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Is my daily average goal too ambitious?

handler

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino in September 2022
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
 
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Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
So my training was just city walking without a pack and I ended up averaging 25km a day. I could have done more. 28km is possible but it is an aggressive pace. I would suggest walking shorter distances for your first few days and then build up to more (my longest day was 40km).

This also assumes you don't have any injuries or gear problems along the way.

If you can add a few more days I think you will be happy to have them.
 

Vaughan

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais April/May 2019
Norte Aug/Sept 2022
It's a hard question to answer because we are all different. The training you've been doing will certainly help and may be sufficient. It really all depends on how your body responds to cranking out these distances day after day after day. Like you I do a lot of cycling but I also walk a lot too. It's my experience that once a good level of general fitness is reached it's the feet are that need conditioning most but don't under estimate the impact on other parts of your body. I think you could find that walking 28kms a day may be harder on your feet than running 10kms?

You don't appear to be planning any rest days? Nothing wrong with that as such but by not doing that you don't give yourself any leeway should you encounter some minor fitness niggles. Other thing to bear in mind is that there might be some days where you need to walk more than 28kms?

I walked the whole route in 33 days in 2019 when I was 57. I didn't have any rest days but did have a few very short days especially after long ones. I think I could have walked it in fewer days but I enjoyed the pace I set and felt I had enough time to enjoy the whole experience. It was nice to have some early finishes as some locations are really worth exploring and spending some to time in.
 

WestKirsty

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CNorte/Prim 2016
CSal 2017
CF 2021/22
CVasco 2022
I agree that starting off at lower distances and building up is really helpful, once you start walking. After a week or so, 28km or so felt comfortable for me. I guess the important thing is to not push yourself too hard in the beginning as you don't want any injuries.

I didn't do any specific Camino training as I was already doing some running/gym. But I did find long distance walking had a different impact on my body - it wasn't necessarily about the cardio, which you can work on via cycling and running as you're doing, but more about being on my feet for extended lengths of time and how the weight of a pack impacted my back, muscles, gait etc.

I appreciate that it can be hard to find time for longer distances, but I'd suggest it would be helpful to try at least a day or two with the pack you'll be using and the shoes you'll be wearing. That way you can see how your body feels being in motion for 6+ hours and with a pack etc.

At any rate, I wish you a buen Camino!
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
Yes running and hiking with rucksack are different but you have a reasonable fitness level already which will help. Maybe try a few hikes before you go, and plan to start with shorter days and build up your distances as you go. You are proposing a tight schedule which allows little in case of injury or sickness, which even if you don't need a rest day may well force you to slow down. It is not an impossible schedule, I would be quite comfortable with a daily walk of 25-32km on the camino but I also like to have short days of under 10km occasionally just to allow my body to rest ( I found I didn't do well on rest days without walking)
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, @handler,

You’re going to get a lot of different responses and opinions. All of them will be offered from the vantage point of the person writing, and we are extremely diverse here — age, fitness levels, health, stubbornness, etc. You should just take them all with a grain of salt and see which makes most sense for you.

My only caveat would be that there are a lot of people on this forum who equate “smelling the roses” with ”walking short distances.” In my experience, the two are totally different, so I think you should focus on what feels best for your body and your mind once you are walking. That may be short distances, or it may be long distances.

Your training regime sounds like it will give you all the necessary cardio fitness you need to walk those distances. The Francés is not a mountainous camino, compared to others, but it does have a few days with significant elevation gain. I agree with @Vaughan that your feet may be the biggest challenge. I have found that those with the best cardio fitness (read — those who are young and feeling immortal) are often tempted to ignore the foot and shin pain. Because there is so much in the way of repetitive foot strike (lots of pavement and gravel paths), shin splints and blisters are common. You can read many reports here of caminos cut short for those reasons.

I always try to schedule four extra days, so that if I am lucky to arrive in Santiago as planned, I will have time to walk to Finisterre or Muxia. But if I need those extra days along the way, my camino will end (hopefully) in Santiago. That may be more important for those of us coming from very far away who typically schedule round trip flights.

Sit back and enjoy the commentary! You are likely to get a lot of very different opinions.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
But I did find long distance walking had a different impact on my body - it wasn't necessarily about the cardio, which you can work on via cycling and running as you're doing, but more about being on my feet for extended lengths of time and how the weight of a pack impacted my back, muscles, gait etc.

I appreciate that it can be hard to find time for longer distances, but I'd suggest it would be helpful to try at least a day or two with the pack you'll be using and the shoes you'll be wearing. That way you can see how your body feels being in motion for 6+ hours and with a pack et
Your feet land differently when you are walking than when you are running. This could lead to developing blisters. I would suggest that you set aside at least 3-4 days and walk at least 15 km each day in the footwear that you have chosen (and with your backpack) to see if you develop any trouble spots. If so, you need a strategy to deal with those areas. I tape on my blister prone areas every morning before walking with Omnifix or Hypafix tape. These tapes are thin and have a bit of stretch which helps them to conform to your feet, and area widely available in pharmacies in Spain.

A painful blister or two can quickly change even the best made plans!
 

markie6

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2018, 2019 2022
Practice with weight in your backpack and break in the footwear you are taking and as you sound fit enough I would think you will be fine. Aged 50 my first Camino took me 27 days from St J to Fisterra and my pack was too heavy. I would guess you are fitter than me so doable yes. It does depend on luck, weather , how busy the camino is .. etc etc

If you are in a hurry .. doable but you will need to adjust your normal running to being weighed down with 7 kilos + ( guessing) every step in possibly hot or wet weather

I walk a lot at home, up and down hills but the pack made a lot of difference for me and I got plenty of blisters both caminos with well broken in footwear. Knowing the difference each step takes when you are carrying your pack is the key imho
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
@handler I'm really intrigued to know where you got “the set 28 days” from. If there is a set number of days to complete the Camino in it is the 31 days laid down by John Brierley in his ubiquitous guide book. One day for each year the Christ spent on Earth apparently.
The expurgated version? No Pamplona, no Sahagun, no Triacastela......
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
@handler I'm really intrigued to know where you got “the set 28 days” from. If there is a set number of days to complete the Camino in it is the 31 days laid down by John Brierley in his ubiquitous guide book. One day for each year the Christ spent on Earth apparently.
I thought JC died at 33? 🧐

@peregrina2000 gave a very level headed wise advice! As always!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.
There's very good advice on this thread. It sounds like you will be "fit" and strong enough. However, I strongly recommend that you find time on 2 or 3 consecutive days to walk 20 km with the shoes, clothes and backpack that you plan to use on the Camino. As @trecile points out, this will help identify potential trouble spots so you can develop strategies to deal with those areas.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
I am 56 of average fitness, slow with good stamina but bad knees. I did it in 26 days with no training and found it pretty easy. All the folks I met said same thing. I had one day off to see Leon but still walked 20km that day.
 

handler

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino in September 2022
@handler I'm really intrigued to know where you got “the set 28 days” from. If there is a set number of days to complete the Camino in it is the 31 days laid down by John Brierley in his ubiquitous guide book. One day for each year the Christ spent on Earth apparently.
I haven't followed any guides, 28 days of 4 weeks is just a number I picked. I planned 4 weeks for Camino Frances, 4/5 days for Camino Finisterre/Muxia and 1/2 days for getting back to Santiago (by bus) before heading home. :D I am very analytical, statistically driven by nature, which could turn off some people, but it usually works for me.
 
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2012
I haven't followed any guides, 28 days of 4 weeks is just a number I picked. I planned 4 weeks for Camino Frances, 4/5 days for Camino Finisterre/Muxia and 1/2 days for getting back to Santiago (by bus) before heading home. :D I am very analytical, statistically driven by nature, which could turn off some people, but it usually works for me.
Ah, so you set your own arbitrary target and then ask if it’s feasible. I’m an auditor, auditors love giving opinions so here is mine: not enough days for the Frances, too many for Fisterra/ Muxia, and far too many for a 3 hour bus ride 😉

Enjoy your Camino
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Basically that 25 days was about the mean expected walking time and that it was easy, and no one had trained. Most folks were younger and quicker than me.
I agree that most people I met had not trained, but the "easy" adjective doesn't quite fit, although the camino is certainly do-able for most people.

If the mean "expected" walking time from SJPP was 25 days, I wonder how many of those people ended up having to get a bit of transport help to meet their schedules in the end.

Since you did it in 26 days, you would naturally have been caught up in a group of similar walkers. So perhaps that distorts your impression of what "most" people do. You left a lot of people in the dust!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I agree that most people I met had not trained, but the "easy" adjective doesn't quite fit, although the camino is certainly do-able for most people.

If the mean "expected" walking time from SJPP was 25 days, I wonder how many of those people ended up having to get a bit of transport help to meet their schedules in the end.

Since you did it in 26 days, you would naturally have been caught up in a group of similar walkers. So perhaps that distorts your impression of what "most" people do. You left a lot of people in the dust!
I agree that most people I met had not trained, but the "easy" adjective doesn't quite fit, although the camino is certainly do-able for most people.

If the mean "expected" walking time from SJPP was 25 days, I wonder how many of those people ended up having to get a bit of transport help to meet their schedules in the end.

Since you did it in 26 days, you would naturally have been caught up in a group of similar walkers. So perhaps that distorts your impression of what "most" people do. You left a lot of people in the dust!
Purely talking about my experience and those of about 20 folks I met at many stages along the way. Only 20 folks so not stastically significant. I am not suggesting this is the norm, just what the group I met were doing, and it felt a relatively ‘unremarkable’ group. I also met a chap who was running it!! I don’t see less days as ‘good’ and more days as ‘bad’. I met the vast majority in SDC and no one caught a bus / taxi. I didn’t realise that people did that until I came on this forum. Its no biggie, just adding my experience into the qualitative/quantative mix for the OP to consider!

I think there is value in offering a view that it can be done fairly quickly and easily! Before I did the CF. I came on here and it almost put me off doing it as 1) it sounded so hard, and 2) folks carried so much stuff and I had virtually nothing, so when. I did it, it taught me a lesson!

On a similar note, in a separate post, people talk about doing the VDLP in 32 days which gives me hope that I may be able to do the same as I will be time constrained!
 
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Worldtraveller

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I finished in 26 days. It is absolutely doable. After a couple of weeks, your body will adapt and become efficient at walking that 30K or 36K is just the same.
 

Cubbietax

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Pilgrimage begins May 18
We finish the Camino in 21 days. I will agree with all above which say that is probably too fast but that’s all the time we had. My only suggestion is to train with a full pack before you go. The miles aren’t too bad but the pack really can impact your day.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
They said what? That they did it in 26 days? Did it with no training? That it was easy
Where were all the easy bits. Did I miss something. Were there secret trails that only a few knew that were very easy. My first Camino at age 64 was not easy and did not involve any training other than a daily 4k walk around local park. Until day one, I never had a pack on my back in all my life. Someday I had a good walk, other days it was horrendous. 15k per day with the occasional 22 was the best I could do. Rest days were the ones I only walked 10. It took me almost 6 weeks but they were among the best weeks of my life. How pilgrims can walk 28 or better is beyond my understanding and I really wish I could do it too, although I would make it the exception rather than the rule. As far as training goes, I let the first few days be my training taking it easy, walking slowly and enjoying the scenery. But as snail walkers like myself seem rare good luck to all those who can complete in less time than I. One thing, being slow means I am overtaken by many more pilgrims, many of whome stop to chat so I get to know so many more than those who are doing the overtaking. But I repeat, where were the easy bits
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Indeed - long distance walking with a backpack is much better training. You use different muscles for running. And running does not simulate hiking. That said - It isn't about the speed or the time it takes you to walk a specific distance in a day. You don't have to run or walk fast - to make it 28km/day. You can take your time and take more hours to get there if that is what works for you. As for the realistic distances - I always recommend that for the first 5-7 days - don't plan to go further than the stages which are usually 20-24km. Those first days you are just getting acclimated to walking long distances with your pack. If you push it the first week, you are more likely to get injuries that will slow you down. But after that - you can most certainly pick up the pace. After the first week - I am usually able to go further distances without issues. The further out you are in your walk - the more strength and endurance you will have. It is totally normal for many of us to start out "average" and then be "above average" as we approach Santiago. I have walked MANY 30-35km days. I have also done double stages on several occasions. I walked 38km into Burgos. I walked 40+km into Leon. I have even done at least 1 50km day. But I don't walk any faster to get these distances, and I certainly don't run. It just takes me more hours of the day to get to my destination. Instead of arriving at 1pm, I might arrive at 5pm. Take breaks as needed. Pace yourself. But most importantly - listen to your body and if it is telling you to rest - then rest. Also - even if your goal is to arrive in Santiago in 28 days - have built in extra days in case you need a rest day or in case you need to slow down. Don't box yourself in with a limited time limit. I would suggest giving yourself 35 days to Santiago and if you arrive in 28, that just means you have a few extra days at the end to visit local sites in and around Santiago. Or in Madrid or elsewhere.
 
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PrayerPose25

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May 2022
I walked with lots of people who cranked out 28-30+km a day consistently. I did several days of 28km and a few over 30.

The thing I found is that the first week your body “gets used to” carrying your back, walking up and down mountains, over rocks for hours at a time. After the first week, your body should be “ready” to go at whatever pace works for you. It’s often hard to gauge that the first week while your body is adjusting to so much that’s new and different.

You really can’t know until you get out there and see how your body feels. I trained with my pack and did several 25km walks but it was completely different on the Camino. Sleep, weather, water intake, when and how you eat are all factors that come into play.

Set your goal but LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
 

RUNLERUN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Comino Frances leaving Canada July 3rd
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Hello,
I just got back last night from my Camino. I Started in St. Jean Pied de Port. It took me 24 days to get to Santiago and then another 4 to Fisterra. So a total of 28 days. I'm a 61 year old female. I didnt do much specific camino training but did run 6 days a week. approximately 80k of running per week. I do have a good marathon running background. The running fitness was all I needed to do the camino. I did get many terrible blisters but was able to bandaged them up everyday so I could continue walking. The more I walked the stronger I felt. longest walk day was 44k shortest was 25k. most days were approximately 35k. It worked perfectly for me. but like others have mentioned, everyone is different and their bodies will respond differently. Overall, an amazing experience.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago (2018)
SJPdP to Leon followed b
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
HI Handler!

I envy you. I want to do another camino!!! My fourth should be planned soon...

Your body will get stronger as you go. The first week might be the toughest, so let it adjust to the rhythm and tell you what it is capable of doing.

I remember thinking a couple of pilgrims were crazy when in Logroño they said they were doing 35 kms a day, at the end of that camino, I was walking 32-35 kms per day. I finished mine in 28 days. In Leon I took a train to the Primitivo, because I had already done Leon to Santiago the first time around. So that might be a bit harder in terms of elevation. I did not think I would be able to walk more than 28 kms a day, but I did.

I did train some, and that was only walking up to 5 hrs a day with a backpack 2-3 lbs heavier than I thought I would walk once in the Camino. And my training lasted only 2 months, I build up to 5 hrs a day 2-3 days a week. That helped, I'm sure. The first time, I did have blisters while training, not in the Camino.

Buen Camino!!!
 

Luap

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi @handler ,

This is a very fair question.

There is no doubt that you are fit enough to walk the Camino Frances. I fully understand the restraints of time and what one can dedicate to completing the Camino. However, without casting any judgment on your intentions I really feel that it would be a mistake to walk up to 28km a day every day just to get the whole Camino completed. In my humble opinion I believe this will rob you of so many opportunities to see, to feel, to meet others and to experience all the unplanned, unscheduled joys that become the journey you will cherish forever.

It is not about completing a set distance in a set time. It is about relishing every moment, at a slower pace, dictated not by a schedule but factors that have yet to reveal themselves.
Doing part of the CF and returning later to continue is not a lesser experience. It is certainly one that I would take rather than jeopardise the opportunities that will present themselves to you every day.

Give that some thought. Don’t allow the tail to wag the dog. This is a wonderful opportunity so relish it as best you can.

Buen Camino my friend,
 

antepacem

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances/Portugues/Norte/Primitivo
Doesn't really look like an extra opinion is necessary...but I can't resist!

Pack light (SO LIGHT), start slow, and you'll be totally fine. As a runner and reasonably fit person, I embarked on my first camino with a similar goal. I ended up taking rest days (walked 28, rested 3), but for fun/sightseeing reasons, not because my feet/legs/bod needed it. But honestly, the key advice I would pass on is to take her easy for the first week (especially after the Pyrenees crossing). Averaging 20-25 for the first week will strengthen you, make it less likely for you to be injured/blistered, and get you in ship-shape to walk 30+ days the second half of your trip.

My personal pref, as a good old veteran of these things by now, is to average 25-ish for a week, and then ramp it up to 35-40 once I feel seasoned. I really love long days and it breaks up the typical stages, too.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I finished in 26 days. It is absolutely doable. After a couple of weeks, your body will adapt and become efficient at walking that 30K or 36K is just the same.
Sorry, but everyone has hard limits that cannot be overcome.

In mind versus matter, often the latter is victorious.

Some extraordinary individuals exist who are capable on foot of up to 200 Km/day on a normal surface - - but this fact should not be used to encourage people into the belief that a one week "full Camino" is realistically doable.

Among "normal" pilgrims within the normal spread of hiking capabilities, time needed ranges between about 3 weeks and 8 (have personally been at both extremes) - - most needing about 5 or 6.

4 weeks is fast, and should be attempted only by those who are at least capable of 250K/week, which is to say systematically hiking 35K every single day. Last time I was capable of that myself, I was 40 years old.

Don't bite off more than you can chew.
 

Sean1960

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese (2022)
My brothers and I did the Portuguese Camino in June. It was an average pace for 160 miles in 12 days, with about a 3 MPH rate. In hindsight, I wish I would have gone slower and focused more on the beautiful landscape and towns, other pilgrims and people along the way, and my own internal thoughts and feelings of life and the journey.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
My 2 cents:
1) You didn’t mention of you were running on flat land or hills. This is significant. 28km of up and down on the Camino is more difficult than a 10km run.
2) I have walked 9 Camino’s, 5 on the Frances and I can’t imagine walking it in that few days. It will leave very little time to savor the experience; visiting churches, drinking vino in the afternoon with new friends…..
I will also say that I usually walk around 38-40 days and ended in Santiago with around 70% of the people I met in SJPdP and Orisson. Some came in a couple of days ahead and some a couple behind.
3) Ask yourself what type of experience you are looking for. If it’s a physical one, you will get that in so few days.
4) So few days will leave you little flexibility in case of injury, illness….Getting COVID is a very real possibility.
5)I give many talks on the Camino and keep in touch with a lot of the people that have attended. I often hear “I wish I had taken more time”, but can’t recall ever hearing that someone wishes they had gone faster.
Good luck as you navigate this complicated subject. I hope that your Camino is wonderful and all you wanted and more.
Ultreia y Suseia
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
Speaking about cycling: it's a good idea to rent a bicycle for the meseta - flat open plains between Burgos and Leon.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Did it in 26 days at age 69 carrying 16 kilos. Did the Norte at 72 and just finished the Primitivo at 74. I really do NOT think that one can train for the Camino. It is NOT the distance each day or the load in your pack that break you down, it is the day after day after day of constant walking. As to runners, EVERY Marathon runner who I walked with on various Caminos, QUIT!!!

Carry your own pack, walk at your own speed. join the crowd and meet new friends at each municipal albergue. You WILL make it if you think you will. It's all in the head.
 
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vwzoo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
I walked it in 29 days and if not doing half days a couple days because I got sick I probably could have done it in 28. I prepped a lot building up to the point I would walk 15 miles straight no stops with my backpack on with 20 lbs of dog food in it, and doing 30 min walking on a tread mill with max incline as we have no hills where I live. I had no problems, no blisters. That's what worked for me. I can only say this as I have others tell me this, that walking is not the same thing as running or biking and I have come accross people who very fit running or biking thinking that walking would be easier have tremendous problems with their feet, blisters and with their knees from walking the Camino. That's just what I have read and heard. I would imagine that experiences are all over the map. I didn't plan on walking in 29 days I just walked until I was done and I wanted to be have time to walk to Muxia and Finnesterre. Good luck and Buen Camino
 

Luther

Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Hi Handler. I walked the CF at age 60 in 31 days, with no full rest days. I trained with running a 10K several days a week, and also hiked with a backpack eventually to a few 20 mile days. The running and cardio will help you on the uphills, especially the first few days, and the other climbs. While I thought I was in pretty great shape and walked a fast pace, those first few days I struggled to keep up with many others, and I was concerned that I didn't meet my mileage goals the first week as I was on a limited time allowance. It was not a problem. I made up the difference as the weeks went on. The walking mileage though, esp. with a pack, is more important as it's all training for your feet. Not just blisters, it's the bruising and swelling that happen. I have never felt anything like it. It's undescribable. The throbbing kept me awake at night even though I was exhausted. My advise is don't overlook the full pack mileage, even tho it's so time consuming.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
My suggestion is that you need to:

1) Learn how to carry a fully loaded pack.
2) Learn endurance of 6-8 hours of walking for multiple days.
3) Learn how to carry food for at least one meal outside.
4) Learn to carry sufficient water and snacks for 6-8 hours.

Besides physical fitness, the second most important skill is independent international travel experience. I hope you have done at least one trip abroad prior to your Camino.


-Paul
 

c0484

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Only you can know the answer. It also depends on why you want to complete the Camino. I have learned that you get more out of it if you slow down.
 

gilly856

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Walk for 10 hours at 3 mph and you will cover thirty miles a day with ease .
Start at 0700 finish 1900 with two hours of breaks .
I did it in 21 days by walking
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Only you can know the answer. It also depends on why you want to complete the Camino. I have learned that you get more out of it if you slow down.
I disagree with that. That said I do 35km plus days but am very slow so that equals long days. We all get ‘hung up’ on days but the metric should really be hours I guess!
 

Fei

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 Camino France through hiking
Yes,you can do the more than 28km per day, cause I had done it in 2015, but my suggestion is better not cause you will misss many things as I did, why do you just relax and walk 20-25km everyday and enjoy your surranding?
But after all, I think you can do it even I don't think I will walk more than 20-25km in my second Camino.....
 

Bernie Brunino

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April (2017)
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
You seem to be in good shape so my answer to you would be yes. I did the French Camino in 2017 and completed it in 26 days. I stayed in Santiago for a day and then did the Santiago-Muxia-Finesterre trek. I took my time on this stretch and did it in 4 days. I think you should make out just fine with what you have in mind.

Buon Camino.
 

Anthony Rickaby

Anthony
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (September 2019)
Finisterre/Muxía (October 2019)
Camino del Norte (October 202?)
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
I once tried a 10k running race straight after a 15 mile a day 200 mile walk. After 1k I had to re-teach my legs and ankles how to run. When I did the Camino I met a young fit runner who had to take 3 days off to recover from walking as her running did not immediately translate to walking. We are all different but I suggest some walking and with a pack. Hope you have a great Camino.
 

Ian Salsbury

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
booked to do Lugo-Santiago June 2018
Very realistic, I am almost 62 yrs and got home middle of July. I didn't train due to 2 x torn retina and then IT band issues. I hiked with too much weight on my back (just under 15kg) from Saint Jean during the heat wave for 16 days and did 296 miles so an average of 18.5 miles a day (29.77km). It was the heat at night in the alberges that did me and a huge blister on the ball of my foot. You will be fine just don't carry as much as I stupidly did.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Very realistic, I am almost 62 yrs and got home middle of July. I didn't train due to 2 x torn retina and then IT band issues. I hiked with too much weight on my back (just under 15kg) from Saint Jean during the heat wave for 16 days and did 296 miles so an average of 18.5 miles a day (29.77km). It was the heat at night in the alberges that did me and a huge blister on the ball of my foot. You will be fine just don't carry as much as I stupidly did.
Couldn’t agree more. I can walk forever but have very poor upper body strength so all I carry is two changes of clothes, basic toiletries, and a pair of flip flops. No more than 5kg for me!
 

Simon B

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Sounds good to me - distance that is. I walked the Frances in 28 days. My training beforehand was nowhere near as comprehensive as yours. I only walked and did about 15 km two or three times a week. You will quickly get into the swing of things. The great thing is that you will have no outside pressures so all you have to do is walk!!!

Buen Camino
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Hello
I hope this will help. I am a Level 4 distance running coach. I was a 29.58 10km runner and 14.17 5km. I walked my first Camino in 2013 aged 60 when I was still running 19 minutes for 5km. While the running will help you with cardio-vascular it will not however prepare you for the stresses of the Camino which are very different. You will be walking every day on varying ground with a backpack and possibly carrying poles. Even when you start and have been used to walking it can take you a week or so to become comfortable with the routine. I walked my first Camino in 33 days with no rest days carrying a 13 kg pack so averaging about 25 km per day. I have been back 4 times since and found it suits me to aim for 20 km per day and only carry 7/8 kg having had the chance to reassess what I carried the first time and that for me is very comfortable, I know time is a factor for you but walking is going to be the best preparation and on occasions. The other piece of advice I would offer is don't use running shoes. They are not designed for this and will break down inside even if this is not obvious from the outside. I try to get the athletes I coach to change their training shoes every 500 miles running as that is as long as they last if used "in anger". The amount of injuries I have seen over the years caused by overused training shoes is amazing.
Buen Camino.
Vince
 

Gabi Wehler

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
Then choose a different path. Running is not the purpose of the Camino. You’re missing the point. It’s not for sport but spiritual and mindfulness. If you want to exercise a sport route then you can go anywhere. The camino is about connection with yourself, your mind and soul and particularly with other people, and enjoying culture and history on the way. Best done by walking at a stead pace, resting to breath and connect and chat with likeminded pilgrims and to inhale and absorb the energy around you. Not about speed, not about distance, not about getting there but just being
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Then choose a different path. Running is not the purpose of the Camino. You’re missing the point. It’s not for sport but spiritual and mindfulness. If you want to exercise a sport route then you can go anywhere. The camino is about connection with yourself, your mind and soul and particularly with other people, and enjoying culture and history on the way. Best done by walking at a stead pace, resting to breath and connect and chat with likeminded pilgrims and to inhale and absorb the energy around you. Not about speed, not about distance, not about getting there but just being
@handler didn't say that they plan to run on the Camino. Running is just the way that they are preparing physically.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
It’s a good and interesting thread I think which has given the OP (hopefully) an idea what is possible based on their level of fitness if they want to get across quickly and/or are time constrained! We have pretty much got folks who have walked
anything from 21 days up to 40 plus which shows how different we all are and people who have carried what I would class as ‘very heavy’ packs! No more than 5kg for me!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Then choose a different path. Running is not the purpose of the Camino. You’re missing the point. It’s not for sport but spiritual and mindfulness. If you want to exercise a sport route then you can go anywhere. The camino is about connection with yourself, your mind and soul and particularly with other people, and enjoying culture and history on the way. Best done by walking at a stead pace, resting to breath and connect and chat with likeminded pilgrims and to inhale and absorb the energy around you. Not about speed, not about distance, not about getting there but just being
It can be anything you want it to be !
 

StuartM

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
28km a day average isn't unrealistic. In the later stages of walking the Frances 25km was the distance I allowed myself until my first break and I'd hardly notice doing it some days, it would fly by. If I set out at 6.30 then by 11.30 I'd have my distance done and my first beer/colacao of the day earned. The next 10km would take the rest of the day :) There is a training effect from just walking the Camino every day in itself and in the later stages I was finding myself reining in my distances so as to make the most of the walk and not finish early.

I used to run a lot before I did the Frances and I honestly don't think it helped that much other than as a basic level of fitness. I still only managed 12km my first day, 17 my next. You say you don't have time to do long training but that is exactly the mindset that is going to make life hard. A high level of cardio fitness isn't that important on a long hike other than maybe for the occasional steep section. If you haven't trained mentally for ploughing on for 6 or 7 hours day after day then all the 10k runs in the world won't help. Don't make day one the first day you've done any kind of distance with a rucksack on.

I changed how I train a few years ago and noticed a huge difference for long distance hiking. Most of what I do is a mix of basic strength training, high-intensity Crossfit type sessions and rucking a couple of times a week. I almost never run other than short sprints.

The other reason I don't run any more is that every single runner I know spends significant periods of the year injured and/or avoids other activities because they know it will make a chronic injury flare up again. Rucking is far better on the body for a very similar training effect (and probably more relevant to the Camino). Personally, I've never had more than aches and pains but running was a constant battle with injuries. Running might be quicker but the amount of time I had to invest in stretching and rehab/injury prevention afterwards kind of wiped out any saving.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
please see signature
It's a hard question to answer because we are all different.
You’re going to get a lot of different responses and opinions. All of them will be offered from the vantage point of the person writing, and we are extremely diverse here — age, fitness levels, health, stubbornness, etc. You should just take them all with a grain of salt and see which makes most sense for you.
Doesn't really look like an extra opinion is necessary...but I can't resist!

Pack light (SO LIGHT), start slow, and you'll be totally fine.
It is NOT the distance each day or the load in your pack that break you down, it is the day after day after day of constant walking.
My suggestion is that you need to: ...

@handler, greetings

Setting myself as an arbiter par excellence, I've made a selection of the best advice from the posts so far.

I am inclined to add/reinforce two.

Noting you have good physical fitness, you now need improve your mental fitness . @xin loi touches on this. I suggest including several multi day walking trips with your pack and all other gear you intend to take.

The words from @antepacem is excellent advice, in my view.

I look forward to hearing of the adventures you had on your journey, whether or not you achieved your starting intentions.

So I say to you kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (take care, be strong, confident and patient)
 
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Tom Hagger

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Português, Plata etc.
Good day, Handler! I would say that your proposed target is fine for someone who is reasonably fit, as you clearly are. My only reservation would be that there are many wonderful places en route, where many of us are tempted to linger for a while. Some flexibility is advisable. Buen Camino! Tom
 

DavidCanadian

New Member
You are already in good enough shape to walk the CF in 28 days and your fitness will improve as you go. When I was 61 it was not difficult to complete the CF from SJPP in 30 days with a rest/tourist day in Burgos. I look back on that first camino wishing I had taken 7 to 10 days longer. The magic of that experience came to an end much too quickly. It's an experience that should not be rushed. Leave time to experience the wonders that come from living in the moment. Travel with as small a load as possible.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
My only caveat would be that there are a lot of people on this forum who equate “smelling the roses” with ”walking short distances.” In my experience, the two are totally different, so I think you should focus on what feels best for your body and your mind once you are walking. That may be short distances, or it may be long distances.
Laurie, I may walk slow and love to smell the roses, but I always get to my end stage. My favorite distance is 20-25k, but I very often walk further. That said, I am never fast. I don't know who "smells the roses, but walks short distances", but it sure isn't me.🙂
 
Last edited:

Walkerooni

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I am also a runner, and my advice to you is that you should train for the activity you plan to do. Would you train for a running race by walking? Of course not. Other than Improving your base fitness, they are not remotely the same activity. Yes, long-distance walking takes longer than a run, but you need that time in your footwear, carrying your pack with something close to what you will carry. That is the only way to tell what your feet and body will feel like after you walk 25-ish km.
 

Vince Lee

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Good day all,

I started preparing for the French Way already in July, namely by running 5 times a week. At the moment I can already run more than 10 kilometers; my goal is to run 14 km without a major problem, which should be achieved in a couple of weeks, before I go on the road in September. My ambitions are to walk a little more than 28 km a day, as I would like to finish the journey in the set 28 days, before I head to Muxia/Finisterre.

Is this realistic?

I ask this because I saw many threads/opinions on this forum that suggested running is not the best preparation for the Camino, but only walking with a heavy backpack. Long-distance walking training does not suit me, as it takes longer than running.

Otherwise, I'm fairly fit, as I usually cycle at least 20 km on weekdays because of my work.

I thank everyone in advance for the answers.
We averaged 23.5kms/day walking 34 days but our group were in the 62-65 years age demographic and were not restricted on available time to complete. Also had 3-4 rest days along the way.
 
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pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Whatever the number of daily kilometers that you plan to walk on the Camino, please walk that amount at home for several days. A long holiday weekend is perfect for this test. This will give you confidence that you can do this amount on the Camino or will demonstrate that you need more training.

There is no magic in Spain that will suddenly enable you to walk long distances! Lack of training will only lead to injuries and will distract from all the good things about the Camino.


-Paul
 

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