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Staying motivated between Caminos

Time of past OR future Camino
Inglès April 2023
Primitivo July 2023
Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
 
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My house is being heavily renovated at the moment - new roof, new windows, walls stripped and render replaced and so on. Leaving the place uninhabitable for a few months. A kind friend has given my wife and me a couple of rooms in her house for the duration. By chance there is an ex-railway line nearby which is now a cycle path. At the far end is a handy pub. There is also a council-run gym and swimming pool complex. Not your thing and until recently not mine either :) But I really needed to lose weight and improve my fitness. The council made me a three-month membership deal at a very good price. So now several days a week I walk 5km to the pool, swim for half an hour, walk about 1km to the pub for a pint and occasionally a meal, then walk the 6km back home. Been doing this for about a month now and it seems to be paying off. I just walked the Gran Canaria Camino for the second time and found it much less difficult than before!
 
For now, I walk to work and home again as long as the Wyoming weather is cooperative. Phil walks with me and in the afternoon, I give him a call when I am ready to come home and he walks to meet me halfway so we can walk back home together. When the weather is bad or it is just too cold, I go to the gym before work and walk around the indoor track stopping at intervals every other lap to do sets of other exercises such as squats, weights, etc. On the weekends, we put on our snowshoes and head to the nearby Snowy Range mountains for at least one afternoon per weekend of some kind of hiking/snowshoeing. When I retire in May, I'll have to get a new routine as we are moving to a different part of the country to be near family. We probably won't be back in Spain together until January or February of 2025.

During Covid, I walked on my home treadmill watching YouTube videos on my Kindle by BK Lee
about his Camino journey. Almost no talking, he just walks and I walked along with him seeing familiar places. Sometimes he would take a wrong turn or get lost and you could hear the heavy sigh as he back tracked. He could not hear my warnings and we both went the wrong way together. Anyway, it kept me moving on the treadmill when I could have been bored and depressed and it reminded me of the Camino.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I agree with everything you've written. I am going to TRY a stationary bike at the community centre. I think I might get into it if I'm listening to good music. I did some winter hiking last winter outside the city at my in laws. If snow conditions are right - crust is thick enough to support me - it is quite wonderful. I was flying along, stripped down to my base layer and toasty warm. Oh, and I had my border collie nephews with me. They are tremendous motivators. They are on me from the minute I wake up, "Are we going? Are we going?" Seriously, borrow a dog!
 
I am always motivated to walk another Camino. Motivation to do "sports" inbetween Caminos is something completely different, though 😂. I've never been a sportive person so that's really not something that comes naturally to me!

Funny, isn't it? Walking a several thousand km route, "hell yes!", but a run around the block? "Oh god, please no... ".

I mainly use the time inbetween Caminos to research potential new routes ect. I have endless motivation for that!

Hikes over several days also help - I find it much easier to find motivation to walk from A-B over several days than walk in circles at home or go running around the block or swimming in a pool. Walks over several days (away from home, even if not far away), for me, are fine no matter what the weather is like. Sadly I rarely find the opportunity to walk more than two days in a row. Which is frustrating when you prefer to walk for several months...

Good thing is that on really long distance walks you get fit over time. Not really a need to train before. I can start full couch potato and probably will still make it over the pyrenees again, alive and happy. At least I hope so!
 
Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
Being motivated about the next Camino is never an issue, I think about the Camino with longing every day .
Plus I have always walked every day so being Camino fit requires only a bit more effort.

But now I have a Border Collie dog, and taking a day off walking is no longer an option anyway. Even if I'm sick or the weather is terrible. She has expectations that must be met!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I am fortunate to live in an area that does not have severe winters, so I can generally walk outside all year. We have discussed this before ;), when I've mentioned that my newfound love of podcasts and audiobooks (using bone-conduction headphones) keeps me very motivated to walk. I only allow myself to listen while I am walking or gardening!
 
Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
Walk a trail or two in Aotearoa New Zealand 🥝 or (very) second choice a trail in Oz 🦘
 
I am always motivated to walk another Camino. Motivation to do "sports" inbetween Caminos is something completely different, though 😂. I've never been a sportive person so that's really not something that comes naturally to me!

Funny, isn't it? Walking a several thousand km route, "hell yes!", but a run around the block? "Oh god, please no... ".

I mainly use the time inbetween Caminos to research potential new routes ect. I have endless motivation for that!

Hikes over several days also help - I find it much easier to find motivation to walk from A-B over several days than walk in circles at home or go running around the block or swimming in a pool. Walks over several days (away from home, even if not far away), for me, are fine no matter what the weather is like. Sadly I rarely find the opportunity to walk more than two days in a row. Which is frustrating when you prefer to walk for several months...

Good thing is that on really long distance walks you get fit over time. Not really a need to train before. I can start full couch potato and probably will still make it over the pyrenees again, alive and happy. At least I hope so!
That's me to the core. I'm definitely motivated to walk the next Camino - it's the between Caminos that is problematic! In winter, doing more than just walking around the block for a little fresh air (especially with all the ice outside) interests me not at all. Sporty I am not!

Actually to be fair any long distance walk interest me. It's just that's not possible to do here in the winter. If I'm really lucky and the weather's half decent I can do a day on the weekend.
Let me amend that - it's not possible for me. To say I do not cope well with the cold is the understatement of the century.

I love that two of you have dogs and they're all border collies! Beautiful, good natured, highly intelligent dogs. None around me here - bar two, they're all ankle biters. I would borrow either of those two in a heartbeat but sadly it's simply not possible.
Walk a trail or two in Aotearoa New Zealand 🥝 or (very) second choice a trail in Oz 🦘
I'd love to! Home, sweet home! I've just been watching some YouTube videos on the TA. I'm so, so envious.....
But I'm stuck here in Germany. There's a damn good reason I call myself expatkiwi!
 
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Five to six kilometer walks every morning 5-6 days a week. Sometimes with a weighted vest.
Pushups and yoga stretches.
 
Five to six kilometer walks every morning 5-6 days a week. Sometimes with a weighted vest.
Pushups and yoga stretches.
Mmm. But that's your training regime. What actually gets you out the door each morning? Or is it that, simply knowing that you have another camino yet to walk, you don't need any further motivation?
 
@Peterexpatkiwi

Maybe it would be more of a motivation to walk somewhere with a different scenery? That helps me a lot.

For extra motivation, I like to plan for routes that have a café at the destination or some interesting landscape, or are a bit of a challenge.

When I lived in the Berlin area, I used to take the train to the Harz region on the weekends sometimes, or to the Elbsandsteingebirge.

It is not that far (I often went for day hikes in the Harz, Elbsandsteingebirge is sadly a longer train ride, but still nice for a weekend with a stay there overnight) and you'll have some "mountains" to hike in.

In winter you've got at least a chance of decent snow in those areas.

The Brocken might not be the most beautiful mountain, but it is easily accessible, there's a café on top, and it's a really nice training hike, with lots of different routes leading up.

It was my "training hill" when I lived in Berlin/Brandenburg.

In the Elbsandsteingebirge there are paths even with ladders and steps and rocks. It's not really mountainous or high up, but feels like it at times. Landscapes like from a fairytale.

When I was too bored by the all flat Brandenburg terrain, that was where I went.

A suggestion: Take the first train in the morning to Wernigerode (~5am), then the Brockenbahn or bus to get to "Steinerne Renne". Walk up the Brocken, have a hot beverage on top in the ugly cafeteria, then hike down again via Eckerlochsteig to Schierke, where you can take the bus from Schierke back to Wernigerode.

In snow I'd bring very light crampons and poles/stick.

That's a day hike that can be done without lots of planning. The worst was always to get out of the bed that early on my day off 🤣, but once I started walking I always felt so much better than walking my normal daily routes around town.

For the Harz region you can even get a book for collecting stamps, which for me is always a silly joy, and a motivation to walk new routes :)
 
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I merged all my photos into a video, I watch that from time to time in the winter, reminds me of the feeling of the sun on my back. I will push myself every day to get out and walk a bit, no matter the weather. Once out I will wander and enjoy it

Planning is good too, right now I am hoping for Nepal in October and keeping reading here, checking out others photos, answering the odd question..

all helps
 
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I am fortunate to live in an area that does not have severe winters, so I can generally walk outside all year. We have discussed this before ;), when I've mentioned that my newfound love of podcasts and audiobooks (using bone-conduction headphones) keeps me very motivated to walk. I only allow myself to listen while I am walking or gardening!
That is so me. I ride my bike 12km to my gardens, work a bit, walk completely different trails before riding home. All while listening to podcasts … I only listen to podcasts when I walk and garden.
 
Never having the health or wealth to do Caminos in a " oner ", I kept doing them a bit at a time ! This meant that over the years they simply overlapped or morphed into one continuous Camino with motive never entering my head :) It was the acquisition of the necessary pennies that occupied my scheming mind !

Vaya con Dios

Samarkand.
 
Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
I am "fortunate" to live in an area with a relatively high mean age (no, not Florida- it's cold where we are too!) and there is a good community centre that offers a lot of classes from Spin to Yoga and lots in between. Some of them attract more seniors and others are a bit of a mix. I never saw myself enjoying it either but now, like you, wanting to stay fit, I have been trying out different things and have assembled a list as long as my arm (well, not quite :) ) of activities that I enjoy doing there. See if you can try a few things that are available close by. You might be surprised?
 
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I understand your plight. Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do. When it's too hot or too cold/icy for outdoors I MAKE myself go to the gym. It's the only solution for me.
I also attend yoga classes which I love.
Motivation? Knowing that the fitter I am , the more Ill enjoy my next Camino.
 
Mmm. But that's your training regime. What actually gets you out the door each morning? Or is it that, simply knowing that you have another camino yet to walk, you don't need any further motivation?
Caminos aside, overall health, well being and longevity is what motivates me out the door and walking as well as working out and not eating garbage foods anymore. Being able to walk the Camino with minimal difficulty is a bonus. That's why I always comment on here that equipment choices etc should always take a backseat to fitness and body weight, conditioning etc before one embarks on walking the Camino. It just makes the walk so much more enjoyable and one can focus on so many other things besides sheer exhaustion and possible injury.
Also my job gets me out the door every morning and sometimes nights. :D
 
I'm pretty structured. I try to walk or hike 3-6 miles each day, whether on local trails or just around the neighborhood. I log my mileage in an XL file. (Somewhere around 1,450 miles so far this year.) And I'm fortunate to live in AZ where snow is rare (heck, even RAIN has been rare!). Canals make for good hiking paths. And the prospect of another Camino/trek is plenty of motivation!
 
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My circumstances are a little different. This year (2023), I had to cancel all European Camino plans, walking and volunteering, to remain home to be my wife's caregiver.

During this interregnum, I increased the daly time I spent trying to help others on this Forum. I talk about the Camino whenever someone wants to listen. On the few times I am able to attend Mass personally, the priest usually starts introducing me to the HIspanic congregation as "Don Tomás," after Mass. This, from my volunteer activities at Santiago, the honors I have been blessed to receive, and the book I wrote.

Also, it helps me practice my nascent Spanish. FYI - I also continue to practice my Spanish for at least one-hour daily using Duolingo.com. I have been doing it for over 2100 days without a break. I can hold child-like conversations with my simple grammar and limited vocabulary. But, as I live in an area with a lot of Latino folks, every bit helps. In fact, I am using Spanish more here, in Northern Virginia, than I did living recently in South Florida for seven years.

My wife's illness and my response to it IS my current Camino. I have been on it since early this past April. This journey will likely last another six-months or so - if we are blessed so as to be fortunate and my wife's reconstructive surgery is successful. At its essence any life challenge or obstacle can be your personal journey or Camino.

At present, the only time I get to leave the home is a daily trip to my local gym for an hour or so, followed by local errands on the roundabout way home. This, at least gets me out among other people.

Then, I have a group of Camino friends that I commiserate with via e-mail and text. They help keep me centered, and focused on what truly matters. I can lean on them when times get tough, as they "get it."

The sole aspect of being in the "off-season" that bothers me is that I am not walking. However, I am hoping for an improvement in my wife's condition that will allow me to be away from her bedside for more than 90 minutes or so. I now live back where I used to live when I first practiced and trained for my earliest Caminos. Here, in northern Virginia, we have rolling hills, with mostly paved walking surfaces.

As was the case ten years ago, my plan is to load a rucksack with suitable weight to simulate my live load, lace up comfortable shoes and walk someplace. I used to have a five mile out and five mile back route that got me to a Starbucks (my cafe stop). I also had several 5 - 8 mile loops. I need to re-walk these to reestablish the distances.

Part of my personal problem is that walking just to walk, bores me to tears. I think others have expressed similar sentiments above. I must have a destination - a shop, cafe, or landmark. That is one reason why the Camino is so good. Every day has a destination.

This is how I keep my sanity.

Hope this helps the discussion.

Tom
 
Caminos aside, overall health, well being and longevity is what motivates me out the door and walking as well as working out and not eating garbage foods anymore. Being able to walk the Camino with minimal difficulty is a bonus. That's why I always comment on here that equipment choices etc should always take a backseat to fitness and body weight, conditioning etc before one embarks on walking the Camino. It just makes the walk so much more enjoyable and one can focus on so many other things besides sheer exhaustion and possible injury.
Also my job gets me out the door every morning and sometimes nights. :D
RJM- I completely agree.
 
My circumstances are a little different. This year (2023), I had to cancel all European Camino plans, walking and volunteering, to remain home to be my wife's caregiver.

During this interregnum, I increased the daly time I spent trying to help others on this Forum. I talk about the Camino whenever someone wants to listen. On the few times I am able to attend Mass personally, the priest usually starts introducing me to the HIspanic congregation as "Don Tomás," after Mass. This, from my volunteer activities at Santiago, the honors I have been blessed to receive, and the book I wrote.

Also, it helps me practice my nascent Spanish. FYI - I also continue to practice my Spanish for at least one-hour daily using Duolingo.com. I have been doing it for over 2100 days without a break. I can hold child-like conversations with my simple grammar and limited vocabulary. But, as I live in an area with a lot of Latino folks, every bit helps. In fact, I am using Spanish more here, in Northern Virginia, than I did living recently in South Florida for seven years.

My wife's illness and my response to it IS my current Camino. I have been on it since early this past April. This journey will likely last another six-months or so - if we are blessed so as to be fortunate and my wife's reconstructive surgery is successful. At its essence any life challenge or obstacle can be your personal journey or Camino.

At present, the only time I get to leave the home is a daily trip to my local gym for an hour or so, followed by local errands on the roundabout way home. This, at least gets me out among other people.

Then, I have a group of Camino friends that I commiserate with via e-mail and text. They help keep me centered, and focused on what truly matters. I can lean on them when times get tough, as they "get it."

The sole aspect of being in the "off-season" that bothers me is that I am not walking. However, I am hoping for an improvement in my wife's condition that will allow me to be away from her bedside for more than 90 minutes or so. I now live back where I used to live when I first practiced and trained for my earliest Caminos. Here, in northern Virginia, we have rolling hills, with mostly paved walking surfaces.

As was the case ten years ago, my plan is to load a rucksack with suitable weight to simulate my live load, lace up comfortable shoes and walk someplace. I used to have a five mile out and five mile back route that got me to a Starbucks (my cafe stop). I also had several 5 - 8 mile loops. I need to re-walk these to reestablish the distances.

Part of my personal problem is that walking just to walk, bores me to tears. I think others have expressed similar sentiments above. I must have a destination - a shop, cafe, or landmark. That is one reason why the Camino is so good. Every day has a destination.

This is how I keep my sanity.

Hope this helps the discussion.

Tom
Tom- your post is beautiful and heart-rending. Your positivity is inspiring.
 
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Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
Wherever you live, there are caminos...ways to get from here to there...and back. After our first camino, I joined the American Pilgrims on the Camino. We hike together regularly and for those of us who have walked caminos, it's great fun discussing our experiences. And those who walk with us who are wannabe peregrinos learn so much. I contrast that with talking with relatives and friends about our experiences. Their attention span is measured in seconds.
 
I've always enjoyed walking, but decided this year to try and walk every single day. So as of December 1st., I've missed only 13 days since January 1st this year and have logged just over 2300 kilometers.
My walking route is either a 5 or 6.6 kilometers. I could do more, but my goal is to walk roughly an hour or so each day.
I live in northern Alberta so it was tough on the days it was -35C, but you just dress for it and get on with it.
It's a well established routine now and I really hate to miss my daily walk. I have my 9500 song playlist on my phone to keep the pace going.
So I'm 'Camino Ready' at all times!
At 63, being the same weight as I was at 30 is an added bonus.
 
Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
First, a possible suggestion to stay active--IF you have an indoor shopping mall, I have heard from a few people that they go there in the morning (getting inside 1/2 hour from opening is sometimes possible also) and do laps in the mall. This sounds very interesting to me but alas, I don't have a mall close to me.
Unfortunately, I also usually wait until 2 months before I leave to train. You're not alone!!
 
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Did you give up when the weather was bad on the Camino? If no, then why give up now?

Do what you can even if it means walking around a parking lot plowed of snow. On days of really bad weather walk around inside a mall or maybe the staircase inside a tall building.


-Paul
 
Did you give up when the weather was bad on the Camino? If no, then why give up now?

Do what you can even if it means walking around a parking lot plowed of snow. On days of really bad weather walk around inside a mall or maybe the staircase inside a tall building.


-Paul
Paul, you're right I wouldn't have.

But rain vs ice and minus 10/minus 15 degrees are, for me, two very different things.
As much as I dislike ( heavy ) rain whilst walking it's the pain (literally - in my hands, regardless of clothing or how warm the rest of me is) of the cold that gets me here.

And you're right, whilst I have no parking lots or tall buildings or malls near me - I have to travel to all of those - I do have options. I'm a stubborn bastard, once I start something I generally finish it.

My issue here is getting out the door to start in the first place!
 
For now, I walk to work and home again as long as the Wyoming weather is cooperative. Phil walks with me and in the afternoon, I give him a call when I am ready to come home and he walks to meet me halfway so we can walk back home together. When the weather is bad or it is just too cold, I go to the gym before work and walk around the indoor track stopping at intervals every other lap to do sets of other exercises such as squats, weights, etc. On the weekends, we put on our snowshoes and head to the nearby Snowy Range mountains for at least one afternoon per weekend of some kind of hiking/snowshoeing. When I retire in May, I'll have to get a new routine as we are moving to a different part of the country to be near family. We probably won't be back in Spain together until January or February of 2025.

During Covid, I walked on my home treadmill watching YouTube videos on my Kindle by BK Lee
about his Camino journey. Almost no talking, he just walks and I walked along with him seeing familiar places. Sometimes he would take a wrong turn or get lost and you could hear the heavy sigh as he back tracked. He could not hear my warnings and we both went the wrong way together. Anyway, it kept me moving on the treadmill when I could have been bored and depressed and it reminded me of the Camino.
Oooh, the BK Lee videos are GOLD! Thank you for the reference!
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
I’m having the same issue! I returned from walking the Frances in October and have only taken one significant walk since then. With the Montana wind and cold, bears still semi-active (even seen on the streets of my small town), especially in the early morning (which is my favorite time to walk), and my hiking club ending for the season, I simply haven’t found the motivation. So…what to do? I re-engaged with Pilates 2X per week, which I walk to each time (only about 2 miles RT), and, yes, I finally caved in and joined a gym. This entails a 45 minute drive each way to the next city, so it’s a commitment, and, like you, I don’t like walking on a treadmill, but I DO like feeling like I’m doing something to keep in shape. I also contacted a good friend, who is trying to train for a Camino next fall and asked if I could train “with” her, even though she’s in Colorado and I’m in Montana. My idea was that I could encourage her, while keeping in shape myself, but led to an interesting discussion last week about me actually going with her on her Camino…now THAT would be motivation!
 
Oh gosh… where do I begin. I can resonate with almost everything said. I should aim be aiming to walk daily for weight and health reasons - nothing major, just a kilo or two too many, the odd creaking knee etc, etc. But walk just around the block? Not for me, zero motivation! But a camino… a totally different kettle of fish! However having said that, I have recently taken up orientation with a local group. We meet once a week for an hour or so. My nearly, seventy year old legs cant keep up with the adults so, I walk/jog with the four to eight year olds. They still mostly beat me but at least they motivate me and I am learning new map reading skills. So, my recommendation would be to find/adopt a grandchild or two and go out with them… You can motivate each other
 
This is motivating me to get my well intended but largely neglected fitness lifestyle adopted. I finished a short camino last month, and encountered some health challenges during it, mostly self inflicted. I'll turn 70 this year, and have observed that things are starting to change. I'm losing body mass and resilience. I know it will take dedicated consistent extra effort if I want to remain active and continue to camino. I walk a couple of miles, usually a couple of times a week. That's good, but I know I need weights and more cardio if I'm going to keep doing caminos. Some of the other activities I do to keep actie include volunteering doing trail maintenance/repair in the nearby forests in summer, and grooming nordic ski trails in the winter. Great things to do, but not a substitute for regular exercise program. Thanks Peter for posting this!
 
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I am privileged to live in a moderate climate here in Belgium though summers get hotter and autums wetter but all in all still doable.
I do not find it difficult to maintain active in between Caminos.
I have the Wednesdays off so always schedule a short walk. The Sunday is for a longer walk.
I use my bike when doing housecalls for work. A quality rainjacket works for the Camino and for daily life.
I go to a gym where I do a circuit training and some decent rowing twice a week.Sometimes a third day if possible.
I never use elevators but always take the stairs except when I am assisting a patient.
Only one day I do not manage to get 10500 steps a day because I have too many meetings and sitting still.
Other days 10500 steps and 7 kilometers are reached.

Advice : if using your car. Finding a parking lot on the outskirts of town and walk to the shop or destination.Those small extra steps add up!
 
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Mmm. But that's your training regime. What actually gets you out the door each morning? Or is it that, simply knowing that you have another camino yet to walk, you don't need any further motivation?
I walked my first camino at age 50. At that time I was moderately active, but I did a lot of training to “get in shape.” About 8 months after my first camino, I started training for my second. Same thing after my second. Then I had an aha! moment. Why not just maintain my level of fitness, it would be a lot easier. Since I live in a pretty couch potato country, it was not so hard to make easy changes that would result in increased physical activity. Stop driving to work - ride the bike. Run errands on the bike. Stop taking the escalator or the elevator — climb the stairs. Get out every day, rain or shine, just like on the camino. I also have a daily elliptical workout, which I am now so addicted to I have a hard time on vacations with no fitness center!

For me, it’s one of the camino’s greatest gifts - showing me the advantages of daily fresh air and vigorous cardiovascular exercise. It is in part my hoping for another camino that keeps me at it, but also I have found that the mental and physical advantages of staying active are their own reward. I have so many friends in their 70s who have just let things slide, and I have to admit that their example is a huge motivator for me to do the opposite.
 
Great to see how everyone keeps going. Lucky to be able to step outside my door, walk through the village, and be walking up country lanes in a couple of minutes. If I don't feel like going, and the weather is bad, I sometimes just go to see who I might meet up with from the village on the way! ... There are, of course, other times when I just stay at home ...
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Ok, it's winter, and it looks like it's going to be a long, cold one. There's already a thin layer of snow outside. Well, it was snow, it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard. Let alone a proper hike.

I actively dislike swimming in indoor swimming pools - although I love a good spa or sauna ! But the latter don't exactly help my fitness. I had a very brief trial at the local gymnasium in my early twenties - I gave my membership up to a friend. There's no way I'm going back - there's nothing so ridiculous to me as walking on a treadmill when I can walk on a beautiful path. Or even in the concrete jungle for that matter, traffic fumes and all. Nothing against those of you who love it - it's just one of my personal quirks.

I can -and do - sit for hours reading, sometimes followed by a YouTube video or two, and of course (far too much!) time here on the forum. I also spend significant time researching and planning my next trip.

All of which I enjoy.

But none of which helps me stay motivated between now and my next Camino.

So, fellow pilgrims, how do you stay motivated?
When I am not on one of the Camino trails, I do what I call iFIT Camino. I have a treadmill with a 22-inch monitor. I have an iFIT individual membership for around $15 per month. I can creat a Googlemap-based trail. I can program one of my favorite trails or a trail that I have not walked yet but wonder about. This is how I found out how beautiful and tranquil the Camino Lebaniego was. I walked the whole Camino de la Plata on iFIT. They also have hundreds (if not thoursands) of famous trails in five continents such as Mt. Everest camps, etc. You never have to wonder about the road not taken because you can always go back and try as many trail variations as you like. You can also venture into the villages you simply passed through but never had enough energy or time to expore. You can walk anyhwhere in the world where Googlemap has an access, all in your climate-controlled comfortable home. Smaple trails below:
 

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I hike local trails. Winter near me has some bad days but overall it is a great time to hike. I set up my own challenges - hiking every trail in Shenandoah National Park a 2nd time is my current challenge. Since there are over 500 miles of trail there, it takes a while to get that done. I keep track using a spreadsheet and like to think that I've been training over 30 years and 8,000 trail miles for my first Camino next year. If I don't have a challenge, motivation becomes a problem. Purchasing a round trip flight to Madrid helps that motivation, too.
 
I live in a small village in the country and I have easy access to a "rails to trails" a mere three blocks from home, so walk right out my front door. It is my "go to" path for walking about three miles on most days. I do drive to a few forest preserves every couple of weeks for more variety. In addition, I also usually meet with three friends to exercise twice a week. We do easy yoga positions, some simple cardio, and stretching to "oil" our aging joints...we're like the Tin man in Wizard of Oz.😅
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
We have a local Camino walking group that meets twice a week, rain or shine, snow or sleet, throughout the year. If I needed outdoor walking for motivation, it would be there. For me, reading, watching YouTube, participating in the forums and Camino groups, and planning my next Camino are enough, though I may try fir more walking through the winter this year.
 
My stretch of Australia never gets snow (only hail), so hitting the coastal paths year round is usually possible. I never get bored of the ocean, and it's only 15 minutes drive away. Any time spent outside is beneficial to improving physical and mental health imo.

When I can't bring myself to leave the house, gardening, housework + the exercise bike are sufficient. Just using an exercise bike is boring - I normally try to do Duolingo at the same time, while trying to keep my posture correct and upright!

Having a pedometer on my phone helps too. Mentally I always want to go over the suggested steps per day, and end up logging between 6 - 15 km most days. All the daily steps, mostly in thongs/"flip-flops" or barefoot on the beach mean that my feet are nicely toughened - hopefully enough for the Camino.
 
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I hear you Peter. Sounds like you are unusually sensitive to the cold, and that can really kill a workout routine, in spite of your heartfelt desire to get Camino-ready. Not only are your exercise options severely limited, but you also experience actual pain in the cold. Add in the stubbornness you mentioned, and it’s a recipe for inertia. Those are big hurdles, but not insurmountable.

A few suggestions:
(1) Get good winter gear to target your problem areas — gloves with inserts for hand warmers, and easy on-off ice cleat treads that can be worn over any shoes (I swear by Yaktrax!). That way your hands won’t hurt as much, and you can walk confidently on icy surfaces. I discovered Yaktrax last winter on a snowy trip to Colorado, and they are AWESOME.
(2) Make a plan to walk a minimum of X km per day or week, rain or shine. Since you have ruled out all indoor exercise, sounds like you need to commit to walking outdoors, despite the cold. You can do it! (you didn’t rule it out, you just said it was harder.)
(3) Find an accountability buddy, and tell them your walking plan. This is NOT for coaching or nagging. It’s just someone with whom you can check in regularly for the SOLE purpose of saying “I did it” or “I didn’t do it.” No explanation, no judgment, no discussion — just someone who lives outside the confines of your stubborn skull and won’t judge you. (Ideally not a partner, because that could invite too much discussion.) It’s amazing how knowing you have to check in with someone can motivate you. It can be as simple as sending them a text, or even just a thumbs-up or thumbs-down emoji.
Take or leave! Buen Camino.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
it's now just ice - and it's as slippery as an ice rink too, just a heck of a lot rougher. Which makes going for any kind of walk doubly hard.
I’ll bet you can find something like what my kids bought me last year.


Walkng outside is easy with these on my shoes. It’s so worth it to find a way to keep going outdoors in bad weather. A German pilgrim once told me — there is no bad weather, just bad clothing (or something like that). What I find is that the worse the weather outside when I’m out there, the more wonderful the cup of tea I have when I finally get home.
 
@leichecerca, some excellent suggestions, thank you very much. I read the comment from peregrina before yours, interesting to see that she echoes your idea on ice cleats. I'd previously just thought that those were for people that go climbing. Which model do you use?
I hadn't thought of the gloves with inserts for hand warmers, I didn't even know they were available. Unfortunately I've only just bought a new pair of gloves but I'll see how I go.
@peregrina2000, Which of these did they give you ( the link just opens the website), and how would you rate them?
Re: both your comments about clothing- I've got that covered. And if it was a German that told you 'there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing" I bet they were quoting a Norwegian! It's a very famous saying in Norway.
Hardly surprising - if anyone knows how to get out and enjoy themselves in the winter regardless of the weather it's the Norwegians !
 
I wear Yaktrax when walking to work in slick or snowy days and in the winter keep them clipped to my work backpack in case it rains or snows during the day.

We also wear them for some winter hiking if we are on a snow-packed trail. Snowshoes not needed then.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
@leichecerca, some excellent suggestions, thank you very much. I read the comment from peregrina before yours, interesting to see that she echoes your idea on ice cleats. I'd previously just thought that those were for people that go climbing. Which model do you use?
I hadn't thought of the gloves with inserts for hand warmers, I didn't even know they were available. Unfortunately I've only just bought a new pair of gloves but I'll see how I go.
@peregrina2000, Which of these did they give you ( the link just opens the website), and how would you rate them?
Re: both your comments about clothing- I've got that covered. And if it was a German that told you 'there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing" I bet they were quoting a Norwegian! It's a very famous saying in Norway.
Hardly surprising - if anyone knows how to get out and enjoy themselves in the winter regardless of the weather it's the Norwegians !
Yaktrax are ice cleats (but not for climbing), similar concept as snow chains for cars, inexpensive, and easy to put on. I got the basic kind with steel coils and they are perfect for my use, but I think they also have a heavier duty model that has actual metal chains.

There are lots of hand warmer types, some rechargeable, some disposable, with a range of prices, and lots of gloves with hand warmer pockets. Consult Mr Google!

Go Peter! You got this.
 
Walk a trail or two in Aotearoa New Zealand 🥝 or (very) second choice a trail in Oz 🦘
I've been looking at this bicycle trail in NZ. I've been wondering if there are towns close enough to walk the entire trail. We love New Zealand.
 
I've been looking at this bicycle trail in NZ. I've been wondering if there are towns close enough to walk the entire trail. We love New Zealand.
Ummm - which trail? Do you mean the Otago rail trail? If so while there aren't necessarily towns along the way there are generally accommodation providers that will pick you up/drop you back off along the way. There are some really short sections which you can of course combine with the next one, I think only one is over 25 kms.
Whilst I really enjoyed those sections I walked, it is a bit hard on the feet - bear in mind it's all compacted gravel. I would probably go for a more robust shoe than I wear on the camino or at the very least a rock plate in the same shoe.
Just Google www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Which of these did they give you ( the link just opens the website), and how would you rate them?

My kids gave me the “pro traction device” you can see here. They are a bit cumbersome to get on my shoes, but once they are on properly they are great. I have more issues with ice than with snow, and they allow me to walk at almost a normal pace over icy sidewalks. (I could probably walk regular speed but do find that I’m a bit more cautious).

One thing I learned was that they should never ever go on a smooth tiled surface. I once entered my work building with them on, and went flying, landing with a big plop on my behind.

I wear Yaktrax when walking to work in slick or snowy days

I think @J Willhaus deals with more nasty winter weather than I do, so I think she could give great advice.
 
Thanks, @peregrina2000. They seem from her description to be the same as @leichecerca. They don’t seem to rate very well online though, as many completely negative reviews as positive- especially when it comes to quality.
Much appreciate the idea from both of you though, I’ll follow up here in Germany and see what’s available
 
@leichecerca, some excellent suggestions, thank you very much. I read the comment from peregrina before yours, interesting to see that she echoes your idea on ice cleats. I'd previously just thought that those were for people that go climbing. Which model do you use?
I hadn't thought of the gloves with inserts for hand warmers, I didn't even know they were available. Unfortunately I've only just bought a new pair of gloves but I'll see how I go.
@peregrina2000, Which of these did they give you ( the link just opens the website), and how would you rate them?
Re: both your comments about clothing- I've got that covered. And if it was a German that told you 'there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing" I bet they were quoting a Norwegian! It's a very famous saying in Norway.
Hardly surprising - if anyone knows how to get out and enjoy themselves in the winter regardless of the weather it's the Norwegians !
I have to back you up on that coming from a Norwegian first. I live in Germany and the first time I heard that quote it came from a Norwegian.
 
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