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My first Trip, How do I prepare


New Member
I have decided to walk the 500 miles in 2006. Today I am 100lbs over weight and I must get ready. I am healthy but out of condition. What do you suggest I do to get ready for next year? How would be the best way to learn what I need to know to do this trip? I am afraid but my heart must do this so I am looking for those who would like to share tidbits on how to make this happen. I have purchased a Pedometer and am walking. My goal is to walk 500 miles and do it again in 1/3 less time and then to do it again with 1/3 less time. I believe this should get me ready. I have a full time job and work 12 hours a day so I fit in my walking during the day. At my current rate It will take me 4 months to do my first 500 miles. Then I will do it again but this time in 2 2/3 mos and then do it again in less than 2 mos and then I believe I will be ready to go. Anything you would like to teach me??? I know I can do this but there is much I must learn as I have been a city girl and no real knowledge on backpacking. I would appreciate any help you are willing to share. Bless you Whiterose :lol:
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Staff member
Hi there,

I have not done the pilgrimage myself, but what I have heard from people that have done it, it seems like there are a few things that seems to work:

1) Prepare well by getting the right backpack, socks and shoes. Blisters seem to be a problem many have, and they can be avoided with the right kind of shoes and socks.
2) Start practicing now. Start with small walks then do longer ones until you can walk “full days”, like you will be doing on the camino. I think it is important not to push this, so don’t try to do a full day before you are ready.

When you walk, walk with your backpack with all the stuff that you are planning to bring (this is another chapter that I will leave for someone that has done El Camino. From what I hear, less is more when it comes to backpack content). I think if you try to do this, you will figure out things your self as well. Some thing works for some and not for others, doing these practice walks you will figure out what works for you.

I hope someone that has done El Camino could complement (correct?) my observations.

Anyway, good luck and welcome to Santiago de Compostela!


PS Please let us know how things are going.


New Member
Ivar is correct. Speaking from experience, your feet and the weight of your bag are most important. I suggest you practice walking with a bag heavier than what you will bring to build up some strength and endurance. You could even put a few weights in it. I do this for about three months before doing the Camino for about three months, two to three days a week for about 1-3 hour hikes. You can contact me via e-mail for more detail if you like.


William Marques

Staff member
Training for a long walk is good but try to keep in mind that you are not training for a marathon race but so that you will most benefit from the camino. Too many people rush through the camino their first time and then feel they have to do it again as they were racing through the experience. Training to me is making sure that your shoes/boots are well worn in, that you have ejected from your pack all unnecessary stuff so it is 'light' and comfortable and you can walk 3 or 4 good days in a row. Some days you will walk faster or slower than others depending on how you and they feel that day. Just take time to smell the roses, listen to the birds and really see the landscape.


New Member
It is amazing how our perception of time changes when we are away from our daily lives. you mention that you work 12 hours a day. With the daily grind and the demands our lives make on us we tend to rush life, our perceptions may be sharp in one sense, in that we learn to respond to perpetual stimulation effectively, however our senses are also dulled because we are able to only take so much information in. We learn to filter out the things we feel are superfluous to our survival. What you may ask has this to do with preparing for your Camino? In preparing try to still your mind when you are out walking, in doing this you become more alert and everything around you becomes more vibrant and real. You may begin to feel more attuned to your environment. Your Camino, if you let it, will be a very personal Odyssey. you will find your own pace and though there may be struggles there will also be a growing sense of your own innate capabilities. I would also suggest giving yourself extra time too. Who knows what will present itself to you? you may fall in love with a city or village, want to spend time with other pilgrims, want to rest. Its your journey and you make up your own rules.
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New Member
planning for pilgrimage

It was great to here that Charlotte is planning to do the walk. I am even more overweight and probably older than her but I do feel it's something I want to do. My family are sceptical but the journey begins when you start to think about it and I believe the preparation has a lot to offer to the overall experience. Charlotte, please keep posting with your progress.


I too began a year ago training for the Camino. I joined TNT, team in training, they train you on how to walk and raise money for the Leukemia Society. I started training in January, did a half marathon in July and a full in October. There is a Leukemia society in Charlette, have fun a get there professional help.

I start the pilgrimage April 1, 2005.


New Member
Take it easy...

Hola! Be patient when getting ready for the Camino as some days will be easier than others. The area of Castilla can be demanding if it gets too hot out there. Don't carry to much stuff in your backback. Most refuges have washer and dryer and/or you can buy a thing or two on your way.
My first time out, I brought too much stuff. I started to throw away stuff on my first couple of stops.
Thirty days will get you from France to Santiago. Enjoy it and BUEN CAMINO.


Walk Daily.

Walk two miles a day the first month.

Walk three miles a day the second.

Keep increasing your distance until you can do an easy 10 miles.

Consider the Atkins lifestyle. It works.

Lift a few weights.

Use glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM to keep the joints fliud.

Mostly, just walk.


New Member
Thank all of you for your shared thoughts. I will certainly listen and use them. I have been walking since 1/8/05 around my office and short walks whenever I can, amounting to 2 to 4 miles a day.

But right now I am on my first push to move thru some blockages. I am in the Great Smokey Mountians of Western North Carolina. I am walking for 10 days straight.

My goal is to walk 6 to 8 hours a day.

This is day 3 of the 10. Day one I walked 9.5 miles in 6 hours.
Day 2 I walked 9.0 miles in 6 hours.
Day 2 I walked 9.0 miles in 5 hours.

The first day I couldn't move for the rest of the day.
The second day I walked better but also couldn't move once I got back to the cabin.
Today, day three, I came back and had something to eat then went out for a short walk. So much less pain today. When I started today I didn"t think I would be able to walk at all but I just put one foot in front of the other and it worked.

Tomorrow we will see how I do. I am hoping I can make my goal every day for the 10 days as I desire to return home with an intense desire to get out everyday and walk. I was having such a hard time getting myself out on week ends so I decided to take this time and push myself hard in hopes I reaching that desire to get up and go out even if I am tired.

Please keep sharing you are all helping and I hope my sharing is helping some of you. As for the one who says she is older than me, go girl, no matter what your age or size I believe it can be done if you really want to do. Let's keep in touch and share stories.

Love and light to all of you
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