens up the dead skin, it is time to remove the dead skin anyway.

I have seen feet swathed in duct tape. It will reduce skin friction. If you like it, use it. Used extensively, it may make your boots fit more poorly, and any edge or corner that rolls up will create another friction point for a blister. A blister is a second degree burn created by the heat of friction. There is a reason for being alert for "hot spots." Boy Scouts make fires rubbing two sticks together; think of a blister as doing that to your foot. Focus on preventing friction with boots that fit, dry feet and socks, and silicone lubricant, and you will be fine. If heavy loads created friction, then fat people would get all the blisters. Your feet don't know the difference between a pack and lard! Since people of all sizes get blisters, don't worry that an extra kilogram in the pack will result in a blister.
 

Poppz

Member
O.K. this is probably a stupid question? How do you get to the actual Camino Calendar? Everytime I go there, it sends me to a blog post for the admin to post your start date. I just want to look at the actual calendar.

Thanks
Poppz
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Just click on the words Camino de Santiago Calendar below.
 
I found the extensive walking (with a loaded backpack) I did prior to my pilgrimage did not prepare me for the strain that the mountain sections put on the body. Since it is difficult for many of us to replicate the rough terrain that is encountered in Galicia...it might help to spend some time on exercise equipment that helps condition the back, hips, knees, and ankles. Bicycling is also a good option.
 

Dave2013

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (09/2013)
The walking site http://www.thewalkingsite.com has quite a bit of information for training. One thing that is emphasized is to use different activities that can help strengthen muscles not used in walking with the result being better walking workouts and less injuries.

As they say you can skip training and get it on the job "on the trail", but conditioning can prevent most discomforts and reduce the drop out rate due to inadequate conditioning.

They also recommend 6-12 months of training prior to the event depending on an individuals current condition.



Dave
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
Falcon, I appreciate all of the blister information. I will be visiting REI this week for Polyester Liner socks and silicone lubricant.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Compeed.

Can it be purchased along the way? (We start in Leon and could pick some up before walking)
The US Compeed is no good - how do we know if the NZ Compeed is a brother to the US one or a cousin to the one that will work? (hence the thought of getting some when we arrive - unless I can be sure the NZ one is good)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Compeed.

Can it be purchased along the way?
Almost everywhere, particularly farmacias. Look for the green cross in Leon that identifies the pharmacy. Supermercados and tiendas often have it as well. They have a dozen shapes to choose from, for different places on your foot. The basic one is oval.
 
Please note that in Spain the same as any other European country you can by anything!!!. Compede is everywhere!!! and definitely in Farmacias

.

Look after your feet:
double layer socks (lots in the market)
dry socks (change at least twice a day o more if needed)
dry feet (wash and dry thoroughly)
comfortable walking shoes
train at least for a month with a full pack before the event
Buen Camino.
Cote. 8) :arrow:
 

Attachments

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Even worse than the blisters though is when they callous and crack
Callouses are a mixed blessing. A little bit of skin hardening is good, but callouses can cause blisters. When a thick callous moves as a unit, it can cause a blister under the callous. I have a spot on a big toe that gets sore, and I finally discovered that a hidden blister under a callous was the source of the pain. Softening the callous in the evening can help; removing it also is good, but one needs to identify why the callous formed in the first place -- shoe fit, pressure point, bone spur, Plantar's wart, etc. -- and treat for it as well. Petrolatum has worked for me. It lubricates while softening.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
I find that Compeed (and waterproof Elastoplast) will not adhere to my skin. It comes off within a few hours no matter how clean and dry the skin before application. Fabric type 'elastoplast' will stay on for 24 hours+, even through taking a shower. I suggest that it would be wise to try a small patch of Compeed before starting on the Camino. If it will not do the job, you need to know!

buen Camino
Tio Tel
 

MarkH

New Member
Re: How to train for the Camino - practice makes perfect...

Practice makes perfect.... so be careful what you practice!!
I always liked this way of looking at practice and as a coach I find I use it a lot. This year I completed my first Camino in two legs. In June I walked SJPP to Leon and in October from Leon to Santiago. There was much that I got right in my preparation and a few things I was able to correct by the time i returned in October.
I shudder when I hear of people not practicing as much as they can before they start. Day one on the Frances is tough and is not a warm up day. In my view this is the day that the practice is for. Get past day one and things will be easier, but not getting past day one is a distinct possibility. Significant numbers of the people I met with injuries that either slowed them or stopped them could trace the start of their injury to day one. So how would I recommend training?
1. Practice by time and not distance. Build up the time you walk in your pack to the point where you can walk two eight hour days in your chosen clothes with your full pack (my pack was 10kg and for me it was fine). At some level it doesn't matter where you walk, what matters is that you put in the hours. Even a day at your local shopping mall with your pack on would do it if you can build up the hours (not using the elevators of course:)). Stop for breaks and lunch as you would imagine but get the experience of a full day. Only when you walk a full day in your gear will you know where things start to hurt. Find that out before you leave for your Camino so that you can take steps. Only if you walk two days in a row will you find out what happens to a slight ache one day when it is walked on the next day. Practicing one day a week will not show you how the aches and paints and blisters multiply.
2. Shoes. I originally had boots but on my second trip I had hiking shoes. In my view boots are too much and too heavy but so many people had them. Hiking shoes were ideal. The main lesson however is on your second set of footwear. Flipflops and crocs might be great in a shower or a town stroll but they are not an alternate for hiking. I took a lightweight hiking sandal (timberland waterproof) and on days when my boots/shoes were pinching I could wear my socks and hike in my sandals. It was the single best thing I had. If your second pair of shoes cannot be worn for your main walk then the only thing you have is to walk in the shoes that hurt you yesterday. I walked with people in tears because of blisters where the only other choice was flipflops. Having both sets of footwear able to be used for walking is great. Having equipment that can gives you choices was a great lesson.
3. Clothes. Same with clothes. See what works or not as you practice. I was grateful to learn in my practice the certain underwear rubbed after a full day. Solution was to take two style of underwear and alternate the styles on days until my body was ready. Like the shoes if everything is the same style it will rub in the same places.
4. Learn to Zig Zag. Hills are tough, but its not the going up that hurts. It's the comng down. Practice coming down hills. Practice turning a down hill slop into a thousand turns like a skier. You may look silly but you will have saved your knees. You are not in a hurry so learn to come down slowly in one piece by zig zagging at acute angles. Do it even on the smallest slopes. Your knees will thank you. They are probably not trained for so much downhill work and certainly not with another 10kg on your back.
5. Poles or not. Practice, try, find out before you go. I loved my poles and think i would not have made them but find out what's right for you before you go. Poles are great for the zig zag.
6. Eating, sleeping and..... practice all these things and enjoy your practice. Practice stopping for lunch. Set up a scenario where there are no rubbish bins and work out what you need in your pack and where to be able to stop easily to eat. Same with the bathroom, imagine what you will need in your pack etc. Sleep the same. Sleep at home in your bag. Imagine there is not place for your glass of water, there is no light switch, you want to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you want to know where to put your valuables as you sleep. Try it one night at home. Wake up and see if you can pack your bag easily. Wash you clothes by hand after a practice walk.
7. Rain. In an ideal world have a day practice in the rain. If not imagine one. Practice a start in the rain. How did you wrap up? Practice stopping in the middle of your walk and putting the wet gear on. Where is it in your bag and so on.
8. Water. Practice drinking regularly. I used a water bladder in my pack and strongly recommend it but I watched several people on day one realise that they couldn't actually reach their water bottle behind them easily. Some always needed help. Some didn't drink enough as they only drank when the stopped. Find out what works for you.
9. Other stuff. Practice it all, why not? Have fun on your practice days. Take photos (oops where do i keep my camera? Practice getting the map out - oops where will I put my map? I want my credential stamped in this church - oops it's at the bottom of my bag etc. For me it was Brierley guide in front left trouser procket. Iphone front right with handkerchief and loose change. Wallet in side pocket of trousers. I only figured that out by trying it.
I loved every minute of my Camino and there were tough days. However I walked with people who were in serious pain and had to miss days because they were injured or worse some had to stop. Some people were well prepared and some not at all (including one couple who had to buy their sleeping bag on the second day having not realised that the Albergues didn't provide them:)). Last but not least spend hours on this site. All you need is here. Try things before you start as part of your whole Camino.
And remember...Practice makes perfect....so be careful what you practice.
Buen Camino
Mark - Singapore.
 

Fatwitch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July2013
Hi Mark. Thank you so much for your valuable advice, your post is one of the most informative I have read yet. I'm planning to leave New Zealand to do the Camino Frances in June 2013. Gracias, Colene :D
 

marian55

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de madrif
Hi,

I agree completely with what you're saying. I already walk all year round for years but go to a sports center too, since this spring. I do this to improve my walking abilities and to prevent injuries.

I walked in summer a lot (Rennsteig) but did last week an extra training of 4 days in Belgium to be better prepared in December. Now I do exactly know what to wear (by trial and error :D ) ....and that I really like to hike in winter..(my first time in this season)

There is one trainer in my sportschool who has really looked into this for me. I train the regular stuff but also my weak spots. Also the muscles you need for carrying the backpack. Shoulders, and belly. But for the shoulders it's quite different as you would normally train. All together this helps. This summer and autumn I have been able to keep my speed in hills as high as on flat land. Without this extra training and the advices from my trainer I always had a considerable loss of speed once in hills and mountains.

I think your post is an inspiration. Esp. for those who also want to walk on the long term!
 

FrancesK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April/May 2012); Le puy (Sept 2013)
If there is anyway of stickying Mark's post at the top of a forum that would be brilliant!

Everything you mentioned Mark I went through, sure I know better now and will be better prepared next time but I wish i hadnt had to learn it all on the trail.

Another way of thinking about how to hike down hill...dance down it! A dutchman i hiked with in the final few weeks taught me and the others we hiked with how to dance down a hill...cha cha cha. Yes, you look like a doofas, but it becomes fun and saves the knees :)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
how to hike down hill...dance down it
I did that to the bridge at Portomarin, and now have an ankle boot for a month (edema of the tarsus)! The lesson: don't do anything unusual, ever; and act your age (meaning, know your limits)! :D
 
Great post Mark
I trained for 2 months before walking 9 days. I had had no prior experience and had been living a relatively sedate life style for many years (I am 63). I started by absorbing much of what is available on this forum and used it as guidance for purchasing my boots, pack, etc. Then I started practising, initially with relatively short walks to get used to my boots and then gradually increasing pack weight and distance. Over a period of 8 weeks I had built up an anticipated weight of 10K and was walking 20K--24K 3 times a week. In the final 2 weeks I tried 2 consecutive days.
I too practised packing/unpacking my pack and each daily action, mentally and physically going through the processes.
This all stood me in good stead and I was able to meet the challenges I faced. Obviously nothing can prepare one for the actuality and some adjustments come from the actual experience. (For example, my sandals were great for post camino evenings, but not good for the city tourist thing).
So I can only endorse what you say and thank you on behalf of all the newbies.
Buen Camino
allan
 

FrancesK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April/May 2012); Le puy (Sept 2013)
falcon269 said:
how to hike down hill...dance down it
I did that to the bridge at Portomarin, and now have an ankle boot for a month (edema of the tarsus)! The lesson: don't do anything unusual, ever; and act your age (meaning, know your limits)! :D
It's a little hard to describe how we 'danced' down hill, Pieter called it dancing but its basically little steps in a zig-zag motion and ensuring you dont go to fast. So, I'm certainly not saying do a salsa down hill :)

From one moon boot wearer to another (i'm in one right now after breaking my leg - not camino related!), hope your tarsus feels better soon! :D
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
little steps in a zig-zag motion and ensuring you don't go too fast
That was my usual practice. I should have stayed with it! Instead, I did a full forward foot roll, like the kids I was following. Four hundred meters later, I had done more damage than on the first 600 kilometers! Stick with what you know! There is a reason your body has decided on its mechanics.

The damage is temporary -- rest and ice -- but over the ankle boots for future walks to keep it stable.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Let me mix in different aspect of hills to this training discussion: going up them. In the course of your training routine, be sure to add hills! or stairs! or, if all else fails, interval training on the flat! What does interval training look like? Begin by walking 5 minutes at a normal pace, then 100 paces very fast, and repeat. ........!!!.........!!!..........!!!.........!!!.......... One's body adopts to steady state levels of stress, so be sure to vary the levels of intensity. It really makes a difference.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I regularly (3 - 4 times a week) walk 20km to 32 km all year. I am in the city so this is all very boring and is almost all on pavement of some type. I do get to cut thru some woods and parks from time to time. The area I live in Seattle is very hilly and steep so there are some pretty good Camino-like climbs. I do not carry a pack unless I am getting near a Camino departure.
I really don't do it for fun....just want to stay in decent condition for the next time.
It never gets easy and the longer walks are difficult, just like the Camino.
The difference is that I can actually do it without major problems while other people tell me that it would not be possible for them.
I do not get blisters.
I do (as Falcon advises) use silicon coating on feet (brand=Glide from REI) and usually wear liner socks under Smartwool.
Actually I try to do very much like I do on the Camino, except normally no pack unless a Camino is in the near future.
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We adopt a similar plan to Grayland, but have the good fortune to live in a rural town. We can walk the local roads, or when the weather is dryer the forest tracks. We also have many quite steep hills.
However we usually carry light packs - waterproofs and some water on short walks - and heavier packs occasionally on our longer walks, just to keep in practise. Our distances are anything between 7km and 12km on average with the occasional 15km and Camino pack weight.
We try to walk about 3 - 4 times a week depending on the weather. This keeps us up to Camino level (for us).
We estimate that we can walk half as far again as our longest practise walks, on some days, which worked out right on the Primitivo this year.
Buen Camino
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
BodyGlide (Glide from REI?)
Active Ingredients: Allantoin (Comfrey Root) (Skin Protectant)
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, C18 36 Acid Triglyceride, Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Tribehenin, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
I don't see what would prevent blisters. Talc, petrolatum, and silicone are lubricants, and repel moisture. Aloe vera actually is a moiturizer. There are a lot of personal preferences, but in accepting advice, keep science in mind as well. :wink:
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
falcon269 said:
BodyGlide (Glide from REI?)
Active Ingredients: Allantoin (Comfrey Root) (Skin Protectant)
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, C18 36 Acid Triglyceride, Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Tribehenin, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
I don't see what would prevent blisters. Talc, petrolatum, and silicone are lubricants, and repel moisture. Aloe vera actually is a moiturizer. There are a lot of personal preferences, but in accepting advice, keep science in mind as well. :wink:
Science says: triglycerides are fats, fats are lubricants. Do your homework!! :evil:
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride is found in...

Eye Shadow (38)
Moisturizer (17)
Facial Moisturizer/Treatment (4)
Eye Cream & Treatment (2)
Anti-Aging (2)
Other Eye Makeup (1)
Shaving Cream (Men's) (1)
Skin Care Kits (1)
Sunless Tanning (1)
Sunscreen SPF 15 and Above (1)
It is not really there as a lubricant, particularly as part of the inactive ingredients. Comfrey root is the manufacturer's key ingredient.

Crisco would be almost 100% fat, a lubricant that includes diglycerides.
Ingredients:

SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).
Vaseline, a lubricant, is:
Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly is a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and microcrystalline waxes that, when blended together, create something remarkable - a smooth jelly that has a melting point just above body temperature. The result - it literally melts into skin, flowing into the spaces between cells and the gaps in our lipid barrier. Once there, it re-solidifies, locking itself in place.

Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly serves two functions: First it helps keep the outside world out - it protects skin from the effects of weather and exposure. Second, it acts like a sealant to help keep the inside world in - it forms an occlusive barrier to the natural water loss of our skin. So skin that is dry and chapped is protected from drying elements, enabling skin-softening moisture to build up naturally from inside the skin itself.
The choice would seem to be a minor ingredient in a placebo, or the real thing in the form of hydrogenated vegetable oil or non-vegetable petrolatum. I don't make a profit on any of them, so I have no personal interest in a particular product. I just think more information is better information, and I try to provide it without being snarky.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I use the BodyGlide product. I always have and do not get blisters. Others who have been with me use it also and do not get blisters.
It may not have the formula that Falcon suggests....but it works which is more important to me.

Not sure exactly what product Falcon is advocating as silicoln. The last post seemed to be suggesting vaseoline.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
My personal choice: http://www.sportslick.com/

I used http://www.2toms.com/products-page/spor ... ld-roll-on this October, and it kept my socks much cleaner than the SportSlick. Other users have found the powder very messy to use, but the roll-on was great for feet and inner thighs.

From a runners' website:
3.1.1 Types of Lubricants

Here is a partial list of some of the options

Hydropel helps prevent the skin absorbing moisture and is particularly useful in wet conditions. It does lubricate slightly, but its water repelling powers are its prime attraction.
SportsShield is similar to Hydropel, both being based on a silicone lubricant (dimethicone). SportsShield is available as a roll on and towelette, whereas Hydropel is dispensed from a toothpaste like tube. SportsShield goes on much easier than Hydropel and results in less friction, but less water repelling as well.
Vaseline is cheap and can be used in large quantities. This can provide good lubrication, but tends to keep the skin quite moist. It also makes it harder to attach tape if this is required later.
Aquaphor is quite similar to Vaseline. Though it has different ingredients, I have not found a significant practical difference as a foot lubricant.
Bodyglide is one of the original products purposefully marketed as a sports lubricant. While effective, it does not seem to last very well, nor does it reduce the friction as much as other products.
 

tomandlauren

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept. 2011
Sept. Oct. 2013
notion900 said:
Don't feel lost. I have read a lot of posts on these boards from people who seem genuinely terrified of the Camino! You don't need to train like a demon, but you do need to be sure that you can carry the weight of pack you will be taking, so do a few practice walks with your 'real' pack on with ALL the stuff in that you intend to take. Suddenly that 'very important' gadget or item will seem a whole lot less necessary! I did this twice before I got my pack weight down to what was right for me. You will be walking between 12 and 25 km a day so you need to be sure that you can walk about 20km without being half dead, with your pack on. Other than that I would just chill out. If you want to start at St Jean don't be put off, just use the refuge near the top of the mountain so you don't have to go over in one go.

Please know that although some people seem to imagine it as some appalling ordeal, the camino is a very health-giving thing - if you do simple things like healthy food, plenty of water, moisturise your feet and get plenty of sleep. Being out in nature for 5 weeks is just so life-giving: I finished the camino absolutely glowing with health and vitality. I hope you have a wonderful time.
Thank you for the encouraging words! The amount of info on here can become overwhelming. Thank you for bringing back the simplicity of the Camino. I was blessed to walk for 4 days last fall (a very last minute opportunity) and look forward to returning next fall to finish. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Ill keep those for my journey :D do people ever walk barefoot? I would nearly be tempted to give it a go and somehow I have a feeling it could be kinder to the feet. Unless its all paved road that it....people climb Croagh Patrick here in ireland all the time barefoot and those people seem to complain much less than those wearing the best or most expensive hiking boots.
sillydoll said:
Timo - I have two mantras to share with you:

Here begins the Journey
Now begins the Day.
With one step upon the Road
My soul is on its Way.
© JS Selfe


“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure, then from all the stones and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you and become a holy fire in you”.
Ancient Hasidic Saying:


Buen camino peregrina!
 

lindseh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, April/May 2011; May/June 2013; upcoming 2016 Camino
has anybody an idea of the best way to train to avoid tendonitis in the shins? when i did my first camino in april 2011, i suffered extremely bad tendonitis from the end of my very first week straight through to santiago. i'm hoping i can chalk it up to bad training so that i can avoid it on my next camino in the spring! i kind of started last month, but i don't know how serious i can get about it by april seeing as i'm in university and don't have a lot of free days to go out and walk for 5-6 hours.
 

k-fun

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
I had tendonitis when I walked the Camino in 2011 and had to take three days off. The doctor told me to start off slowly and with light weights. After a week or so, I was carrying my full pack and walking twice as far as before I took the time off. I think the trick is to start off slowly and let the body adjust to the strain of walking for hours. As the legs become accustomed to the pounding,increase the daily mileage.

Are you training with a full pack? Are you walking on pavement or in hilly terrain? All of these can make a difference.

I too am planning to walk next year. I am doing leg work, squats, plies, lunges and working with a step. I will soon start walking with a pack and bicycling. I think all of these exercises will keep me fit and prepare me for another long walk.

This link might help http://voices.yahoo.com/how-avoid-shin-splints-training-cross-2522677.html?cat=5

Good luck to you and buen Camino
 

johnnyman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July 2011 and 2013
falcon269 said:
Training and blisters are not related (except for finding "hot spots" caused by your boots during training walks). Following is the fool-proof way to avoid blisters:

Work in your boots for several hundred kilometers before heading for a long walk. When buying boots, wear the sock combination detailed below in order to get a proper fit. Do not be surprised if the size you buy is different from your normal shoes, perhaps a 1/2 size larger and a step wider (I wear narrow A or B width shoes, but buy a D boot to accommodate socks and an anti-pronating inner sole).

Use a silicone-type lubricant on clean feet each morning (Sportslick and Hydropel are two brands available in the U.S.; Amazon.com carries Sportslick). It waterproofs your skin. Moisture is the primary cause of blisters.

Wear a polypropylene inner sock to wick away moisture. DO NOT USE COTTON SOCKS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Wear a wool or wool-blend outer sock (Thorlo). I use medium weight socks, but you may like heavy or light weight. Pick the one that does not make your boots too tight. Much of the friction inside your boot will be absorbed between the polypro liner and the wool sock. In effect, the polypro adheres to your foot and its lubricant, and the wool sock adheres to your boot.

Carry some Compeed. Compeed on the shelf of a nearby farmacia will not help you when you really need it! If you detect a "hot spot" on your foot, stop IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait for the mentally-scheduled break on the hour. Do not let walking companions deter you. Their desire to get to that first cafe con leche could end up ruining your five week Camino as you limp along with a growing blister. Eventually your other foot and leg will develop problems as you change your gait to compensate for the blister. While everyone else is having fun doing eating, drinking, and doing laundry, you will be tending your blister. Honestly, your friends are NOT worth it! You can always find new friends, but the blister-to-be is your private-enemy-number-one and needs you now.

Thoroughly clean the hot area with isopropyl alcohol so that the Compeed will adhere. Warm the Compeed in your armpit for a minute, then apply it over the hot spot. Do not remove it until it falls off of its own volition. It will rip a hole in new skin even better than it prevents a blister!

A minor cautionary note: The silicone lubricant can make your bare feet very slippery on some surfaces, so tread carefully to and in the shower.

If you follow ALL the steps, I guarantee that you will never have a blister. Skip one, and all promises are off.

Other things that help promote foot comfort are removing your boots and socks each hour to let them dry a bit (a Japanese fellow pilgrim squeezed lemon juice onto his feet at each stop to dry them!); changing socks midday; and putting on dry socks after the rain stops (though I have hiked for several days in wet/damp socks and been protected by the silicone).
Compeed really didn't work for me. I developed a hotspot on the ball of one foot, stopped and bought some Compeed and stuck it on there. By the next day, I had a major blister the exact size and shape of the Compeed. It wasn't until I stopped using Compeed and simply applied cotton held on with tape that the things finally started to heal ...
 

tastrom

Passionate long distance walker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (9-10/2011), SJPP - SdC (4-5/2013), Sevilla - SdC (9-10/2014
falcon269 said:
My personal choice: http://www.sportslick.com/

I used http://www.2toms.com/products-page/spor ... ld-roll-on this October, and it kept my socks much cleaner than the SportSlick. Other users have found the powder very messy to use, but the roll-on was great for feet and inner thighs.

From a runners' website:
3.1.1 Types of Lubricants

Here is a partial list of some of the options

Hydropel helps prevent the skin absorbing moisture and is particularly useful in wet conditions. It does lubricate slightly, but its water repelling powers are its prime attraction.
SportsShield is similar to Hydropel, both being based on a silicone lubricant (dimethicone). SportsShield is available as a roll on and towelette, whereas Hydropel is dispensed from a toothpaste like tube. SportsShield goes on much easier than Hydropel and results in less friction, but less water repelling as well.
Vaseline is cheap and can be used in large quantities. This can provide good lubrication, but tends to keep the skin quite moist. It also makes it harder to attach tape if this is required later.
Aquaphor is quite similar to Vaseline. Though it has different ingredients, I have not found a significant practical difference as a foot lubricant.
Bodyglide is one of the original products purposefully marketed as a sports lubricant. While effective, it does not seem to last very well, nor does it reduce the friction as much as other products.
Last time I used Sportslick and was very satisfied with that. I didn't get any blisters in 34 days of walking. Sure the socks get a little bit messy, but since you wash the socks every day I don't think it matter so much. Hate to change a winning concept.
 

ericandbeethoven

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis Dec 2012 - Jan 2013
One of the most important training areas for making your Camino more enjoyable unfortunately has not been mentioned yet.

Build a rocking strong core!
Your lower back, butt and abs are very important in all aspects of walking & carrying a backpack. You want to strengthen your core through the regimen of your choice - Yoga, Pilates, Cross-Fit, etc.

This is very important for injury prevention. Therefore making your Camino a more enjoyable experience where your focus is on Culture, History & Landscape - not sore muscles, tendinitis & blisters that can have a root cause of a weak core.

Buen Camino.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I get the feeling that some people exaggerate their preparation. Starting training one year in advance? Why? Apart from the reason that you like hiking and do it for fun. It depends of course on your basic condition, but I think that starting training 3 months in advance should be enough.

I walk one day a week or one day every two weeks. I start with somewhere between 10 and 15 kms and build up a few kms every time until 25 or so. I also include one or two hikes of at least two days, to get used to my pack and carrying the extra weight. Until now this has always been enough. The spirit of the camino gave me the extra mile when needed!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I think it does depend on several things. One is general condition. Others are age, terrain, oportunity etc.
We were only able to start much regular walking when we retired. It takes longer to build up muscle when you are older, and less time to lose it. Terry trained for about 6 months before his first Camino. I didn't go with him because I would have held him back. It did take me a year to feel ready to walk, partly as I had previously strained my knee. By the time we walked on the Camino I could walk 10-15kms. That is still my preferred distance and we still try to walk that regularly.
Others will no doubt be able to walk further, faster etc with less training but the length of time may not be an exaggeration. I wonder sometimes at how little training some folk seem to do, but maybe they have very active work styles.
 

Green Tortuga

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012), Chemin Le Puy (2012)
The very best training, the stuff that will work out exactly the muscles you need, get your feet and ankles strong and whip you into shape faster than anything else.... doing the Camino! =)

Really. Just get on the trail and start walking. By the time you reach Santiago, you'll be in excellent shape. *nodding* =) You always hear that the typical pilgrim walks anywhere from 20-30 kilometers per day, but just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean that you have to start at that pace from day 1.=)

-- Ryan
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Green Tortuga said:
The very best training, the stuff that will work out exactly the muscles you need, get your feet and ankles strong and whip you into shape faster than anything else.... doing the Camino! =)
This doesn't really help those that feel that they should be starting to prepare themselves before they get to the place they intend to join the Camino. Lets face it, many of us have sedentary lifestyles and will face a combination of low muscle strength, poor aerobic fitness, excess weight and poor flexibility. It is entirely legitimate to expect better advice than this 'just do it' approach. For those who do, there is far more constructive advice in the earlier posts.

Regards,
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We have been unable to walk for several weeks, for various reasons. Yesterday we walked 7kms, with day packs only, and knew it. We need to get back up to 10kms comfortably before we set off, and also preferably for 15kms, with packs. Then we can add more if we need to.
This is in spite of previously having been used to walking the 15kms practise walks without effort.
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
?
Luka said:
I get the feeling that some people exaggerate their preparation. Starting training one year in advance? Why? Apart from the reason that you like hiking and do it for fun. It depends of course on your basic condition, but I think that starting training 3 months in advance should be enough.

I walk one day a week or one day every two weeks. I start with somewhere between 10 and 15 kms and build up a few kms every time until 25 or so. I also include one or two hikes of at least two days, to get used to my pack and carrying the extra weight. Until now this has always been enough. The spirit of the camino gave me the extra mile when needed!

Ah! those ''salad days''...innocence of youth.
Luka, wait your turn will come.
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
Slightly off topic but somewhat related:

For me, training is part of the Camino experience. Together with all the advice listed above you may now be changing your lifestyle to become an active everyday walker. Training for my first Camino in 2011 I increased my walking from 3-5 km per day to 5-8 km per day to 8-15 km per day (yes, I am retired so I now have the time). I continue to walk daily, it now has become part of my lifestyle, and look forward to spring where I can again start to stretch it out in preparation for another autumn Camino.

Eric
 

Green Tortuga

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012), Chemin Le Puy (2012)
dougfitz said:
It is entirely legitimate to expect better advice than this 'just do it' approach. For those who do, there is far more constructive advice in the earlier posts.
Well, that's true enough, but I didn't see the point of just repeating the same things everyone has already posted in earlier posts either. =)

I didn't mean to suggest that people shouldn't train--in fact, I think walking is one of the best exercises that people can do and more people should be doing it a lot more often whether or not they are planning a Camino walk.

However, I do believe that off-trail training doesn't prepare you for the trail as well as on-trail training does, and honestly, anyone in reasonably fit condition can do the trail without any extra training at all. That does NOT mean that they can't benefit from training, but if you can do a 5 to 10 mile day hike on your local trails without any trouble, you can do the Camino.

I'd even offer that my Walking4Fun.com site could be used for training purposes. =) But.... really, not everyone needs additional training to do the Camino.

I don't mean to discourage people from training, though--I'd more like to encourage people who *haven't* done any training and are concerned about that fact. I could imagine people who haven't been training reading threads like this and thinking, "OMG! I haven't done any training! Maybe I won't be able to do the Camino? Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew?" I just wanted to reassure those kind of people that maybe it's not something they really need to worry too much about.

-- Ryan
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès (SJPDP - Santiago) - Summer 2012 / Camino Aragones (Lourdes to Finisterre) - Fall 2013
jeff001 said:
I personally think that the need to train for a long period prior to starting is greatly overrated. It may, if fact, do more harm than good since you will putting a lot of "wear" on your joints. I found on my two caminos that by starting slowly for the first few days I worked myself into condition. The important thing is to be sure that your footwear is comfortable and that your pack fits properly.
I completely agree. You can train to walk ±30 kms, but you can never train to walk that distance +40 days in a row. Start slowly, listen to your body, stop when you need to. Make sure you take enough time to get to Santiago comfortably. This way, I reached Santiago with only one small blister (my boyfriend had none!) and without any injury.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès (SJPDP - Santiago) - Summer 2012 / Camino Aragones (Lourdes to Finisterre) - Fall 2013
A little off-topic but somehow related:

I found walking 30 kms more of a psychological than a physical challenge. I need to say I was 18 when I walked the camino, but I think this counts for people all age. We always divided our day in three or four walking parts. One before coffee, after coffee, after lunch and after fresh-beverage-break. Anyway, we found out that if you make sure you postpone "coffeebreak" a little longer (instead of after ±5 kms after let's say 10 or 12), in your head you're still on your morning walk while you actually are at 1/3 of the walk. Worked for me.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Canuck said:
Luka said:
I get the feeling that some people exaggerate their preparation. Starting training one year in advance? Why? Apart from the reason that you like hiking and do it for fun. It depends of course on your basic condition, but I think that starting training 3 months in advance should be enough.

I walk one day a week or one day every two weeks. I start with somewhere between 10 and 15 kms and build up a few kms every time until 25 or so. I also include one or two hikes of at least two days, to get used to my pack and carrying the extra weight. Until now this has always been enough. The spirit of the camino gave me the extra mile when needed!
Ah! those ''salad days''...innocence of youth.
Luka, wait your turn will come.
:p Thanks, I hope to turn 40 next year. Have been walking in France for 3 weeks last summer and 4 weeks the summer before last summer. I think I know what I am talking about :wink:
However I might change my mind when I turn 60...
 

CaminoGen

CF May-June 2011; Oloron to Fisterra Sept-Oct 2013
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances-SJPP. Santiago (2011); Oloron to Fisterra (Sept 5-Oct 23 2013)
Re: Re: How to train for the Camino

NoorvanderVeen said:
A little off-topic but somehow related:
... We always divided our day in three or four walking parts. One before coffee, after coffee, after lunch and after fresh-beverage-break. Anyway, we found out that if you make sure you postpone "coffeebreak" a little longer (instead of after ±5 kms after let's say 10 or 12), in your head you're still on your morning walk while you actually are at 1/3 of the walk. Worked for me.
True, it does help. I did the same thing and walked at least 8 or 9 km before stopping for the first time. The last time I stopped was usually an hour before my arrival to drink à non-diet Coke; that cold sugar and cafeine boost will put a spring in your step for those last 5-6 km.

As for the training, I walked to and from work (13 km total) three times a week and went for a 20 km one weekends. Our pilgrim organization also organizes a practice Camino in April: on Friday, you walnut 14 km, on Saturday, 20 and 24 on Sunday. It's a great way to test your gear. I've seen quite a few people ditch some stuff grime their bag after 1 or 2 days of walking. Some had to buy new packs because they realized it didn't fit them properly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Whilst I have not read every single post on this subject I think there are two important points that will govern the amount of training required: 1] what is your current level of fitness - are you reasonably active (for you age/weight) or do you do very little in the way of fitness: & 2] which Camino do you intend to walk. The Camino Frances can be reduced to 10 km days (or less) and if my reading of the many blogs and guide books in correct has more places to stop and rest, have a coffee or drink of water. Whilst the VLDP is not only longer (1100 km v 780 km - approx distances) the average daily walking distance is in excess of 20 km and the coffee rest stops are very few and far between.
So I suggest that if you are active, of reasonable fitness levels and are attempting the Frances then (in general)you can do it with minimum levels of training. Especially if you keep your pack below 10kg/10% of body weight, and start with as many short days as your timetable permits.

Thanks to all who have posted suggestions/recommendations and training/fitness suggestions. I will try to go through this site area again when I get the all clear to start training for the CF (scheduled for mid-Aug 2014). Cheers 8)
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Saint Mike II said:
the coffee rest stops are very few and far between.
People should be willing to stop any place that's safe.

Some of us are hard headed and refuse to stop :oops: but it's not very smart.

If needed program stops. Carry a snack. Force yourself to stop. Even if it means sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
Although I've been exercising regularly since January, and am doing much better at walking than i use to do. I don't get out of breath anymore and can easily walk a couple miles. I don't think I could just get up one day and walk 10-15km without some serious side effects the next couple days. Would I live? Sure. Would I be happy about it? Not so much!
I am fortunate that I have plenty of time before my Camino. Right now I'm focusing on my general fitness level. When our heat dies down some I will start adding some distance to my walks.
 

Packinglight

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
July-August 2019, Pamplona-Santiago
I'm not walking until summer 2014, but I'm already training!
I got a nice app on my smartphone which uses GPS to track my route/speed then sends me weekly and monthly summaries. It's very motivating for me.
I'm in my 40s, very overweight but fit for my weight, if that makes sense. Last month I walked about 110 kms, month before over 150. This includes walks to and from work, and extras where I can. July I've hardly walked at all but I'm doing home renos and tennis 4X / week.
I don't use the app at work but my job isn't sedentary so that helps keep me moving.

I'm alternatively excited and terrified of doing the Camino. I figure at my age, weight, and lack of hiking experience, I need to raise my general fitness and endurance as much as possible. My poor knees and ankles don't need the extra body weight in addition to carrying a pack day after day.

I'm doing a 5-day walk next month on a portion of the Jakobsweg in Austria, although we haven't decided yet which portion! That should give me a feeling as to how much walking I can do.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
Packinglight,
Sounds like you've got a good handle on what you need to do. It is good you have some mountains near by to test yourself on. Not many mountains in Florida :lol:

I'm working out too. And have lost a significant amount of weight (45lbs) over the last 16 months with at least 17 more to go. I'm just not pushing the walking outside until the temps cool down a bunch here. We've been in the high 80s to low 90s for about a month now and will be for at least 2-2.5 more months. No use giving myself heat stroke. I do walk a mile or 2 several evenings a week in addition to my gym workouts and work. I live too far away from work to walk or bike there.

I know what you mean about being excited and scared at different times. Me too :!: I've got you beat on the age by a good bit. The weight might be down to a reasonable level by next Fall but I have next to no hiking experience.

I do have a lot of determination. When I decide to do something I will do my best to complete my mission. So I guess that is in my favor.

Which app are you using? It sounds very useful.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Packinglight said:
I'm doing a 5-day walk next month.

You don't say how hard those five days are going to be but you likely want to build up to it.

Don't jump into the deep end first.
 

Packinglight

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
July-August 2019, Pamplona-Santiago
WayWalker63, the app I'm using is called "MapMyWalk". I really enjoy seeing how much I've done.

NicoZ, that's good advice. My walking buddy and I will have some training walks in before we go. We're only planning to do about 15 km per day, and taking it easy. She had a foot injury last year, and is about 15 years older than me. I've noticed she tends to get a bit out of breath when we're walking up a lot of stairs, so we're considering a section that has gentle rolling hills. No alps at this point!
 

Say Simba

Live, Love, Laugh.
Camino(s) past & future
2013
There is no more important guidance I can share on preparing for the Camino than to walk every day beforehand, and in the shoes you will walk on the path to Santiago. Evenmore, wear your pack with all the gear you plan to take (hopefully no more than 10 percent of your body weight) and for at least 5 kilometers each day. It will make a big difference, and hopefully keep you from becoming part of the peregrino shuffle team that sort of describes all of the hobblers you see on the first days and week of the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I'm not walking until summer 2014, but I'm already training!
I got a nice app on my smartphone which uses GPS to track my route/speed then sends me weekly and monthly summaries. It's very motivating for me.
I'm in my 40s, very overweight but fit for my weight, if that makes sense. Last month I walked about 110 kms, month before over 150. This includes walks to and from work, and extras where I can. July I've hardly walked at all but I'm doing home renos and tennis 4X / week.
Hola Packinglight - would you please advise the name of the tracking app you are using, or is the "Map My Walk" mentioned below. Thanks
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
My training pattern is based on gradually building up to the maximum distance that you expect to walk - the longest day. I do a variety of short (~5km) walks in the mornings before work, and on the weekend to a longer walk that builds up in about 3-5km increments until I reach my target distance. I also take a rest day each week, and about four weeks out start increasing my pack load on the longer walks.

Given I walk regularly from 10-15km on a weekend walk, doing a build up to around 40km takes a couple of months.

NB: when you are calculating your longest day, don't forget to do a elevation gain adjustment. I use Naismith's Rule. It gives a bigger adjustment than the formula Brierley uses in his guides, which I find more consistent with the way that I walk. Doing that, the stage from SJPP to Roncevalles comes out at a climb adjusted distance of 41km, and is likely to be the biggest day in most patterns.
 
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