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Physical End State?

CarolamS

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Like Doughnut NZ I too felt great.
Each time entering Santiago I physically felt remade; my bones might have been the same but they seemed re configured.

More important was the psychological change. I had learned my limits as well as the importance of personal tenacity and endurance. Compared with ten climbs up O Cebreiro daily trivialities in life now at 82 have less importance; what matters most is to keep on trying!

Post Script:
Unfortunately on my 11th camino
mid-route 2015 after a fall when it was no longer possible to easily stand or walk my camino ceased; the sad, inevitable moment had come for me to stop. I reached the end of my trail....
 
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Yearly and Various 2014-2019
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60+ here. And the longer I walk the better I feel. Fitter, trimmer, more able to walk longer distances.

It's not as if we have a finite amount of energy that runs out if we use it, like a battery. Rather the opposite. The more we walk the more we can walk - of course, assuming no injuries.

So not to worry about being depleted - but do take care all along the way not to push yourself through persistent or increasing pain.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
You know better than all of us what you’re capable of. I for one regard 60 as not old, not for long walks anyway. It does you much more good than harm, providing you’re sensible and stay within your limits. At just under 60 I was walking 40, 50 and 60 km per day. Several years later I can still do that. Frequent walks and occasional long walks keeps you fit and capable. So, I’d say go ahead and do both if you feel it’s within your physical limits. Psychology has a lot to do with it too of course. Sounds like you have that down pat, so, why not? Go for it. You can always modify your plan as you go. Walk shorter, stop longer, rest more and so forth. Better than sitting at home and then having regrets later!😋
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte 2022
Personally I felt absolutely wonderful and I am in that 60+ bracket. After 500 miles walking your body is different, it has adapted, it is in much better shape. Assuming of course no injuries. One word of caution though; never push yourself too far or too hard. It is not a race. Stop when your body tells you to stop. Take a rest day once every week or so (your body will let you know). Listen to your body and respect its limitations. However by the time you get to SDC your body may be in the best shape it has ever been. Enjoy!!
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Caminho Português
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
It seems that your schedule allows for several weeks of rest between your two walking adventures.
Under normal circumstances (no serious injuries) that should be plenty of time for your body and feet to fully recover from your camino.
Unlike most of the other posters, at the end of my "full" Camino Francés I felt physically exhausted (I was in my mid-fifties). But afer a few days' rest, all the pains and aches were gone and I was left with a strong, well-trained body and a confident mind.
I wish you all the best for both of your walks. Buen camino!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
No way for anyone to know how it will be for themselves on their next camino, Very fit people can have issues over a long trek. I have felt healthy and stronger at the end most times… but twice I had some issues by the end of a camino (different issues) and would not have wanted to start another hike without sufficient recovery time.

Having trip medical insurance, goes without saying, but if you are going on an organized tour (depending on its cost to in Iceland,) right after your camino perhapsthey offer tour cancellation insurance, or the ability to, again delay that portion, without a substantial loss of money.
 
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c0484

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
I am 76 and planning to walk the Camino Frances during April and may. I have walked the full Camino several times. I have always completed it in 30 days. I am planning on shorter distances this time. I have attached my schedule to give you some idea as to what might be comfortable for you.
 

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jl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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 don't consider myself super fit and I certainly would not call myself an athlete. I have felt good at the end of the last three pilgrimages I have been on (had sore feet on the ones that I did in my mid 50's!). Just to reassure you that anything is possible - slow and steady, one foot at a time, one day at a time, and rest when needed. When I was 65/66 I walked 5,500 kms over a period of a year, then the following year at 67 I walked 700kms (sorry we work on kms rather than miles here in the southern hemisphere), and then at almost age 69 I walked 2,200kms. Like I said - anything is possible, just walking at your own pace and not being tempted to go further than you want by companions. A couple of quotes spring to mind;-

I would distinguish between a visitor and a pilgrim: both will come to a place and go away again, but a visitor arrives, a pilgrim is restored. A visitor passes through a place; the place passes through the pilgrim.
Cynthia Ozick b 1928

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Saint Francis of Assisi
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
My most recent walks were in my 50s. That said, while age affects things, it does so at different rates for everyone. I recently was reading about a fellow in his 90s who was walking the full Camino Frances, carrying his backpack, with his 65 year old girlfriend. He was probably fitter in his 60s and 70s than I was in my 50s for my second Camino.

Some people are saying how great and fit they felt after their Caminos. Others are saying how exhausted they were. After my Camino Frances in 2016 I was both. There was no question that I felt stronger and fitter than I had ever been. There was also no question that my knees were in terrible condition, I had picked up a terrible case of hives (urticarea), and I was tired and ready to take a rest from long daily hikes after six weeks. In 2018, I walked only two weeks and I was much fitter when I started. When the Camino ended I felt I was just getting going.
 

Jakke

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Eleven different ones in Poland, Finland, Portugal and Spain
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)

After my caminos I usually feel great - like many who answered your question. I did notice that it is all too easy to fall back into old patterns. In that case I loose my camino legs in a short time. So, keep walking! (Now 72 years old, lots of caminos)
 
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Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)

I am a 73 year old male who has walked the Frances 6 times and I plan to do it again in late April this year as long as Covid is under control.

I do understand your desire to NOT jeapordise your trip however if you do find some of the walking too difficult you can always bypass the hard parts by catching buses for long distances and taxis for short stretches. I have done it many times because I have had enough of tiring myself out or it is a part of the Camino I do not like - the Meseta can be very hot in summer so I have bused to a better destination that is cooler.

I hope you have a wonderful time. Take care and Buen Camino.
 

mikebet

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
At 72 I've given up walking Caminos and switched to a bicycle. It's so much easier, and great fun. Of course it's not like it used to be, but it'll do ... And when the hills get too steep I'll get an ebike. If you love the Camino, why stop? Ultreia!
Maybe you should consider that bicycle trail that runs the length of the Danube River. Downhill all the way, of course.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
Maybe you should consider that bicycle trail that runs the length of the Danube River. Downhill all the way, of course.

2850 kms is a bit long for me but given it is higher at the start and lower at the end maybe a pair of roller skates might help?
 

KimR

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ‘18
Portuguese(costa,cent) ‘19
Norte ‘21
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
I’m in my mid-60’s and have walked the CF & Norte ( about 5 weeks each) along with other shorter ones. Assuming you’ve prepared yourself physically and sorted out the proper footware & socks that work for you before you leave.The following are a few things I continually need to remind myself no matter how many Caminos I’ve walked.
1. walk at your pace & not anyone else’s pace even if that means walking on your own. No matter how interesting the conversation may be - too fast a pace & for too long a distance will suddenly or eventually lead to injury. You can always meet up at the next coffee stop or at an albergue.
2. Listen to your body and not your mind when deciding your distances. Leave all of your plans & itinerary behind once you start walking. Is that a real burst or energy am I running on adrenaline or have I had few cups of wonderful Spanish coffee? Do I need to reduce your distance today? Do I need to tuck in early to rest tonight?
3. Hydrate more than your think you need even if you need extra bathroom trips. Hydration protects muscles, ligaments,joints.. don’t short change them just to reduce your bathroom stops.
4. Pack light & use walking poles = less stress on the joints, back, etc. and have saved me from some falls.
5. Be prepared to flex- your schedule, your pack, your sleep , your equipment, your route … sometimes we hold on to something that is actually making it tougher. Let it go or change and continue your camino.
 
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CarolamS

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Wow there is a huge amount of great advice here, thank you everyone who has written. I will copy and paste many of these responses into a word file and print them out. Then I can remind myself both of the content and the sheer kindness in replying. There is such a lovely amount of goodwill in this forum. It could be that I was listening to that sneaky voice of fear and doubt. Rereading many of these posts will help bolster me mentally.

I should have enough time to get myself physically prepared now. Kit and shoes etc. I am happy with from previous Camino experience and my on going testing. The biggest challenge for me is to lose about a stone in weight (approx 15lbs or 7kgs). I know that will give me the best chance to protect against injury. Once our Christmas cake has been finished I will get serious about this. Maybe a topic for another thread 🤔
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I started the CF on my 64th birthday in 2016 as a veteran hiker/walker and backpacker but novice Camino-phile . My days ranged from a short 6km to around 25 km. Never felt overly tired or sore at days end. No blisters or other foot issues. I had a frozen left shoulder at start which limited range of motion on that side but putting on my pack carefully, using trekking poles and remembering no jerky movement (ouch) helped. I felt even more invigorated at the end of the walk than at the beginning and could easily (and happily) have done more if work had not summoned me! If your health is not in question and you are fit - do it! Buen Camino!
 

lovetoread3

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances Abril 2018; Primitivo May 2018
I’m in my mid-60’s and have walked the CF & Norte ( about 5 weeks each) along with other shorter ones. Assuming you’ve prepared yourself physically and sorted out the proper footware & socks that work for you before you leave.The following are a few things I continually need to remind myself no matter how many Caminos I’ve walked.
1. walk at your pace & not anyone else’s pace even if that means walking on your own. No matter how interesting the conversation may be - too fast a pace & for too long a distance will suddenly or eventually lead to injury. You can always meet up at the next coffee stop or at an albergue.
2. Listen to your body and not your mind when deciding your distances. Leave all of your plans & itinerary behind once you start walking. Is that a real burst or energy am I running on adrenaline or have I had few cups of wonderful Spanish coffee? Do I need to reduce your distance today? Do I need to tuck in early to rest tonight?
3. Hydrate more than your think you need even if you need extra bathroom trips. Hydration protects muscles, ligaments,joints.. don’t short change them just to reduce your bathroom stops.
4. Pack light & use walking poles = less stress on the joints, back, etc. and have saved me from some falls.
5. Be prepared to flex- your schedule, your pack, your sleep , your equipment, your route … sometimes we hold on to something that is actually making it tougher. Let it go or change and continue your camino.
I think this is the best advice in this whole thread ;) I will only add that you can always lighten the load, if need be, by sending your pack ahead. I started my Frances on April 22 2016 and the way was absolutely beautiful, especially the Meseta. ¡Buen camino!
 

Henry B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
Walked my first camino (Frances 800km) in Sept 2018 aged 66.
30 days.
No physical problems except blisters (entirely my own fault)
Walk at your pace and you should be OK. Listen to your body.
I am not, and was not in 2018, super-fit or even a passionate walker, so take heart.
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
ino
 

backpack45

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
I was 60 when I hiked the Camino Frances and the main problem I had was boots--boots that I had worn shortly before when finishing the much more rugged John Muir Trail. Since then we have done several other Camino routes (including the last section of the French Vezelay route last year) wearing trail runners, which has solved most of my foot problems (bunions remain, but not an issue). I am 80 and I hope to be able to do another Camino route (or a similar route in France) later this year. I don't think that walking four weeks+ is appreciably different than walking two weeks. Unless you injure yourself by pushing too hard, you should get stronger as you continue. If you feel pressed for time, you also could consider doing the Frances in sections. Good luck!
 
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Hi, some great advice here. The only issue you may find (psychological and physical) is post Camino when your body and mind are objecting to the change in routine and the fact you're not getting up and walking 20 odd km with the sun at your back illuminating the path in front of you. Walk your own Camino and most importantly enjoy !
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
Age shouldn't be an issue, I always feel great arriving in Santiago, and my legs dont want to stop. But I think with age comes some sensibility, about looking after yourself, and preparing yourself. Take care with the things that matter; good shoes, hydation, a comfortable pack, blister care etc. And getting fit before you go.
Here's an example of age working in your favour.
There is an event run globally called the Oxfam Trailwalk - its an all terrain - offroad, fairly rugged walk in teams of 4. All team members walk together. (not a relay, you all have to walk together) In most countries you have around 36 hours to complete 100kms. It normally takes us around 24 -27 hours depending on the terrain and weather.
I was 47 when I first completed, and 60 the last time, I've done 5. there are 2 of us as the core, and each time we get 2 others. This is an event where we avoid recruiting people under 40 for our team - the risk of not finishing as a team is high..
This is a generalization but younger people often dont train, or prepare properly and often dont finish. The goal is to finish as a complete team, so if one person in your team doesn't finish, then the team doesn't achieve that. I have actually heard twenty-somethings at the briefing say "Its only a walk, who needs to train for that" (and was glad they weren't in our team). The first aid tents are full of them, even after the first leg (there are usually about 6 stages where you have to check in).
We would usually wear out a pair of shoes just in the training. We look like an unlikely team of middle aged/older women, completely unremarkable - but we always finish with a complete team and in the first 25%.
At the end, the teams with older people usually finish with the team they started with, and in reasonable shape - mostly due to knowing that we arent bullet proof, and that preparation is key.
 
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Philtration

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2021
I walked the Frances at age 67 last summer. The best advice I can offer is to NOT do what I did by marching to a schedule. We did the CF in 5 weeks, in order to meet a deadline. Doing 20-30 km/day took a toll on my body that took a couple of months to recover from. My next camino will be much shorter walking days, and I will take more time to enjoy the people and communities I pass through. My lesson learned is that the camino is not a destination. If you don't make it all the way on this trip, come back and finish it later.
 

MaryLynn

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi, some great advice here. The only issue you may find (psychological and physical) is post Camino when your body and mind are objecting to the change in routine and the fact you're not getting up and walking 20 odd km with the sun at your back illuminating the path in front of you. Walk your own Camino and most importantly enjoy !

I agree and say that when I walked my first Camino in 2011 when I was 65, all went well physically, except one small blister due to the seam on a sock. When I got home, I saw my chiropractor to make sure everything was in place after carrying my fully loaded pack.
All was well, but he said that the worst thing I could do after a long-distance walk was to stop walking - that's when problems arise. Apparently our bodies (and our heart) love the effects of long-distance walking and don't want it to stop, so if we do stop cold turkey, our joints and muscles will begin to seize up and problems develop.
I keep on walking.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I am a bit amazed by the number of people who seem to suggest that it is a piece of cake to walk the Camino. My observations have been that many people on the Camino display serious tiredness - daily, weekly, or at the end. And many people acquire injuries that could be a problem for another walk planned soon after the end of the Camino. Personally, I feel strong and fit after a month of walking, but I still call myself "tired." But a few days of rest and sleep in my own bed is all that I need to recover fully.
I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older.
The generalized tiredness is not a problem. I am tired after every single day of walking 20 km or more, but every morning I am surprised by how much my body has recovered. If you do not sustain any specific injury, then a week is plenty of time to regenerate after the physical effect of walking 500 miles.

However, that "if" is very significant. Many people do sustain injuries that require longer healing time. So you would want to take a little extra effort to avoid that, no matter what your age. I think the risks can be much reduced by following some of the suggestions already made, such as:
  • Have the right shoes.
  • Prepare at home by as much walking as you have time for, including some practice with the exact equipment you plan to bring.
  • Make yourself take it easy during the first few days.
  • Walk your own comfortable pace, and understand how easy (and risky) it is to inadvertently change the pace to match someone else.
  • Use 2 walking poles, particularly on hazardous down hill sections.
  • Practice good blister prevention and care. Blisters will heal in a few weeks, but awkward walking because of blisters can cause other longer lasting problems.
  • Keep your backpack light, even if you plan to transport it. If transporting it, make sure your day pack is equally well-fitted and supportive.
It sounds like you have some great walking planned for 2022!
 
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Frank Wortley

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Caminos - April/May 2013, March/April 2017 and (Sept/Oct 2018)
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
If you walk as you have indicated then the likelyhood is you will finish stronger than when you started. A question might be "Will I be mentally ready for a July trip having just walked 800km or will I be mentally sated?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
I’m in my mid-60’s and have walked the CF & Norte ( about 5 weeks each) along with other shorter ones. Assuming you’ve prepared yourself physically and sorted out the proper footware & socks that work for you before you leave.The following are a few things I continually need to remind myself no matter how many Caminos I’ve walked.
1. walk at your pace & not anyone else’s pace even if that means walking on your own. No matter how interesting the conversation may be - too fast a pace & for too long a distance will suddenly or eventually lead to injury. You can always meet up at the next coffee stop or at an albergue.
2. Listen to your body and not your mind when deciding your distances. Leave all of your plans & itinerary behind once you start walking. Is that a real burst or energy am I running on adrenaline or have I had few cups of wonderful Spanish coffee? Do I need to reduce your distance today? Do I need to tuck in early to rest tonight?
3. Hydrate more than your think you need even if you need extra bathroom trips. Hydration protects muscles, ligaments,joints.. don’t short change them just to reduce your bathroom stops.
4. Pack light & use walking poles = less stress on the joints, back, etc. and have saved me from some falls.
5. Be prepared to flex- your schedule, your pack, your sleep , your equipment, your route … sometimes we hold on to something that is actually making it tougher. Let it go or change and continue your camino.
Big thanks KimR. Excellent points, especially 2, 3, 5. Thank you.
 

David from Westboro

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past, last 2014
i have walked CF seven times, once each for CdSJ abs VdLP. I am now 74 and thinking of going again. Why? Because I can. It is mostly mental, the physical comes along as you walk and get into that Camino state of mind. It is good for my soul. The downside is coming back into the “real’ world. It takes me up to a month and is most trying on family and friends. Grandchildren help.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
Some great advice from @C clearly above.

Personally, after 800 kms or so, on reaching Santiago (at 57 and 60) my body decided to shut down of it's own accord! :(

But I did not help myself by walking quite overweight. A not to be repeated (again) mistake.

We did travel around Europe after one shorter Camino, but never really felt up to much after the 800 km versions. Let alone another walk...

If it were me (and I might be trying this myself next time), as well as the advice above, I might try 'winding down' a bit on the last stages of the Camino.

For example. Rather than treat the stage from Sarria as the 'home straight', actually slow down.
Walk shorter days, maybe transport your bag, start to wind down a bit.
It's a lovely section of the Camino anyway...

Just a thought.

It might allow you to arrive in Santiago somewhat 'recovered'.
And might even work better than say, taking a few days break.
Because you'll keep your 'walking legs' active a bit.

...
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015
I have previously experienced 2 week long Caminos and felt physically great at the end. I am now planning to walk the CF starting after Easter. What I am wondering is after such a long walk is my body likely to need recovery time? I don't intend to push myself to walk longer stages than feel comfortable. The reason I ask is that in July I have a trip to walk the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, rebooked after Covid delays. I don't want to endanger that experience by wearing myself out walking the CF. I'm now wondering if I should delay my CF plans or maybe walk a shorter route. I'm in my mid 60's and can no longer just take my body for granted!

I would be very grateful for any feedback on the physical effect of walking 500 miles as you get older. (Mind state I'm capable of dealing with.)
Everyone's physical state differs, as does their 'state of well-being'..I walked the Frances for my 80th birthday in 2015 and the reason I cancelled the Portuguese for this, my 86th year, is because of the pandemic we are still in. If it were me, I'd definitely save it for your Iceland excersion. In the end, I think you'll know intuitively. All the best.
 

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