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Starting when not totally fit?

Jerome74

Active Member
#1
Hola,

I've had a sort of tendinitis about a month ago. My left foot/leg was quite swollen around the shinbone. I went to a doc, he even send me to the X-Rays but they didn't see anything. I got Voltaren, didn't train anymore and after some days the swelling was away and I could walk again normally. I've still extremely reduced my training walks though because I still don't trust the foot/leg ... I'd say it feel about 90% ok ... I've walked 12 km without a backpack and it didn't swell or hurt ... But I've still got the feeling that it's vulnerable or that the left side isn't as 'normal' as the right side.

I've planned to start the camino on the 18th of May.

Any recommendations what I should/could do?? It would so suck if my body wouldn't keep up with my plans! I'm only 32 and quite healthy!?

Muchas gracias a todos,

Jerome
 

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#2
mmm that's awkward...

I know that the shins are especially vulnerable when walking up- & downhill...because of the angle of your feet.

In general i wouldn't recommend going when it's not completely healed, because this kind of injury (with the shins) happens a lot on the camino, even for ppl who didn't have any problems before.

However if you really really want to go (which of course you do :) ), then the best recommendation i can give is that you skip the first 3 stages (from St Jean to pamplona) because the pyreneees are really steep both up- and downhill and murder for your shins...even healthy ones
Also use some kind of brace to minimize the angle your foor makes in relation to your shinbone.

but, unfortunately, i have to repeat that i don't recommend going without it being completely healed.


*edit* maybe you can 'test' the shin by finding a steep hill or something in your neighborhood and walk up and down it with a backpack for as long as possible (at least 6-7hrs straight). if that poses no problems you *should* be okay
 

Minkey

Active Member
#3
I've had numerous problems with my achilles. Try and sort out a few visits to a physio. They'll probably give you "heel lifts" as an exercise. walking up hill ain't great for your achilles and you don't want it popping.

I'd also recommend possibly looking into why the problems started in the first place. Could be a calf muscle problem/weakness. If your physio suggests doing stretches etc every morning, make sure you do them.

Lastly, I'd suggest wearing boots as they offer more support.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
Any recommendations what I should/could do??
Jerome74. Do not despair. Exactly the same happens to me while on the Caminos. Every time. Here at home, I've gone through precisely the medical treatment u got, with: nothing coming up in x-rays, therapy, same med, and what not. What has done the trick for me has been to use a knee pad, that, has given my knees, specially the right one, the support that it needs. BTW, am only 60 :lol: Animo, my fiend :!: xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#5
Thanks everyone for your answers!

I'll check with a physio again. I would be really sad though if I would have to skip the Pyrenees ... I was so looking forward to them. But I'm aware that they'll be the hell for the shins ... Darn, I didn't use to be so fragile ... ;) Now that I've finely decided to do the Camino these things come up ...

And xm: What's this keen pad? And where does one buy these things?
 

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Minkey

Active Member
#6
Jerome, despite what some people might say, there are hills pretty much all the way along the Camino. When you hear people saying "oh, it flattens out" then don't believe em!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#7
What's this keen pad? And where does one buy these things?

:lol: Sorry about that, it's this typing so fast and bad eyes when I make the time to preview posts that do me in :!: I meant to say "knee pads." In this country u can get them in local pharmacies. I ain't no MD, but, in my case, I don't waste time anymore going to the MD/therapy. I know what's happening with my knees, what to do about them, use the knee pad(s), no meds, and presto. But, like I said, that's my case. Be well Jerome, u will have the experience of a lifetime. Did I ever tell u about the peregrina I walked with that had only one leg and walked with crutches? Hmm...that will be another post. Best, my friend, xm 8) PS: you may want to ask therapists to show u some (stretching) exercises u can do periodically at home and while on the Caminos. It is advisable to one spend a few minutes doing stretching exercises prior to embarking on the day's journey.
 
#10
Minkey said:
Jerome, despite what some people might say, there are hills pretty much all the way along the Camino. When you hear people saying "oh, it flattens out" then don't believe em!
yes of course but you have to admit that the steep climb and the following, even steeper, descent from SJDP to Roncevalles is quite extreme and you won't see something like that for the rest of the camino

i'm just cautioning against the pyrenees because it is the very first day of the hike. the legs have had no time whatsoever to harden themselves and straight away you're plunged into extreme up- and downhill slopes.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#11
Ok... I get ya.

Alto de Perdon ain't pretty either, but that's more of a downhill thing.

Take poles is my advice. Not trying to pee in your corn flakes, Jerome, just trying to give you a bit of a warning. You'll do it I'm sure.

Bueno Camino :arrow:
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#12
Yeah, it's a pity that the Pyrenees at directly at the very beginning! (from SJPDP)

I'll probably have to skip them then ... :( I so like the mountains.

Would it be ok to start from Roncesvalles then or directly Pamplona? (I've got a flight ticket to Biarritz in France)
 

Minkey

Active Member
#13
As I say, Alto de Perdon is just after Pamplona. Steepish uphill but the downhill is rocky/steep/horrible. If you've got poles they'll help.
 
#14
yeah of course he will not stay home because of a minor inconvenience :)

just take it easy, listen to your body(!!!), use poles to take the weight of the leg and don't be ashamed to ask a fellow pilgrim to carry your pack for a short while when there's a particularly steep bit and you feel pain coming.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#15
I agree re: the SJPDP-Roncesvalles road being one to respect. It should be done when you are in good shape. The first time I experienced it, was horrible. I was out of shape, big time. It was the worst time I've had as far as hardship on the roads. Not to say that there haven't been others, even on my own "baby," the C. Aragones. As I remember it was more difficult for me than the highest poin on the Caminos, the Puerto de Poio on the C Primitivo-I had heard how difficult it was supposed to be, so many times, that for some reason it turned to be even comfortable to walk up/down. But the section in question can be particularly bad. The second time, though, I was in better shape, and, what I believe helped me a lot, was that I walked from SJ to Honto, approx 45"-1 hr's walking time. I stayed overnight at the (private, very nice) albergue there and had a great time walking at my leisure, the following day. It is truly beautiful and should be enjoyed to the max. Best, xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#16
Ok, I'll take my poles then!

I'm still undecided whether or not to try the Pyrenees ... Guess I'll decide that on the day ... and if it rains I will not even try it (I would of course go in the rain if I were fit)

Thanks again for the advice, people!
 
#18
if you start from SDJP there is a refugio about 7-8km into the climb.

So I think it would be worth it to try the pyrenees but to stop at that first refugio (it also has a very nice view :) )

even if you don't feel pain during the walk up there it is entirely possible that the pain will only come when the muscles have cooled down. After 8km it won't be so bad, but if you do the entire SDJP-Roncevalles route thinking you're okay and only realising in the evening you have gone too far, it'll be too late and you'll need a couple of days at the minimum before you can continue.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#22
Bummer... Ok, well how about making the concession not to climb it and get a few miles in your legs before you get to anything... erm... O Cebriero stylee? I think that'd be your best bet, as you've already suggested.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#23
Well, that being the situation, keep up with ur therapy/exercises, and strengthten those knees, take plenty of water with u to drink and a sandwich/fruit, leave SJ as early as humanly poss AND WITH SUNLIGHT, finding the road out of the city can be a little complicated. Best, xm 8)
 

Minkey

Active Member
#24
Knees, hips, calves... It may even be that one leg is longer than the other.

Yeah, keep up the exercises and who knows. Chin up, buddy. :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#25
"
if you start from SDJP there is a refugio about 7-8km into the climb. "

I know. But it's already full ...

Pity, it's one of the albergues I've enjoyed most. Know what...I'd still ask the hospitaleros at SJ to phone them and see if there r any cancellations. If none, I'd still drop by the foll day and see what gives...u never know. But definitely, do this road, Jerome. Best, xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#26
Exercises ... ? I'm not doing any right now ... apart from walking from my car to my work place (15 min)

I'll go see a physio today and ask what I should do. I should have done that earlier! Why didn't my doc suggest this to me!? :evil:
 

Minkey

Active Member
#27
Maybe they had to wait for you to rest it, first. As I said, heel raises were good for me, and soleus stretches. Turned out that mine went because I had a really stiff calf. Heel raises are when you stand on the edge of a step and do tip-toes. I'd avoid doing anything without their say so at the moment as you don't want to exacerbate your current problems.

Good luck!
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#29
I know it may not be ideal but the road route over thePyrenees from SJPP to Pamplona is there and may not stress your legs as much as the path?

The descent from Alto de Perdon is steep but by Pamplona you may have found out whether your legs are OK or not.

Buen Camino
William
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#30
Walking may be a nice begining. Say, 20" - 30" daily or however comfortable u feel, then take it from there. Swiming is excellent, 2.
 
#31
Shin Pain

Pain in the shins is generally related to poor foot mechanics rather than a knee or shin problem

Things to ask your physio:
1. would orthotics(arch supports) address a portion of the problem that would be related to your foot alignment
2. Ask them to check your hip abductor muscle strength as weakness can contribute to your symptoms.
3. Hiking shoes with adequate foot stability is critical

The additional load, daily and accumulative distance, roughness of the terrain, and declines are all additional stressors. You need to give your legs adequate time to adapt. 15K daily the first week can make a big difference in keeping you merrily moving along

Another Physio
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#32
Thanks again everybody! I'm grateful for you advice. I'll be seeing my physio early next week.

But I'll start the camino anyway ... the question is just where! ;) But hopefully in SJPDP.
 
#33
Jerome,
Don't worry too much, you're 32 and in good health, so what's the problem?
In 2-3 weeks your tendinitis will be healed and if you take it easy and rest when you're tired, you'll make it. Just train enough, best on flat ways, but not too much. If some pelgrims far in the 70's made it, you'll certainly make it. Roncevalles, Pto del Perdon, down from El Acebo to Molinaseca, up to O'Cebreiro are relatively hard but thats part of the Camino. Take the Voltaren with you, also a bandage in case of, use foot-cream before and after walking (Gehwohl or similar) in Spain you can buy "Masagil" (solution de massage-very good)
My wife and me are starting again from Pamplona to Leon on 21-22nd of May, possibly we'll meet somewhere.
Have a buen Camino,
Joseph
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#34
...I'll start the camino anyway ... the question is just where!

Jerome, an alternative: the Camino Portugues :D :!: U might want to check it out: the topography is totally diff from Lux, it is historically well-documented, the albergues r the best of all the Caminos (the Xunta has made sure of that), and it's beautiful, at any time of the year (except during the winter time, never again will I repeat that one, although, never say never...). It is not as hilly or difficult, and u may want to continue on to Fisterra, in my opinion the most magical Camino of all. Best, xm PS: Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqors2BXaB4
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#35
Jerome, how r u doing this morn (6:50 am over here)? What's happening? What did u think about the poss of walking the Portuguese Route? Best, xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#36
Hi there xm,

I'm fine. Thank you, how are you? I'll have some sessions with my physio before starting the camino. So I'm quite optimistic ;)

As for the camino itself I don't really see an alternative right now. The only thing is whether or not I indeed start at SJPDP, or maybe then Pamplona. I tend to SJPDP though.

Have a nice day.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#37
Ok here, Jerome, "surviving" this cotidian life of mine, thanks to this forum and communicating with pilgrims like u. Good to hear re: ur sessions with the physio + optimism. Animo :!: Have a good one, mate, xm 8)
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#38
Jerome, I thought I did adequate training - distance wise, but living in Florida I had no opportunity to train on hills other than the odd bridge or carpark. I also started in SJPDP and the first day killed my slightly dodgy knee. We walked the road route because of the weather - and all that pavement + hills + distance was too much. Luckily my companion lent me her walking stick help me along. I recovered enuf overnight to continue but a combination of the hilly terrain, having to keep to the road due to snow, having a too heavy pack, and going farther than I should forced me to quit the Camino a week later with severe tendonitis (?) in my shins - literally came up lame.

I very strongly advise to start at least in Pamplona and take it SLOWLY the first few days (ie. 20km or less) to let your body get used to it or else you might find yourself like me and coming back to the Camino a 2nd time to finish.....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#39
living in Florida I had no opportunity to train on hills other than the odd bridge or carpark.
:lol: Ditto :!:


I also started in SJPDP and the first day killed my slightly dodgy knee.
No matter what happens to me I know that eventually I'll have to use my knee pads. Accepted. So, am taking them with me. What helped the second time around was staying overnight at Honto, but u said that it was booked. OK. Did u check with the albergue at Orisson? Man, other than that, if u r intent in walking from SJPDP, start early, walk slowly, take plenty of liquids and some food. And start exercising tout suit :!: :lol:

Best,

xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#40
ali:

I recovered enuf overnight to continue but a combination of the hilly terrain, having to keep to the road due to snow, having a too heavy pack, and going farther than I should forced me to quit the Camino a week later with severe tendonitis (?) in my shins - literally came up lame.
Yeah, that's what I want to avoid ...

Just curious: How heavy was your backpack at the time and what was your age? Thanks.

I recovered enuf overnight to continue but a combination of the hilly terrain, having to keep to the road due to snow, having a too heavy pack, and going farther than I should forced me to quit the Camino a week later with severe tendonitis (?) in my shins - literally came up lame.
But the Pyrenees are so beautiful ........ When the weather is bad I will surely take the train to Pamplona or something. If not I still might be seduced to go it ... I guess I'll decide when I'm there ...


xm:

No matter what happens to me I know that eventually I'll have to use my knee pads. Accepted. So, am taking them with me. What helped the second time around was staying overnight at Honto, but u said that it was booked. OK. Did u check with the albergue at Orisson?
Both are booked for the day that I would have needed a bed. I'm quite angry with Orisson though. I had sent them a mail in February and never got an answer (though I got the 'read' notification) when I then phoned in March everything was book already :(

I'll take a knee pad as well (I hope they aren't heavy??) and walking sticks ...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#41
...booked ...never got an answer...angry...phoned in March everything booked... knee pad ...heavy??) and walking sticks ...
I am "one of those" that gives anthropomorgic powers to the Camino, when things do not turn out as I would want them to, it is for a reason, a lesson there for me to ponder on. I have a friend that has never been able to stay at Eunate, thus far I have not had any probs, so far :D .

Knee pad is not not heavy, u may want to take two, it gets sweaty.

I'd take one instead of two sticks, I understand it is better for some physical reason(s) I read somewhere re: balance, cannot remember the source :(

Sounds like ur coming along :D

Best, xm 8)
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#43
Hi Jerome,

I was 38 when I first did the Camino and had my problems going over the Pyrenees. I'm not sure how much my pack weighed as I didn't have a scale but it was far too much. I posted ahead at least 2 kilos and donated other to the refugio at Zubiri.

Please don't feel that you have to start at the 'beginning' - SJPP is only the figurative start. Starting at Pamplona, or even further ahead doesn't make your Camino any less than any one elses. Pilgrims have for centuries started where ever their front door was, regardless if in Spain, France, Germany, or beyond.

You only have 1 pair of legs and they have to last you a lifetime, don't do anything foolish that might cause harm down the track. And, you don't want to ruin your Camino :!:
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#44
don't feel that you have to start at the 'beginning' - SJPP is only the figurative start.
Ditto 100% :!:

That makes it interesting to know why people start where, in Iberia &/or Galia.

I started my first Camino at the Summus Portus bec am usually reactionary to mass population decisions, seemed that everyone started at Roncesvaux, which probably meant lots of people from the very onset, therefore I wouldn't. I knew that from the begining.

At about the same time that I started to read up on other options, I met friends that spoke wonders of the Camino Aragones. Researching it further as I got into its history I was intrigued to find out that it was an older road than the one that went through Roncesvalles, and close to a historic second from the Camino Primitivo, reputed to be the first.

Eventually I did start at Roncesvalles on another Camino, and went through it from SJPDP, more than anything to know why people in mod times decided on it. The albergue/chapel/Pilgrims' blessing was beautiful, granted. But that first walk from there is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to the fabulous start from Somport.

On the other hand it's a bit further that Roncesvalles, that may discourage people that have a limited time.

Well, no wonder it is a road less traveled ...

Best,

xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#45
There's still some time off until my start but I right now I'd say that it would probably be more wise to take a bus or something from SJPDP to Roncesvalles and then start there ... I'm afraid that I'll jeopardize my entire Camino if I try the Pyrenees. But maybe I'm too cautious ...

Sorry to bore you with my loud thinking and whining ;)

Why can't this stage be in the middle of the camino??? ;)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#46
Sorry to bore you with my loud thinking and whining...Why can't this stage be in the middle of the camino??? [/quote

Hello pilgrim, "loud thinking + whining" re: this adventure is ok, particularly when one hasn't done it before, and even if a repeat, what the heck. I feel there's a consensus in this bec of all of us that r "chatting" with u. There's the poss of helping/supporting someone, as well as bringing further clarity and remembrances of the experience when we talk about the Caminos in any way, for us, so called "veterans" (something strange about that word but can't think of an alternative). The stage can be anywhere, u set it. One of the things about the Camino is that it's full of lessons, entirely personal, maybe there's one or two, here, for u. :wink: Best, xm 8)
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#47
Small update if anyone interested ;)

I did 20kms today with my filled backpack in somewhat under 4 hours and it worked out fine! There were no real hills though. But it's a start! :)

I will also see my physio a few more times. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Have a nice day, everyone
 

Minkey

Active Member
#48
I doubt the "tendonitis" in the shins is actually shin splints. Shin splints are hellish uncomfortable, but you can safely walk through it....

That message was for whoever mentioned tendonitis in the shin. ONly saw the quote and don't have time to trawl back...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#49
Congrats Jerome, big step forward when one hasn't exercised in a while. The secret now is to keep it up as much as possible. Even if it's 2-3 days a week. Best, xm 8)
 
#50
sore foot

If you don't have two walking sticks consider getting some.

I had mix feelings when I got mine but they have proved to be most helpful in tackleing hills and uneven terrain. If I have a knee that is acting up the nordic poles take the weight and reduce the fatique.
 

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