A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Training Chat - mutual support for first time pilgrims

Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#1
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
#4
I agree. Be careful not to overtrain and possibly injure yourself before departure.
For me I found shorter hikes everyday to be more helpful than super long ones for training.
The hard part is doing it day after day whether you feel like it or not.
And be sure to lose some pack weight. A large water bladder is probably not necessary as there are fountains to refill water bottles everywhere. If you are unsure about whether or not to bring something, don't. There are plenty of stores if you decide you need something.

Buen Camino
 

Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to Santiago
2016 St Jean to Los Arcos
2018 24-Sept Leon to Finnisterre
#6
Read well written above and consider two (2) days off. It takes 48 hours for your muscles, tendons, etc to fully recover and grow back stronger. If you continually tear them down after only 24 hours you may pay the toll. Try working upper body. Take a swim, yoga class, light weights, if you really need to do something on the off days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#7
The most important thing to me is to walk several long days in a row of approximately 10 miles to see how your shoes/socks work for you.
Before my first Camino I regularly walked 5 miles a day. I have a route from my house that I do daily in good weather that includes a fairly steep incline.
Then, as a test of my shoes and endurance I walked 10 miles a day for five consecutive days on a local bike/walking path, stopping after about 7 miles for a snack to mimic Camino conditions.
I only walked twice with my backpack, once for ten miles and finally a fifteen mile walk.
After that I was confident that I could do the distances and didn't over train, but continued my daily walks of 5 miles.
I also lift weights most days, focusing on different body parts each day.
I had no physical issues on my Camino other than a little achilles pain for a couple of days that resolved itself as I walked each day.
I was almost 59 at the time.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#8
Long distance runner and long distance walker here, and I believe in the hard day-easy day training method. That's how I trained with my teams during my military active days and that's how I continue to train now as a retiree. To everyone currently in training, buena suerte, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#10
Use plastic bottles of water to weigh your pack down for training. You can always ditch a litre or too along the way if you are having difficulties. Walk with your pack as much as you can, it will eventually become as familiar as a second skin .
Edit . An afterthought , start with 10 litres of water ,drink it as you go along. When you have reached a weight you feel you are happy carrying note how much water is left , each litre is a kilo, hopefully six or eight will be the maximum you will carry.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#11
Before my first camino I did a three day bush walk staying overnight in cabins and carrying in my backpack. Came home, threw out my boots and half the stuff I had been planning to take including my macabi skirt (apologies to all the macabi skirt lovers) and got alternatives for lots of other stuff including the hat with the big floppy brim. Am still thankful for that three day walk because it taught me many useful lessons. But don’t worry if you can’t do something similar. The camino will teach you what you need to know and probably some you don’t. ;):)
Buen camino
Edit: I should add that I had to wait until I retired before I could walk a camino. This was some years so I had plenty of time to gather gear and to practice. Not everyone has that amount of time and I would not recommend going on a three day walk just before leaving.
 
Last edited:

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#12
Shortly after getting back from my Portuguese Camino last year, my left knee started to bother me. I still continued my daily walks, even though it was painful and it was affecting my stride.
Finally I had a 'light bulb' moment and decided to stop my daily walks completely. Consider my amazement that my knee had completely healed after about three weeks and now that I have resumed walking again, no further issues....so far.
If it does start to act up again, I will hopefully have the brains to stop training and let it heal.
I have no doubt it has some accumulated wear issues, but I am always hesitant to go the medical route as I know people that had knee issues that after surgery ended up being much worse.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#13
Stretching before and after training walks as well as proper diet and nutrition is important prior to walking the Camino as the training walk itself. You cannot depend upon walking the Camino to lose the weight.
Also upper body and core conditioning is important. Remember, the pack is on your upper body, even if it is being supported with the assistance of a hip belt. Pushups and planks help.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#14
Stretching before and after training walks as well as proper diet and nutrition is important prior to walking the Camino as the training walk itself. You cannot depend upon walking the Camino to lose the weight.
Also upper body and core conditioning is important. Remember, the pack is on your upper body, even if it is being supported with the assistance of a hip belt. Pushups and planks help.
Totally agree, Camino fitness and training is not just walking. Gaining core and upper body strength is probably as valuable as walking in your training regimen, but overlooked by many.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
#15
The most important things to take care of are your feet. If you get bad blisters you will not be able to walk far. You may have heard this before, but it worked for me -- wear a thin pair of socks under a thick pair of socks. If you have not already bought your boots (or shoes), wear the two pairs of socks when you try the boots (or shoes) on. And try them on late in the day, not in the morning. Wear the footwear around the house for a couple of days. Most shops will let you take footwear back as long as you haven't worn them outside. If you get the slightest discomfort, take them back and change them. I didn't do any training for my caminos, but a lot of people recommend it and I wouldn't want to argue with them.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#16
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
The walking is great; just slowly build on your mileage.

Strengthening leg muscles is important, and it is a separate focus from what you are doing with the walking. Do stairs, walk those hills frequently, walk on an inclined treadmill (12 to 15% incline), do bleachers, etc. This will definitely help with the big hills and low mountains on Camino. Also spend time strengthening your core muscles and upper body. It is amazing how much one's arms, shoulder and upper back muscles take on when carrying a backpack.

Unless you are doing your walking to lose weight as well as increase fitness, you don't need to walk every day. You will never quite reproduce the stress and strain of walking the Camino at home. Increasing cardio fitness can be done exercising three to four days a week. You can do your strength training on the days that you don't walk. A good way to monitor your cardio progress is to wear a heart rate monitor -- a chest strap or a fitness wrist tracker. As your fitness level increases, you will see that your heart rate remains within your individual peak cardio zone as your exercise intensity begins to increase over time.

Be sure to take things fairly slow and deliberate. The temptation is to try to get to your goal as quickly as possible, but there are definite risks to doing so. Setting a reasonable workout schedule that has reasonable increases in intensity as the weeks go by will do a much better job building your fitness base while limiting the negative risks. You will also have a better chance of your fitness routine become a pleasant habit, rather than an "OMG, its time to work out again!!!" DON'T GET DISCOURAGED if your progress isn't going as quickly as you imagine it should.... your workout is not a race, it is meant to be a steady progress of building toward your fitness goal.

Most importantly, enjoy whatever time you spend working out. I love my time hiking the nearby hills, or streaming a YouTube video of others walking the Camino while I'm working out on the treadmill.

My best wishes and prayers are with you; you have a lot of support within this forum. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF December 2017
#17
I finished Camino Frances on 17 Dec 2017. For me, every KM I did in training was worth it. I still struggled uphill over the Pyrenees (thought it was the hardest physical day of my life!) and my feet were sore for 10 days until they hardened up, and I had to walk out the soreness each morning from the day before. Carrying the backpack each day gave a different set of aches and pains until I got used to carrying it each day. I took me 2 weeks before I started to feel like the walking each day was relatively easy.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#18
Just be more active generally every day.
Walk stairs instead of taking elevators.
Go, if possible, for every distance under five k. on foot or take your bicycle.
If by car : park your car at the space furthest away from shop or place you have to visit that day.
And after work or day activity just go for a walk around the block.

Like others said : break in the shoes.

And see the first week of a longer Camino as a " training week " to build up some stamina.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#19
All good advice.

I’m still asking my original question: are there any FIRST TIME pilgrims who would like to share their experiences during training? A sort of peer support group where we encourage each other.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#20
All good advice.

I’m still asking my original question: are there any FIRST TIME pilgrims who would like to share their experiences during training? A sort of peer support group where we encourage each other.
Then it might be interesting to highlight this in your title. Might attract more new pilgrims although new and old pilgrims are relative concepts in my view.

Like this forum states in the header : Where past pilgrims share and future pilgrims learn.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
#22
shoes, socks etc is part of the deal. Iron out any problems on this side of the channel!
Socks almost turned into an issue for me. Was told (at a sporting store) thin silk underneath thicker pair. And that advice gave me my only blister. Thin works for me, my husband swears by the combo and my brother can only do a thick pair! Definitely make sure you have foot comfort down! Also even though I'm about to start my third Camino I still do some training primarily on inclines. What's the saying, if you get lost on the Camino just look for the highest hill and go up!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#23
The most important things to take care of are your feet. If you get bad blisters you will not be able to walk far. You may have heard this before, but it worked for me -- wear a thin pair of socks under a thick pair of socks. If you have not already bought your boots (or shoes), wear the two pairs of socks when you try the boots (or shoes) on. And try them on late in the day, not in the morning. Wear the footwear around the house for a couple of days. Most shops will let you take footwear back as long as you haven't worn them outside. If you get the slightest discomfort, take them back and change them. I didn't do any training for my caminos, but a lot of people recommend it and I wouldn't want to argue with them.
I wore WrightSocks double layer socks with built-in liners. Since I walked in the summer I preferred thin socks so their Cool Mesh socks worked great for me.

https://wrightsock.myshopify.com/collections/double-layer/products/coolmesh-ii
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues or Frances (2018)
#24
Shortly after getting back from my Portuguese Camino last year, my left knee started to bother me. I still continued my daily walks, even though it was painful and it was affecting my stride.
Finally I had a 'light bulb' moment and decided to stop my daily walks completely. Consider my amazement that my knee had completely healed after about three weeks and now that I have resumed walking again, no further issues....so far.
If it does start to act up again, I will hopefully have the brains to stop training and let it heal.
I have no doubt it has some accumulated wear issues, but I am always hesitant to go the medical route as I know people that had knee issues that after surgery ended up being much worse.
I’ve done several rounds of the Orthovisc injections over the past 10 years. Absolutely amazing stuff that staves off surgery. Have hiked the Grand Canyon (7 - 11 miles straight up/down depending on which trail ) with no pain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
#25
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
#26
I’ve done several rounds of the Orthovisc injections over the past 10 years. Absolutely amazing stuff that staves off surgery. Have hiked the Grand Canyon (7 - 11 miles straight up/down depending on which trail ) with no pain.
Despite being 66 years "young", the knees continue to do great! Now just need a miracle cure for constant hip/sciatica discomfort. Got to be something out there!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#27
All good advice.

I’m still asking my original question: are there any FIRST TIME pilgrims who would like to share their experiences during training? A sort of peer support group where we encourage each other.
I realize that, but some of us just can't help sharing our "wisdom". :):p:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
#29
I reflected after writing that post that I am obviously in great need of the spiritual purification which the Camino offers.....
And the Camino is one of the best places to get that!! If we don't see each other out there, Buen Camino to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#30
Shortly after getting back from my Portuguese Camino last year, my left knee started to bother me. I still continued my daily walks, even though it was painful and it was affecting my stride.
Finally I had a 'light bulb' moment and decided to stop my daily walks completely. Consider my amazement that my knee had completely healed after about three weeks and now that I have resumed walking again, no further issues....so far.
If it does start to act up again, I will hopefully have the brains to stop training and let it heal.
I have no doubt it has some accumulated wear issues, but I am always hesitant to go the medical route as I know people that had knee issues that after surgery ended up being much worse.
The most common thing a doctor would've told you would be to rest it for at least a month so you did the 'right' thing anyway. Glad it's better!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#31
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
Hi, I just started training for my first Camino about a week ago and am walking about 3-5 miles a day but on cobblestone/concrete because I live in a European city. Also, I have more time to prepare as my trek begins in about 3 months. I think your plan is fine. I would suggest on days when you wake up hurting from the prior day, make that day's walk LESS strenuous so your muscles can recover. I really agree with someone else's suggestion about doing other exercise to help build endurance. For example swim if you can or maybe a rowing machine. You mentioned wanting to shift weight. What I've noticed is I am definitely hungrier after increasing my walking. So if you're trying to lose, choose your foods well so you don't sabotage your two goals! That may be a big challenge. I focus on protein, fruits, veggies, some other carbs and liquids. Also, consider taking a snack with you for a mid hike boost. Just get used to eating it every day because you'll probably do that on the Camino. Regarding weight in your pack, I like the simplicity of using liter bottles as "dead weight" in your bag but not crazy about the wave action liquids create in the pack. I'm using some of the stuff I'm taking with me and whose weight I already know (sleeping bag, jacket, etc.) If you can weigh some of the things you're taking, it will help you build up the weight in your pack and also guide you as to what to leave behind once you realize how heavy even 7kg can be every day! I'm trying to increase my weight each week. If you increase your weight by a kg each week, I think you have time to get close to your goal before you leave. I don't know if this helps you in any way as, really, I am a newbie. I'm just as green as you are!
Best of luck in your training!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#32
All good advice.

I’m still asking my original question: are there any FIRST TIME pilgrims who would like to share their experiences during training? A sort of peer support group where we encourage each other.
Hmmm... that's what I did do, as a first timer preparing for my first Camino. :) But, can you clarify what you mean by "...share their experiences during training." It sounds like you are not looking for training tips, but what has happened to people while they are training? Believe me, this whole forum is great at encouraging beginners and veterans alike :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#34
All good advice.

I’m still asking my original question: are there any FIRST TIME pilgrims who would like to share their experiences during training? A sort of peer support group where we encourage each other.
We are three months out from the start of our Camino. We are walking every day unless too hot (we are in the Sydney Aust area) for upwards of 6km with some longer 12km walks. Wearing in our walking shoes. Will increase to longer walking next month. Have our pack weight down to 7 and 8kg. First Camino for us setting off from SJPP on 5th May have booked into Orisson for the first night and Roncesvalles for the second. Will take pot luck after that. We are allowing 49 days and hope to make it through to Finisterre
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#35
Hi, I just started training for my first Camino about a week ago and am walking about 3-5 miles a day but on cobblestone/concrete because I live in a European city.
......

If you can weigh some of the things you're taking, it will help you build up the weight in your pack and also guide you as to what to leave behind once you realize how heavy even 7kg can be every day!

Hello! I live in a town with a lot of countryside around, so I can do both pavement and paths quite easily - but very few hills round here. I will be doing a few trips out to find hills, and also some stair climbing to build those leg muscles.

Re pack weight, I was thinking I would just build up to carrying the actual stuff I intend to take. Mind you, yesterday I walked with an almost empty pack, but then did some shopping on the way home. I found the pack really heavy, so weighed it when I got home. It was 15lb, which is less than 7kg. I tried to comfort myself with the fact that I was using my husband’s old pack, not the woman-specific one I have bought for myself, and maybe it was the shape..... or maybe I’ve just discovered a good reason to strip my pack contents down to the minimum.

Buon Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#36
Hmmm... that's what I did do, as a first timer preparing for my first Camino. :) But, can you clarify what you mean by "...share their experiences during training." It sounds like you are not looking for training tips, but what has happened to people while they are training? Believe me, this whole forum is great at encouraging beginners and veterans alike :)
I was thinking more of encouragement than training tips.... there are already a lot of those available on the forum. The one thing that previous pilgrims have over us newbies is you KNOW you can do it.

I was on retreat last week, and my fellow retreatants showed a lot of interest in the Camino. One person asked me what my apprehensions were. Top of the list is that I simply will not be able to complete it. Next is that I will complete it, but it will be so hard or painful that I will hate it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#37
We are allowing 49 days and hope to make it through to Finisterre
I have 38 days, but need to be at O’Cebreiro after 31 days, as that’s where my husband and friends are joining me. We have three days in Santiago at the end (have booked an apartment) - but are talking about taking a bus to Finisterre to at least see it.

I suppose..... if I don’t make as much progress as I hope.... I won’t necessarily finish this time. Good excuse to go back :)
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#38
I was on retreat last week, and my fellow retreatants showed a lot of interest in the Camino. One person asked me what my apprehensions were. Top of the list is that I simply will not be able to complete it. Next is that I will complete it, but it will be so hard or painful that I will hate it.
Well, millions of pilgrims over the last decade have completed the various Caminos, including a huge percentage on Frances. I would hazard that a very large percentage were in less than stellar fitness when they started. What you are doing with your fitness routine will put you in a better position when you start out. And you will gain additional "hardness" as you walk the Camino, while many are just struggling for day and maybe weeks to achieve some modicum of fitness while walking. Sure, blisters and injuries can occur to slow or stop you, but that is far less likely to happen with slow steady conditioning while using the equipment and clothing and shoes you will use on the Camino during your preparations.

Up to this point, what was the most difficult, anxiety ridden, and uphill struggle that you have had in your life and which you overcame and achieved your goal? it probably was far more ominous than the Camino. I have heard it said that -- for some folks -- each step on the Camino is a prayer. It was for me.

Forget the physical part of the Camino, the ability to wrap oneself in the contemplative -- and prayerful? -- day-to-day simplicity of life on Camino is part of the heart of the Camino's unique specialness. That, and the camaraderie of others, the scenery of villages, cities and countryside, immersion in a special country, and the food, of course, are the Camino. Walking --- whether it be fast or slow, long days or short days while covering few miles or many ---- that is just the mechanism to experience it all. Will you be able to walk? it sounds not only like you can walk a distance, but that you are working toward being an even fitter walker.

Will it get too painful? Well, the most significant pain is through things like injury, or blisters, or overused muscles. Injuries you cannot anticipate unless you are injured when starting your Camino. Blisters and overused muscles can be largely prevented, ameliorated, or involve a temporary rest for recovery.

All in all, Camino is not a life or death issue. It won't, generally speaking, wreak havoc with or damage your life. Rather, walking the Camino has a great likelihood of having a wonderfully positive impact, even should things fall short. I know; I had to interrupt my Camino in order to return to home for surgery. The most negative thing for me, was having to leave and yet knowing I would have to be patient for my return to finish.

Will you be able to complete your Camino? Unless you die, you will if you want to; either in one go at it, or doing it over several different trips.

Will it be so painful or challenging that it negatively colors your experience? I doubt it. Only you can gauge your mental discipline and tolerances, but what is the worst that can happen, that you decide that it wasn't for you after all? But, what is worse: doing the Camino and not finding what you seek, or not doing the Camino because you fear that you won't achieve what you are seeking, and end up missing a blessed experience?

My sense and belief is that you will do just fine. :)
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#39
I have 38 days, but need to be at O’Cebreiro after 31 days, as that’s where my husband and friends are joining me. We have three days in Santiago at the end (have booked an apartment) - but are talking about taking a bus to Finisterre to at least see it.

I suppose..... if I don’t make as much progress as I hope.... I won’t necessarily finish this time. Good excuse to go back :)
Yup, that's one way. Another way is to take a bus or taxi to shorten different stage so that you can make your goal. You only need to walk the last 100 kms -- about at Sarria -- in order to get your Compostela, at the finish, from the church in SdC.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#40
First walk wearing my rucksack today. Initially I was travelling light, carrying only my sleeping bag, purse and keys, with my rain cape tucked in the back (didn’t need it - lovely day). Oh, and about a litre of water in the hydration bladder - far more than needed for a couple of hours on a cold day, especially since I included a coffee stop.

On the way back, I called at the supermarket and did some shopping, then walked the mile and a half home with the much heavier pack. Still comfortable (well - fitting pack with good padding), but I really noticed the difference the extra weight made on my knees and feet - as has been said somewhere on the forum.

So, out of interest I weighed my pack when I got home - just over 9kg. Then I emptied the shopping, and filled my pack with near enough what I expect to be carrying on my Camino - my clothes and some hygiene products (more than I will actually take), plus a big thick book to simulate my guidebook, notebook and my spare shoes. That was barely 7kg.

Still a bit of fine tuning to do, and I will need to add my phone charger, maybe a plastic food container, knife & fork, small torch etc. But I feel I am in the right ballpark with my kit list.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#41
First walk wearing my rucksack today. Initially I was travelling light, carrying only my sleeping bag, purse and keys, with my rain cape tucked in the back (didn’t need it - lovely day). Oh, and about a litre of water in the hydration bladder - far more than needed for a couple of hours on a cold day, especially since I included a coffee stop.

On the way back, I called at the supermarket and did some shopping, then walked the mile and a half home with the much heavier pack. Still comfortable (well - fitting pack with good padding), but I really noticed the difference the extra weight made on my knees and feet - as has been said somewhere on the forum.

So, out of interest I weighed my pack when I got home - just over 9kg. Then I emptied the shopping, and filled my pack with near enough what I expect to be carrying on my Camino - my clothes and some hygiene products (more than I will actually take), plus a big thick book to simulate my guidebook, notebook and my spare shoes. That was barely 7kg.

Still a bit of fine tuning to do, and I will need to add my phone charger, maybe a plastic food container, knife & fork, small torch etc. But I feel I am in the right ballpark with my kit list.
Knees and feet, like muscles in your legs, take a bit of time to adapt to changes in use. Just be in-tune with anything that feels decidedly abnormal or pain that is sharp, aggressive, and not responsive to rest (and perhaps ice). Consult a medic if the abnormal occurs. My knees always take time to get used to hiking uphill and down when I've been away from it for a while.

The good news on your pack weight: as you continue to look at the tips and tricks and packing lists, and read the posts of those who talk about useful and useless things to take on Camino, you will inevitably lose more pack weight. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#42
The idea of the regular walking is to toughen up my muscles and tendons, etc, but alternating short and long walks to give them time to rest and recover in between.

The idea is always to be working within my capacity, but gradually increasing it over time.
 

Janade

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2018)
#43
Hi Barbara! When do you plan to start your Camino? I'll be hitting the trail on May 1st from SJPDP and it will be my first Camino.

I hike in the mountains and desert here at home at least 1-2 times a week for 4-9 miles each time (usually on weekends). There is a lot of climbing and descending, and I always carry a daypack with my water, food, etc. I also go on the occasional (once every couple of months) overnight backpack trip, carrying a 20-25 pound pack. That was pretty much all the "training" I have been doing, along with the occasional hour long lunchtime walk. Now that the date is drawing nearer, I feel that I haven't been doing as much as I should (especially since my job is spent sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours each day)..

For the past week or two, I've been walking daily at lunch (about 2.5 miles or more on a hilly path). If I can't get away to do that, then I head to the gym and walk on the treadmill or stair-stepper for an hour after work. My plan was to do this for a few more weeks and then increase the mileage -- probably by doing both the lunchtime walk and then going to the gym or doing another outdoor walk in the evening when I get home. I'm also stretching more and doing some weights to strengthen my upper body and core.

I'm also trying to eat healthier. I have 20-30 pounds of extra weight I've been carrying for years -- and I know that if I lose some of that, it will make the walk easier. However, I'm the queen of procrastination in that area. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I always think "Tomorrow is another day!" But it's becoming apparent that the Camino will be here soon, whether or not I finally get motivated!

My main concern is that I have an auto-immune issue that rears it's ugly head every now and then -- so I can be fine and then suddenly my back or legs will have pain...for a day, a week, or months before the flare-up decides it's done with me. I've been in the midst of one of these since November and it shows no sign of letting up, despite doctor's visits and meds. Right now, it's just super annoying, but I'm able to walk (and in fact, walking seems to help most of the time). I just worry that it may become worse and interrupt my Camino. However, I remind myself that there are always options. I can walk less or slower than I had anticipated - or if worse comes to worse, I'll hop a bus or rent a car and have a wonderful holiday in northern Spain. And my doctor has prescribed enough medication to last the entire trip should I need to take it.

I do plan to start my Camino slowly. I'll be staying the first night at Orisson, the second at Roncesvalles, and then a third somewhere between there and Pamplona. Then I'm staying two nights in Pamplona so that I can see the sights. After that, I have my days roughly planned, but plan to listen to my body and do only what I can do each day. My Camino is my Camino -- I don't have to keep up with anyone else or feel like I'm not going fast enough, etc.

PS - as one who hikes all the time with a water bladder, I plan on taking mine as well. Many people discourage this as water is plentiful and you can fill up along the way. However, when you are walking alone and using poles (as I do when I hike here and am planning to do there), it's dang near impossible to get to a water bottle in your pack's outside pocket without taking it off first. I find that my water bladder helps me to keep hydrated (as I can sip water all the time, practically without even thinking about it) and I don't have to rely on anyone to reach a water bottle for me or lug my pack on and off every time I want a drink. Mine is a 2 liter bladder and that usually is enough for the day (unless it's very hot or most of the day is spent climbing). Yes, it starts off being about five extra pounds, but that weight steadily decreases throughout the day and the convenience is worth it for me.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#44
PS - as one who hikes all the time with a water bladder, I plan on taking mine as well. Many people discourage this as water is plentiful and you can fill up along the way.
Lots of folks use a water reservoir, and while water supply is frequent, I like the ability to decide when to refill rather than 'having' to refill. :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#45
@RevBarbaraG every camino for me is a first! And that also applies to any training I do before. So I'm considering myself as part of your cheer squad and a team member. I'm impressed with your regime.

My knees are my weak point. I am trying to do stairs whenever they present themselves because I know my knees are better if the muscles around them are strong. I find down is harder than up, there is no latex left in those joints and each landing is a "thump, thump, thump"!

@Janade, on the weight, something that is working for me is a bit of a mind-shift. I recently read something by an athlete and in the article he said: "I choose to keep my body-weight at the low end of normal". It was a light-bulb moment for me - the thought that one "chooses" one's body-weight. That thought has restored my confidence and I keep it in mind each day and almost unconsciously am more controlled in my habits.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#46
Lots of folks use a water reservoir, and while water supply is frequent, I like the ability to decide when to refill rather than 'having' to refill. :)
On the bladder v Bottle debate I used to be firmly in the Bladder Camp.
Not any more. Don't want to duplicate the post as I just explained why over here:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/bottle-vs-hydropack.52823/
As always, there are many differing views on gear :eek:
Comes down to personal preference..............
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#47
First walk wearing my rucksack today. Initially I was travelling light, carrying only my sleeping bag, purse and keys, with my rain cape tucked in the back (didn’t need it - lovely day). Oh, and about a litre of water in the hydration bladder - far more than needed for a couple of hours on a cold day, especially since I included a coffee stop.

On the way back, I called at the supermarket and did some shopping, then walked the mile and a half home with the much heavier pack. Still comfortable (well - fitting pack with good padding), but I really noticed the difference the extra weight made on my knees and feet - as has been said somewhere on the forum.

So, out of interest I weighed my pack when I got home - just over 9kg. Then I emptied the shopping, and filled my pack with near enough what I expect to be carrying on my Camino - my clothes and some hygiene products (more than I will actually take), plus a big thick book to simulate my guidebook, notebook and my spare shoes. That was barely 7kg.

Still a bit of fine tuning to do, and I will need to add my phone charger, maybe a plastic food container, knife & fork, small torch etc. But I feel I am in the right ballpark with my kit list.
Well done with your training. You will have lots of advice. Mine is : really carry the minimum. (To me, anyway), weight does matter and makes all the difference. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#48
Hi @Janade - I leave SJPdP on 22nd March.

I’m fortunate that my Camino is part of my sabbatical from work, which is 3 months in total - so I have six weeks to devote to preparation before I leave. As well as a few overdue domestic chores, of course!

My water bladder is 1.5l, but I don’t need to fill it all the way up, of course. Like you I use trekking poles, and the ease of access is what sells it to me. I expect over the first few days I will get a sense of how much I’m drinking, and whether I need to top up as often as I could.

I’m starting my Camino slowly too - first night in Valcarlos, second in Roncesvalles, and we’ll see how we go after that. I have four days to play with before I reach O’Cebreiro, and if that’s not enough, then as has been suggested I can always find a way!

Happy training - keep us posted.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#49
@RevBarbaraG every camino for me is a first! And that also applies to any training I do before. So I'm considering myself as part of your cheer squad and a team member. I'm impressed with your regime.

My knees are my weak point. I am trying to do stairs whenever they present themselves because I know my knees are better if the muscles around them are strong. I find down is harder than up, there is no latex left in those joints and each landing is a "thump, thump, thump"!
Oh, downhill/ stairs definitely worse for knees than up - I am part of the dodgy knee brigade too. Trekking poles are a massive help on steep or rugged terrain, and for longer distances.

I plan on doing regular squats to strengthen my knees.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#50
Oh that walk to Valcarlos is such a lovely way to start! You only have 12km to walk, so take your time having breakfast in SJPDP - watch the other pilgrims leave town. Lovely Basque countryside - and amusing to watch the cows on those steep slopes. I think they must have two legs shorter than the others. You will have plenty of time to stop for a coffee and a sticky-beak at Arneguy, former haunt of smugglers and still selling "duty free" - although how that works in a common market I don't know. And then a good explore of Valcarlos, including a meal at the great restaurant (right at the end of town, in the main street). And a great albergue.

Then a very steep climb the next day. Only 12km, but really tough. All good!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking Jun 29 - Aug 18, 2018. If we get done early, we'll tour Spain by rail
#51
All good advice.

I’m still asking my original question: are there any FIRST TIME pilgrims who would like to share their experiences during training? A sort of peer support group where we encourage each other.
My friend and I get to St Jean near the end of June. I have been walking on a treadmill since last fall, 30 minutes 5 or 6 days a week. I will begin outdoor walking, 3 miles +, in about 2 weeks. The weather in Texas is too cold for me right now. I found a 12 week training plan on here. I plan to use it. I am 68, so I need to begin my training now. Good luck with you Camino. Ann
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
#52
I did the Camino Ingles on two consecutive years. I was a casual runner/jogger and felt that was adequate training. I was wrong. First year I had terrible swelling and pain in one of my knees. I was able to finish the walk but at one point was concerned that I would not be able to do so. I believe the problem was two-fold: walking hills and heavier than necessary backpack.
During the ensuing year I practiced running up and down hills. Also, because of my experience I was able to substantially decrease my backpack load by not taking items that were unneeded. The second Camino was ever so much easier than the first..
 

andywild

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
april '2018'
#53
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it...
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
You sound like you are in exactly the same situation as me! im attempting my 1st camino. i'm by no means a hiker normally.. in mid january i decided i was going to do it and have been walking similar distances to what you describe.. i go from feeling quite positive to an anxious mess daily but kind of just wish the start date would hurry up so i can just get on with it. i've bought boots and wear them constantly in the hope that my feet get used to them instead of the usual flat tennis type shoes i usually wear (i seem to get shin splint type aches for the first mile or so but then they disappear). the longest walk i have done so far was 10 miles across sand and sand dunes.. i could feel it in my hips and thighs at the end of the walk and could also feel it the next day. i doubt i would have been able to spring up for another straight 10 miles the following day but i did a gentle 3 mile wander and was fine.. i guess its just keep plugging away and see how it goes. luckily i havent got a time limit for completing the camino frances so im planning short walking days.. if i feel i can do more on any given day then i will do more.. feel free to give me a reply or even a message and we can go through the madness together :)
good luck and buen camino
andy
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#54
One of the things to be aware of for training is that the strength of the leg muscles to, essentially, do repetitive lifting of one's body weight -- while climbing an incline or a grade up a hill or mountain trail --- is a different function than is using leg muscles while walking, on treadmill, or running to develop cardiovascular fitness. You need both cardio and leg muscle lifting strength to perform uphill hikes. Relying only on cardio fitness or only on strength training will leave one wondering "why the heck, after I've been pre-training, is this not going so well" during a long uphill slog.

Climbing stairs, bleachers, and hills with a 15 to 20% grade DO combine both types of fitness workouts. So if walking on the flat or with small hills with gently climbs, also add exercises that require you to repetitively push your body weight "up", like climbing stairs, stairmaster machines, bleachers. Treadmills that are set to a 12-15% or more incline can also help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future, 2018
#55
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
Hi there, I laughed and enjoyed your message as I am very much the same!! First time Pilgrim starting in SJPP Easter ‘18. I have read via the forum others comments about just being consistent in getting out and walking. Keep it up + we may see you along the path. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#56
it. i've bought boots and wear them constantly in the hope that my feet get used to them instead of the usual flat tennis type shoes i usually wear (i seem to get shin splint type aches
If the boots are causing you pain you might want to reconsider your footwear choice. Boots are not particularly necessary for walking the Camino. Many of us prefer trail runners. I've successfully walked from SJPDP to Finisterre twice in lightweight New Balance Vazee Summit trail runners.
 

Ellann

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino 2016
#57
Edit: I should add that I had to wait until I retired before I could walk a camino. This was some years so I had plenty of time to gather gear and to practice. Not everyone has that amount of time and I would not recommend going on a three day walk just before leaving.[/QUOTE]

Your comment gives me inspiration as I plan to walk a camino, but it keeps being put off year after year as I care for my elderly mother (91) and continue to work full time. The current plan is later this year, or next year when I turn 60, however it might have to wait until 2022.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino March and April 2018
#58
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
Hi, would love to compare notes on training. I walked a mere 3 miles today in horizontal rain and an awful lot of mud. and found it strangely quite invigorating. But know I have to set to and get my fitness level up. I leave here on 9th Match and intend to begin my walk on 11th March from St Jean which is the anniversary of my husbands death. The thought of the Camino has kept me going through this difficult year. So I have only one month to get myself together, contact me by conversation(PM) if you want to get in touch. Best wishes Susan
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#59
Hi, would love to compare notes on training. I walked a mere 3 miles today in horizontal rain and an awful lot of mud. and found it strangely quite invigorating. But know I have to set to and get my fitness level up. I leave here on 9th Match and intend to begin my walk on 11th March from St Jean which is the anniversary of my husbands death. The thought of the Camino has kept me going through this difficult year. So I have only one month to get myself together, you want to get in touch. Best wishes Susan
@Susan Campbell You should edit your post to remove your email address, which any internet spammer can find. If someone wants to contact you they can send a private message through the forum, and you can exchange email addresses in the private message if you wish.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
#60
The most important things to take care of are your feet. If you get bad blisters you will not be able to walk far. You may have heard this before, but it worked for me -- wear a thin pair of socks under a thick pair of socks. If you have not already bought your boots (or shoes), wear the two pairs of socks when you try the boots (or shoes) on. And try them on late in the day, not in the morning. Wear the footwear around the house for a couple of days. Most shops will let you take footwear back as long as you haven't worn them outside. If you get the slightest discomfort, take them back and change them. I didn't do any training for my caminos, but a lot of people recommend it and I wouldn't want to argue with them.
All my training never stopped my feet from being soooo painful!!! Not a blister in sight though. After the 10km mark I could quite happily stop for the night but that would take 11-12 weeks to complete a Camino. As it was I took 7 weeks last time!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
#61
Socks almost turned into an issue for me. Was told (at a sporting store) thin silk underneath thicker pair. And that advice gave me my only blister. Thin works for me, my husband swears by the combo and my brother can only do a thick pair! Definitely make sure you have foot comfort down! Also even though I'm about to start my third Camino I still do some training primarily on inclines. What's the saying, if you get lost on the Camino just look for the highest hill and go up!
I only wore el cheapo socks..$10/pack of 5!! No blisters at all. Shoes are my passion - if they are the perfect fit for your foot, the battle is won. Everyone's different.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
#62
We are three months out from the start of our Camino. We are walking every day unless too hot (we are in the Sydney Aust area) for upwards of 6km with some longer 12km walks. Wearing in our walking shoes. Will increase to longer walking next month. Have our pack weight down to 7 and 8kg. First Camino for us setting off from SJPP on 5th May have booked into Orisson for the first night and Roncesvalles for the second. Will take pot luck after that. We are allowing 49 days and hope to make it through to Finisterre
Hello.. your plans sound like ours in 2016, down to taking 49 days!!...tho ran out of steam for Finisterre. Maybe this time as we leave Oz for the del Norte on the 1st May...Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino March and April 2018
#63
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!
Would love to compare training notes. I am leaving from St Jean on 11th March on the first anniversary of my husband’s death. I walked yesterday for 3miles in horizontal rain and really found it quite invigorating. Life tends to overtake me and it’s often hard to get out, could do with a ‘training buddy’ ! Best wishes Susan
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino March and April 2018
#64
Hi, would love to compare notes on training. I walked a mere 3 miles today in horizontal rain and an awful lot of mud. and found it strangely quite invigorating. But know I have to set to and get my fitness level up. I leave here on 9th Match and intend to begin my walk on 11th March from St Jean which is the anniversary of my husbands death. The thought of the Camino has kept me going through this difficult year. So I have only one month to get myself together, if you want to get in touch. Best wishes Susan
 

Finisterre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 2001,
Porto 2006,
Valenca 2008,
Finisterre 2010,
SJdPP 2012,
Tui 2014.

No plans to return, yet.
#65
Would love to compare training notes. I am leaving from St Jean on 11th March on the first anniversary of my husband’s death. I walked yesterday for 3miles in horizontal rain and really found it quite invigorating. Life tends to overtake me and it’s often hard to get out, could do with a ‘training buddy’ ! Best wishes Susan

We are looking out at a blizzard today. Got my boots warming in front of the fire. It's going to be excellent.
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
#66
I wondered if anyone who is currently preparing for their first Camino would like to compare experiences on training?

I’ve just started training properly in the past week. I did 8.4 miles last Friday, about 4 on Tuesday and 5.5 on Wednesday, 8.8 yesterday (Friday) and 5 this morning. Today was the first day I’ve followed a longish walk with another walk the following day. I was conscious today of yesterday’s miles in my legs. I need to get used to that!

My plan is, loosely, to walk a minimum of 2 hours/5 miles every day, possibly with one day off each week. Three days a week I’ll do a longer walk, within the next couple of weeks I intend to make that at least 10miles, sometimes up to 14. In the last 3 weeks or so before I leave, I will make sure to do two long days back to back each week. I also plan on adding some hills.

I have six and a half weeks till my Camino. In the next week, I’m going to get to grips with my new rucksack, with its hydration bladder, and practice walking with it. A low weight to start with, but building so that by the end I am walking with my full pack.

I have a history of alternating between being very active (and therefore having good fitness) and doing very little. I am carrying far too much weight on my body, and am doing my best to shift some of it..... and to build as much fitness and endurance as I can before the REAL training programme: el Camino!

I am 8 weeks from starting my 23 camino in Iran on Norte. Training for me means climbing mountains. Reek and mount Brandon in Ireland. Loads snow yesterday but very safe up and down under 3 hours: Steps :Find steps and run up and down. I do up to 900 steps near beach a few times a week and walk in sea water bare feet. Rest totally week before start camino. Buen Camino and you are in for an adventure
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#67
@Susan Campbell - sorry to hear about your husband. May you find peace and healing on the road to Santiago.

I’m 10 days into the period when I have time to do as much training as I wanted to (i.e. no work), but have done less than I was intending. At least 30 mins per day.... and am making a point of doing hills when I can find them. It’s been very cold here the past week, and that mizzly drizzly greyness for which the UK is famous.

I know that on the Camino I will have to walk whatever the weather....

I’m planning a couple of consecutive days of walking tomorrow and Tuesday, to include some hills, and later in the week a trip to the outdoor store. I need some more socks (I plan on 4 pairs of thin inners and 3 pairs of thicker outers) and to look at footwear. I have a pair of lightweight boots.... but they do tend to induce a slight numbness in my toes after long distances, which doesn’t bode well. They also have quite a lot of wear in them already, and I’m not convinced they have enough life for another 500 miles.
 

andywild

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
april '2018'
#68
@Susan Campbell - sorry to hear about your husband. May you find peace and healing on the road to Santiago.

I’m 10 days into the period when I have time to do as much training as I wanted to (i.e. no work), but have done less than I was intending. At least 30 mins per day.... and am making a point of doing hills when I can find them. It’s been very cold here the past week, and that mizzly drizzly greyness for which the UK is famous.

I know that on the Camino I will have to walk whatever the weather....

I’m planning a couple of consecutive days of walking tomorrow and Tuesday, to include some hills, and later in the week a trip to the outdoor store. I need some more socks (I plan on 4 pairs of thin inners and 3 pairs of thicker outers) and to look at footwear. I have a pair of lightweight boots.... but they do tend to induce a slight numbness in my toes after long distances, which doesn’t bode well. They also have quite a lot of wear in them already, and I’m not convinced they have enough life for another 500 miles.
I'm trying out the go outdoors own brand of lined socks. Gone from no walking to doing 5 - 10 mile walks in the last couple of weeks and have found them brilliant so far. As for hills, I live in Lincolnshire so have got nothing more severe than a speed hump within 50 miles.. I'm definitely not going to be hill ready by April
 
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2018
#69
We are now less than 2months out from our first Camino (CF-leaving SJPP-). Our training hasn’t been excessive, about 10k 3x a week. I also am doing yoga & Pilates and my hubby runs every day. A friend asked me what is my biggest fear regarding the Camino. I realized it isn’t pain or finishing the walk, but rather that I will miss “the experience” because I’m too worried about doing it “right”. I know better, but...
 

Givesome

Cape Hiker
Camino(s) past & future
CF 27 March 2017
#70
The human body is able to cope with a lot of physical activity. More than the normal person realise. Mentally you need to reach the point where you know what your body is capable off. If you believe you can do it then your body will follow. A lot of pilgrims suffer mentally in the first couple of days and when they reach the point where the mind and the body is aligned then the Camino becomes much easier.

Physical problems like blisters or muscle and joint pains can have a negative effect on your mental ability and will make it more difficult. Mentally you have to work much harder to overcome the mental effect of an injury.

Time yourself when you go for a training hike so that you know how long it takes to cover a certain distance. For example if you walk at an easy pace for 10 km and it takes 2 hours then that should be your normal pace. Mentally you will remember your training hikes. So if you have to do a 20 km stage on the Camino it is only two easy training hikes with a break in between.

Being in the military in my younger days I realized the training was more a mental preparation than physical activity. Candidates in Special Forces selection are normally punched to the mental breakdown point. Only the ones who can cope mentally will be selected.

Believe in yourself and you will be fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2 June 2018
#71
I will be doing my first camino in May. I would like to do some training too but I'm living in a big city (Hong Kong) and don't really want to walk besides those traffic and air pollution.... and the natural side is a bit too far to go everyday... Anyone can give me any suggestion?
I lived in New Zealand for the last year and I did go trekking constantly. Just worry that after I came home these 3 months don't seem to exercise a lot on walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
#72
The human body is able to cope with a lot of physical activity. More than the normal person realise. Mentally you need to reach the point where you know what your body is capable off. If you believe you can do it then your body will follow. A lot of pilgrims suffer mentally in the first couple of days and when they reach the point where the mind and the body is aligned then the Camino becomes much easier.

Physical problems like blisters or muscle and joint pains can have a negative effect on your mental ability and will make it more difficult. Mentally you have to work much harder to overcome the mental effect of an injury.

Time yourself when you go for a training hike so that you know how long it takes to cover a certain distance. For example if you walk at an easy pace for 10 km and it takes 2 hours then that should be your normal pace. Mentally you will remember your training hikes. So if you have to do a 20 km stage on the Camino it is only two easy training hikes with a break in between.

Being in the military in my younger days I realized the training was more a mental preparation than physical activity. Candidates in Special Forces selection are normally punched to the mental breakdown point. Only the ones who can cope mentally will be selected.

Believe in yourself and you will be fine.
Great advice! You sound like a military man. It is a large part mental and as long as the physical is taken care of, anything is possible. My partner and I are doing the Del Norte in May and he has no concerns that his bilateral knee replacements done 17 months ago will hold him back!! I have reservations but probably because I'm worried I'll be the one groaning!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#73
I will be doing my first camino in May. I would like to do some training too but I'm living in a big city (Hong Kong) and don't really want to walk besides those traffic and air pollution.... and the natural side is a bit too far to go everyday... Anyone can give me any suggestion?
I lived in New Zealand for the last year and I did go trekking constantly. Just worry that after I came home these 3 months don't seem to exercise a lot on walking.
You've certainly got lots of hills that you can train on in Hong Kong!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#74
@Susan Campbell You should edit your post to remove your email address, which any internet spammer can find. If someone wants to contact you they can send a private message through the forum, and you can exchange email addresses in the private message if you wish.
If I see an email address in a post I click on "Report". I give the reason as "email address", and a moderator steps in and removes the address.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2 June 2018
#75
You've certainly got lots of hills that you can train on in Hong Kong!
Ya we got quite a lot of good hills but think it's at least an hour away from home by public transportation. I could do once a week but am thinking if there's another way to do a daily training. Just wondering.
So far I can only think of carrying a bag with me when I go dog walking. lol
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte April (2019) possible Primitivo
#76
You sound like you are in exactly the same situation as me! im attempting my 1st camino. i'm by no means a hiker normally.. in mid january i decided i was going to do it and have been walking similar distances to what you describe.. i go from feeling quite positive to an anxious mess daily but kind of just wish the start date would hurry up so i can just get on with it. i've bought boots and wear them constantly in the hope that my feet get used to them instead of the usual flat tennis type shoes i usually wear (i seem to get shin splint type aches for the first mile or so but then they disappear). the longest walk i have done so far was 10 miles across sand and sand dunes.. i could feel it in my hips and thighs at the end of the walk and could also feel it the next day. i doubt i would have been able to spring up for another straight 10 miles the following day but i did a gentle 3 mile wander and was fine.. i guess its just keep plugging away and see how it goes. luckily i havent got a time limit for completing the camino frances so im planning short walking days.. if i feel i can do more on any given day then i will do more.. feel free to give me a reply or even a message and we can go through the madness together :)
good luck and buen camino
andy
I think the three of are in the same boat. I did 8 miles last week this week switching to 4 miles each day mostly concrete and of course no hills in Florida. My creaky knees definitely feels it so last night I took a rest day. I suppose this humid, hot, rainy florida weather does not help but doing 3-5 days per week 4-8 miles with 2 days will do the trick. Have my pack now so I will be walking with that at least 2 days a week. 2 -3 days of rest weather together or separate is a good Idea. I also ride my bike to get some knee relief while continuing to build leg strength. Btw I wear a doctor prescribed knee brace. I talked with my doctor and she just issued a new one and I’m just waiting for the fitting with the prosthetic people as it is custome made for my leg. So if you see a half cyborg woman walking the camino it will be me. Good luck to all and let me know how training is going @andywild. I think we leave at the same time so Im sure our paths will cross
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#77
I reflected after writing that post that I am obviously in great need of the spiritual purification which the Camino offers.....
;)Welcome to the club, @RevBarbaraG! We're a jolly gang.
I plan on doing regular squats to strengthen my knees.
Another dodgy-knee brigade member. My PT warned me to take care with squats, and showed me this instead. It's a Godsend! Squats without the knee stress, and you can do them most anywhere.

I'm coming late to this party, as I thought it was only for the folks mentioned in the title! I can't really train, so each Camino is training in itself, and I always intend to start slow for the first few days. Even when that hasn't been possible, it's actually been OK. And I'm not hugely active. I walk every day for at least a half hour without a pack and don't take elevators, and that's about it.

The main training advice I'd have is to walk as much as you can every day (including stairs), and to try to lose a little body weight if you are carrying more of that than you'd like. It makes a really big difference on how the knees feel. There are some impressive training regimes happening out there, and as others have said, it's important not to overdo it. @Iriebabel your cross training ideas sound great. Your knees will thank you for that!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#78
A lot of us seem to be lacking hills in which to hike. I've started taking the stairs. I can now do 5 flights but am winded at the top. It took me about 2 weeks to get to that point. Give it a try. I do stairs at the school where I take a language class and next week I will try to do 6 flights. The week after that, I will do a couple flights after class and work up to doing the whole thing twice a day before I leave school. It's surprising how quickly I've improved.
VNwalking - if I lose weight in this process, do I have to decrease how much I'm carrying? ;) just kidding, of course. I will carry 11% of my body weight if it's what I think I need but of course I'm hoping for less than 10%.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#79
Try this: in the bathroom in the morning at the washbasin, lightly hold each side of the basin, and squat down onto your haunches. Now stand up straight again using the basin for balance only. Do this every morning, increasing the number of squats.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#81
One of the things to be aware of for training is that the strength of the leg muscles to, essentially, do repetitive lifting of one's body weight -- while climbing an incline or a grade up a hill or mountain trail --- is a different function than is using leg muscles while walking, on treadmill, or running to develop cardiovascular fitness. You need both cardio and leg muscle lifting strength to perform uphill hikes. Relying only on cardio fitness or only on strength training will leave one wondering "why the heck, after I've been pre-training, is this not going so well" during a long uphill slog.

Climbing stairs, bleachers, and hills with a 15 to 20% grade DO combine both types of fitness workouts. So if walking on the flat or with small hills with gently climbs, also add exercises that require you to repetitively push your body weight "up", like climbing stairs, stairmaster machines, bleachers. Treadmills that are set to a 12-15% or more incline can also help.
Great advice, thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#82
Stretching before and after training walks as well as proper diet and nutrition is important prior to walking the Camino as the training walk itself. You cannot depend upon walking the Camino to lose the weight.
Also upper body and core conditioning is important. Remember, the pack is on your upper body, even if it is being supported with the assistance of a hip belt. Pushups and planks help.
Very good point about the upper body conditioning. Thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 23 (2018) camino Frances from SJPP - first time
#83
Good idea, thank you. Done!
I'm currently training for my first in May. I'm an active person and work out every day but I carry extra weight. I know i'm 'fit enough" but I would like to lose more weight, be fitter, prevent injury and avoid a week of exhaustion if I can.
We recently had a long weekend in BC and I did three 11 mile hilly city walks in a row with only about 3kg on my back. I was tight in some areas by the end of the day but stretching and a little bit of tennis ball massage meant I woke up fresh every morning. On most weeknights after work, I do about 4 miles on the treadmill going between 8 and 13 degrees incline - 2 min each for just over an hour in addition to weights etc. I intend to keep doing this and adding weight to my pack for longer weekend walks as the weeks go by. There is a lot of great hikes around me too that will be great when the snow melts.
I personally like to over prepare so that when I'm actually on the vacation/trip/hike, I don't need a plan and can go with the flow/be up for anything.
I did some math on day one knowing that if I can handle that, I can handle anything. This is just on the uphill 21 km of "day one" The degree column refers to the equivalent treadmill setting if you want to try and mimic it. Most treadmills and city hills don't hit 16 degrees but that portion is only half a km anyway. The incline column corresponds to how outdoor slopes are indicated (rise over run). A smart hiker friend of mine did some more math and figured out that the BCMC hike near me would be fairly equivalent to this and a good test before I go. There is probably more. The water bottle as weight tip is a good one. You can over weight your pack and dump out/drink water as needed. I've heard this from friends.
1518731424962.png

Again, I know I don't have to do all this but I love hiking and training and this is all part of the fun of the Camino planning for me. This is a great thread! I love seeing what other people are doing too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2 June 2018
#85
A lot of us seem to be lacking hills in which to hike. I've started taking the stairs. I can now do 5 flights but am winded at the top. It took me about 2 weeks to get to that point. Give it a try. I do stairs at the school where I take a language class and next week I will try to do 6 flights. The week after that, I will do a couple flights after class and work up to doing the whole thing twice a day before I leave school. It's surprising how quickly I've improved.
VNwalking - if I lose weight in this process, do I have to decrease how much I'm carrying? ;) just kidding, of course. I will carry 11% of my body weight if it's what I think I need but of course I'm hoping for less than 10%.
Stairs! what a good idea! Especially I'm living on the 15th floor, sounds really good to me.
Is there anything there we should take note of walking the stairs? Is it better to run and increase the bag weight gradually?
 

Givesome

Cape Hiker
Camino(s) past & future
CF 27 March 2017
#86
Stairs! what a good idea! Especially I'm living on the 15th floor, sounds really good to me.
Is there anything there we should take note of walking the stairs? Is it better to run and increase the bag weight gradually?
JeanneArashi do not run with extra weight on your back. You will increase the risk of ankle and knee injury. Look after your ankles and knees. Blisters and muscle injuries you can take care off on the Camino but ankle and knee injuries can prevent you to finish or to start at all.
Just take it easy on the stairs. Your hear rate will increase and it is not a good idea to keep you hard rate in the red zone for long periods. Build up you faintness level gradually. Start with a couple of stairs first, take breaks between sets and increase the intensity over time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#87
With stairs, you're working on strengthening so like any strengthening exercise, think of it as reps and sets. Maybe you start with 10 steps as a set (or whatever a flight of steps is where you are could work). Do one set. Go down. Do another set... I can't tell you how many sets to start with as I don't know your condition but you should be able to figure it out. Try a number of sets and see how you feel the next day. Increase the number of sets gradually. You're working on your legs here. Let your body guide you. And as my Poppa used to say...slow and steady wins the race. :)
 

Linda87

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay Way
#88
Use plastic bottles of water to weigh your pack down for training. You can always ditch a litre or too along the way if you are having difficulties. Walk with your pack as much as you can, it will eventually become as familiar as a second skin .
Edit . An afterthought , start with 10 litres of water ,drink it as you go along. When you have reached a weight you feel you are happy carrying note how much water is left , each litre is a kilo, hopefully six or eight will be the maximum you will carry.
Brilliant advise thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Looking to walk the Camino in March or April.
#89
Thanks for this, have not heard of these socks! Am going to look for them!
I only wear these socks for walking and hiking. I leave for my Camino in 10 days so I haven't tried them out there but in other situations, they are amazing!
 

OLDER threads on this topic




A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 115 14.6%
  • May

    Votes: 192 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 29.9%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top