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Training for the Camino

WayWalker63

Active Member
I don't see a topic for this anywhere but it is something near and maybe not so dear to us first time pilgrims and maybe some returning ones as well. :?

I've just over 14 months until I start walking the actual Camino Frances in September 2014. Too soon to buy much in the way of equipment or worry about plane tickets, buses and trains or even albergues. I figure the things I can do now are:
1) educate myself on the Camino and Spain especially the areas I'll be walking through.
2) improve my Spanish which is nearly non existent.
3) get my financial house in order and start saving for the equipment and travel expenses.

And last but certainly not least.

4) get my body in shape.

Here's the start of my plan. I'm hoping those in the know will chime in and help me change it where it needs changing. Encourage when I'm flagging or getting chicken. And just generally share your experience, strength, knowledge and hope with me on this start of my journey.

A few things about me first. Woman, 63 in August, overweight but have lost a bit over 43lbs over the past 15 months with plans to lose at least 19 more. I workout at least 4-5 days a week. Mostly water aerobics, with some street walking, treadmill walking and stationary biking as well. Don't as yet do much strength training.

I'd like to lose a good bit of the 19lbs before I start the really long walks so:

From now until then or March, whichever comes 1st I'm going to keep up with the aerobic exercises I'm already doing, add some strength training especially for my knees, ankles, back and core. Start taking the stairs at work and walking on my afternoon break and of course when I walk my dog :)

Starting in March start increasing the walking outside instead if the treadmill and bike. On weekends days walk 4 miles each on Saturday and Sunday.

In April 5 miles on weekends and at least 1 mile each weekday

May 6 miles weekends and 2 on weekdays

June 7 miles weekends and 2-3 weekdays

July 8 miles weekends 2-3 weekdays

August 9-10 miles weekends 2-3 weekdays

September 12 miles 1st couple weekends and 2-3 miles weekdays. The weekend before I take off maybe just a couple easy walks of 5-6 miles and 1-2 miles a day.

I shutter to think of walking in the July/August heat here in Florida but if I'm going to walk in the fall there just isn't a way around it. Somewhere in there I need to start adding a pack, hmm :?

Anyway let me know what you think.

I plan to check back in with my progress on a weekly basis. If anyone else would like to join me I promise to cheer you on and kick you in the buttocks as needed.
 
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fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
WayWalker63 said:
Anyway let me know what you think.
If you can walk (possibly) 5 to 8 miles a day on consecutive days during 2 weeks before starting your Camino you should be OK, also provided that you include steep ups and downs for not less than 30 minutes each time over irregular surfaces (stones, rocks, mud, potholes, etc.). If your backpack fits snugly and weighs 10% or less of your body weight, a week of feeling it out would do. Monitor your feet's reactions on your socks and boots, particularly after the longer walks when they are swollen.
Many people who do not have opportunities to do so, quickly develop nasty blisters or knee problems. On the other hand, the Camino can be walked without too many physical problems (except for the climate :| ) if one listens to one's body and does not try to convert into a marathon. :wink:
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
Working full time doesn't lend it's self to walking 5-8 hours everyday but I will try.

North Florida doesn't have much in the way of hills especially ones with more rugged terrain and I'm at least 5 hours, that I know of, from anywhere that does. There are a few hills near me that are paved so I can go up and down those, I guess. There are also a couple bridges with walking lanes I could try. There are some state parks around so even if I can't do the rugged hills, I can do rugged terrain and pavement hills. :wink:

With our weather I'm sure I will have plenty of experience with hot, sweaty, swollen feet. Hot sweaty everything really. I'll need to by stock in the Gatorade company! :lol:

Believe me I will not be walking a marathon each day on the Camino.

Thanks so much for you input. I will endeavor to tweak my plan to be closer your suggestions. I'll ask around about places to walk. Maybe some of my coworkers and friends know places I don't.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Florida may not have real hills, but you do have quite a few publicly funded artificial hills, quaintly known as "high school football stadiums". These will work perfectly to train the glutes and hamstrings for hill climbing. Use this interval pattern:
Walk 1 lap around the field (0.25 mile/ 400m)
Walk one cycle all the way up the stadium stairs and back down
Walk 2 laps around
Walk 2 cycles up and down
1-2-3-4-3-2-1

Interval training is your friend! Intensity pays off for training!
 

ritescot

Veteran member since 2011
Past OR future Camino
2021
I walked my first Camino in 2010 when I was 65, from 'O Cebreiro to Santiago. What I did was train for and walk half marathons. I walked six before the Camino. It was a good incentive to put on the miles and develop endurance. Even with that I was wiped out after reaching Sarria the second day out. My husband was not walking and we were staying on the mountain above Triacastela on a farm/casa rural where the woman pampered we with a hot cup of honey and water when she saw my condition. We took the third day off and drove to Ponferrada to see the Templars castle. That day breather was what I needed. Listen to your body! I walked that Camino in 6 1/2 days and felt a real sense of accomplishment for my 65th year. I'm coming back to walk the whole French Way at 68 from SJPP in September and October. Giving myself plenty of time to smell the roses, and leaving my husband at home for college football season. You have put a lot of thought into your training and should be ready.
 
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NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
WayWalker63 said:
I've just over 14 months until I start walking the actual Camino Frances in September 2014. Too soon to buy much in the way of equipment .

I'm not going to suggest running out and buying anything but make a shopping list. Soon enough it'll be end of summer 2013 and all the summer gear will be on sale. Then the winter stuff will be on sale.

Plus some things you really want to try out before you go. Boots/shoes and backpack.
 

Alexster66

Member
Past OR future Camino
April/May 2014
Great planning WayWalker63,
I've been planning since January this year for my April/May 2014 Camino Frances walk.
It's all about the saving (my egg is growing), researching and getting fit for me(lost the weight just not very fit) at this stage.
I have a book with list upon list of information I'm gathering with everything from sock liners to sleeping bags and all in-between and I'm enjoying it so much. I too feel that it's a bit early to buy to much unless there are sales on.
My biggest challenge at the moment is the language....I'm terrible at them and Spanish is no exception. I'm in the middle of an online Spanish course so I can hear the pronunciation and I have a couple of books but I'm just shocking. I know the basics will suffice but I want to be able to do better than that as I won't have anyone to rely on....apart from friendly pilgrims of course.
My other challenge are my feet, so I'm constantly on the lookout and researching shoes.
I will look forward to hearing how your progress is going throughout the year and happily send you lots of encouragement.
Alex
Keep up the good work and get your core strength up and happening
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Questions on this topic often appear scattered through the forum so it is good to have this new thread started here.
If it is any help try reading the blog http://trainingforpilgrimage.blogspot.co.uk/. It covers initial training and preparation from 2009 and preparing to return to the Camino in other years.

We are just starting to prepare for next year (again) with all the thoughts on the route, gear (the tried and tested), sleeping bags or use hostals etc. We just bought new boots in our favourite make. Our Spanish Is OK, but the northern route we plan might need some words in Gallego too :!: or at least the ability to recognise where the place names are given in Gallego not Spanish :) .

Off for a walk as it isn't raining this morning. We have to admit that we do try not to get unnecessarily wet during early training.

Buen Camino for 2014
 

amourier

Caminophile
Past OR future Camino
Frances'12,'13; Portuguese'13,14,'15; Portuguese Coastal'16,'17; Ingles'14, CostadaMorte
'14,'15
:arrow:
fraluchi said:
WayWalker63 said:
Anyway let me know what you think.
If you can walk (possibly) 5 to 8 miles a day on consecutive days during 2 weeks before starting your Camino you should be OK, also provided that you include steep ups and downs for not less than 30 minutes each time over irregular surfaces (stones, rocks, mud, potholes, etc.). If your backpack fits snugly and weighs 10% or less of your body weight, a week of feeling it out would do. Monitor your feet's reactions on your socks and boots, particularly after the longer walks when they are swollen.
Many people who do not have opportunities to do so, quickly develop nasty blisters or knee problems. On the other hand, the Camino can be walked without too many physical problems (except for the climate :| ) if one listens to one's body and does not try to convert into a marathon. :wink:

Hi WayWalker, I live in the desert southwest and during the summer it is virtually impossible to walk any more than 5 to 8 miles per day, simply because the sun heats up everything very quickly (I am out walking by 5 am most days in order to get in 6 or so miles before it is too hot to walk). Fraluchi gives great advice, I was fine on my Camino last year doing exactly the same as he explains. And am doing the same now - I leave for the Camino on September 15th this year.

Ultreia :arrow:
Arlene
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
amourier said:
Fraluchi gives great advice, I was fine on my Camino last year doing exactly the same as he explains. And am doing the same now - I leave for the Camino on September 15th this year.
Thank you Arlene for this complement.
I forgot to mention one other important factor to consider: the body mass index. You can look up the calculation method in Wikipedia. (weight in kg divided by size in meters square)
If your index is higher than 25, you should do something about your weight :twisted:
My index is 24, reason for which with adequate training (in our tropical climate) I have been able to do various Caminos without any trouble of sorts.
 
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WayWalker63

Active Member
Fraluchi- I know my BMI is too high and I'm overweight. I have lost quite a bit over the last year, 43lbs, and I want to lose at least 19 more. This is one reason I planned not to start the long walks until March or whenever the 19lbs is off (whichever comes first) but concentrate on the aqua-aerobics (less stressful on the joints and I enjoy it) and add strength training for my knees, ankles, abs and back. I've also as of yesterday been taking the stairs at work :)

Amourier- I will try but I gotta tell you that I'd have to get up at 4 to do as you suggest, but since my alarm clock already goes off at 6,I really don't see that happening. You did get me rereading fraluchi's original though. I thought he had suggested 5-6 HOURS/day instead of MILES. I think I could do 5-6 miles most evenings. :D

Tia Valeria- I will check out the blog. Thanks for the link. Yes, I have seen the subject scattered around the forum under other subjects like shoes, etc. I didn't intend to put it under weather. Not sure how it got here exactly. Maybe one of the forum moderators could move it to a more appropriate area :?:

Alexster66- thanks for the encouragement. I will be looking for those sales especially for the backpack and sleeping bag. I'm also putting REI GCs on my wish list for the 2 birthdays, Christmas and Mother's Day I have between now and then.
I hear you on the Spanish. I've taken a introductory and intermediate non credit course at my local college but since I don't use it everyday I've lost some of it. I find I know words (mostly nouns) but have a hard time putting them together in a sentence. What online course are you taking :?: I've thought about taking the advanced course at the college or hiring a tutor ($$$$$).

NicoZ- shoes/boots are definitely 1st on the list. I want to get them early to make sure they are the right ones for me and to get them seasoned properly before I get on the trail but not so early that they are worn out either.

riescot- I will look into the half marathons or even some shorter "fun" walks to get started. That's a good idea. So too is the suggestion to take some rest days on the Camino. I've planned to take at least 2-3 depending on how far I end up walking. I'm saving my vacation days but know I have at least 1 family event (a week long reunion, 1st one ever for this part of my family) between now and then. I hope to have between 15-20 days to walk not counting travel days.

Kitsambler- you know I would have never though about the stadium steps and track. Thanks for that suggestion and the interval training suggestion as well. I will check it out. 8)

Thanks again to everyone for their helpful suggestions and encouragement!<3 Keep them coming. And feel free to join me here with your own training goals, setbacks, questions, successes, etc.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
yes...
Hello WayWalker - I hope I'm not being rude here but is the 63 the year you were born? (it is for me)

I'm planning to walk the camino francis in September 2014 - I'm planning on starting on the Monday 15th September. My husband and son are going to drive me down to Saint Jean on the weekend of the 13th, we'll all stay the night and I'll book into my first hostel on the 14th September... ready for the off the next day! I live in SW France which makes the start fairly straight forward for me.

Like you I have some preperation to do and I'm putting together a training programme too - maybe we could encourage each other?

I had cancer 3 years ago and part of my reason for doing the camino is because I can... because I'm well now. I had thought about doing it a long time ago but never got round to it... so now seems the right time.

I have a few pounds to lose (actually quite a few) and I need to get fit so I plan to start walking... little by little. My husband likes cycling so I'll maybe do some of this too. We have lots of hills in the Perigord so I'll be able to practice going up and down over stoney ground without problem.

I'm also trying to get my head around gear - which backpack, which shoes, sleeping bag or liner... I'm worried about bed bugs and being alone... all of which I guess once we start will be irrelevant but still my head is full of worries :)

Do you have a date yet? How are your plans coming along? Any tips ypu want to pass on :)
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
Hi WayWalker

Great plan you have there. I´d just add a backpack to your walks. And pack the equivalent of 10% of your body weight in it.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
MendiWalker- I will add the backpack closer to the time. It is too early for that as yet. I probably won't even buy one until after Christmas, even then I'll still have 9 more months.

LesBrass- no 63 isn't my birth year. I originally thought I would walk this September-October 2013 and would be 63 when I walked. However, life had other plans and I will not be walking until next Fall 2014. I will be 64 then. Of course we can cheer each other on here. I am so glad to hear that you are well and have kicked the nasty cancer out of your body. What are you doing to get you and your body ready for the Camino? I'd love to hear from you.

Right now I'm looking at September 27th to fly out and start my Camino the 29th. I'm still undecided about where I'll start. Right now it looks like I'll not have the time to do the whole Frances but I'm holding out for a miracle that will allow me the time and € to do the whole thing.

Well I haven't been back here weekly as I'd hoped but here's what I've been doing since I made this post originally. I had a fall that took me a couple weeks to get my knee back to reasonable shape. I have continued the water aerobics and stationary biking. I've walked a near by bridge a couple times. The last time was 6k with a cross body pack of 7.8lbs, in my Teva sandals. I did great. No aches or pains, a little hot and sweaty as it was 86F by the time I finished. I could have done more and will walk a little further the next time. We've had a lot of rain in the evening the past couple months so have not been able to walk much. I'll get back to it as soon as the rain and heat let up a bit.
I have lost a couple more pounds, that's 45 so far. Just 15 to my next goal. Took a Pilates class the other week and I will keep this up to improve my core muscles and make carrying a backpack a little easier.
As to kit, right now I have a Altus raincoat, knife, keychain flashlight, clothesline, spork, 1 hiking pants (which might not fit next year, a Macabi skirt which should fit, some underwear, the Tevas, and several pairs of wool socks and sock liners. Not much but it's a start.
 
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WayWalker63

Active Member
Between work and fear I haven't been back to the Pilates class yet. The instructor was brutal:(! I have still been working out and keeping on my eating plan. On a little plateau right now but hopefully the scale will move down soon if I just keep going.
Added a pack towel and a Sea to Summit Day Pack to my kit.
Found several more blogs of people who either have walked or are walking the Camino and am avidly reading those, along with the Camino books I've been devouring. Thank goodness the Kindle app on my iPad allows me to get a Camino fix almost anytime or place.:rolleyes:
The weather is still hot and the humidity high. We've had rain, thunder storms, nearly everyday for the past couple months. Consequently walking outside is nearly impossible. I am praying for and looking forward to cooler temps and/or a reduction in the wet soon.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The truth is many pilgrims do not train at all.

Get GOOD shoes, well-broken in, and pack light.
Then listen to your body and do not over-do it.
Stop every couple of hours, take your shoes off, rub your feet and rest.
Stay hydrated.
Take rest days.
You will be fine :)
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
Thanks Annie!
I'm not rich so I'm having to buy my kit bit by bit. The pack is scheduled for about January and the shoes/boots for about March. I think this should be plenty enough time to get them broken in before I leave at the end of September. I'm lucky I could wear them to work for some gentle breaking in, as well as out walking. I always try to buy good shoes even for everyday but I will be extra careful for my Camino shoes.
I'm aiming for no more than 14lbs including my pack, which will be less than 10% of my body weight. I'm not known for packing light so this will be a challenge, but knowing I will have to carry it should keep me on the straight and narrow. ;)
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
yes...
Hello WayWalker - how's the training going?

I lost 1kg this last week which I'm very pleased about! We've been walking, but not ever day. I was excited today as we decided to go in hunt of the camino route near where we live and we walked along for 8km (well actually we walked 4km and then turned around and walked back to our car... but we have a plan for the next time taking both cars so we can walk from one car to the other. And... I'm going to start collecting stamps... which is also very exciting!

The hear of the summer has gone now - Autumn is lovely and perfect for walking... I'm feeling excited!

I've not bought any kit yet - I'm going to wait for the January sales and get most of it then. We're going to have a trip to Bordeaux as I think they will be more choice... but I also think I'll buy a fair amount on-line. I have such a long list - I'm hoping the more I learn from others here the more things I can cross of the list!

Happy training!
 

princesa56

New Member
I'm so happy you are posting your ideas and plans and asking questions. My situation is quite similar. I am 57, and also hope to walk my first camino in the fall of 2014. I walk half marathons twice a year to keep me motivated to walk and train most days, but I too am quite out of shape and need to lose 20 pounds to make the trek easier on myself. I am a cancer survivor as well, and started walking after my treatment just because is made me feel alive! I have been researching info on what to take, shoes to wear, how to train, etc, and it's nice to find someone who is closer to my age and experience level, etc. I will be watching for answers to your questions and to see how your training is coming along. Maybe we can encourage each other! Thanks again for sharing your plans and questions.
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
yes...
Hi Princesa! I'm looking forward to all the encouragement I can get! I still don't quite beleive I'm really going to do this... but I have started telling a few friends. So much to learn, so much to prepare... but we have a year so I'm feeling positive... and crikey walking half marathons is pretty good!
 

paul.ferris

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2011 Camino Frances
2013 Camino Frances
2015 To be decided
I've done 2 Camino Frances since I turned 60. Yes you should train, but don't over train. You don't want to injure yourself before you start. Best advice I can give is get a thick cushioning after market boot insert. You will be walking a million + steps on hard surfaces. When you buy your light boot or walking shoe with good support and cushioning probably a size larger than you normally wear -make sure it fits with your upgraded insert. Secondly, be ruthless at not taking things - most people hurt themselves by trying to carry too much. If you can't get your pack weight down to 10 lbs consider sending it ahead by taxi.
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Part of the fun is in the planning :)

Waywalker wrote:
I hear you on the Spanish. I've taken a introductory and intermediate non credit course at my local college but since I don't use it everyday I've lost some of it. I find I know words (mostly nouns) but have a hard time putting them together in a sentence.

I think you will be surprised at just how quickly what Spanish you have learned before will come back - that's what happened with me with French, which kept interfering with words when I was learning Spanish! By the end of our holiday, I was talking a mixture of French/Spanish in sentences, lololol. Seriously though, I got some basic Spanish phrases using Earworms DVDs, which teach repetitive phrases to music (which is supposed to aid learning). I found them fun and they weren't too expensive. Just learning the basics will get you a long way. We hope to do the Camino again one day (but walking as last time we rode it and it was over far too quickly). And perhaps we will do the Camino de Norte next time although revisiting old places might be a decider.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
Part of the fun is in the planning :)

Waywalker wrote:

I think you will be surprised at just how quickly what Spanish you have learned before will come back - that's what happened with me with French, which kept interfering with words when I was learning Spanish! By the end of our holiday, I was talking a mixture of French/Spanish in sentences, lololol. Seriously though, I got some basic Spanish phrases using Earworms DVDs, which teach repetitive phrases to music (which is supposed to aid learning). I found them fun and they weren't too expensive. Just learning the basics will get you a long way. We hope to do the Camino again one day (but walking as last time we rode it and it was over far too quickly). And perhaps we will do the Camino de Norte next time although revisiting old places might be a decider.

I find I know quite a few words but putting them together in a sentence is a struggle. Seems I'm always missing a crucial words or two to complete what I want to say, usually a verb:rolleyes:. I will check out the Earworms DVDs. Thanks for that suggestion. I know even less French but unless I start in SJPP and come in through Paris that shouldn't be a problem. And without a miracle, I'd have to retire earlier than planned to do that.

382 days until wings up.
 
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WayWalker63

Active Member
I've done 2 Camino Frances since I turned 60. Yes you should train, but don't over train. You don't want to injure yourself before you start. Best advice I can give is get a thick cushioning after market boot insert. You will be walking a million + steps on hard surfaces. When you buy your light boot or walking shoe with good support and cushioning probably a size larger than you normally wear -make sure it fits with your upgraded insert. Secondly, be ruthless at not taking things - most people hurt themselves by trying to carry too much. If you can't get your pack weight down to 10 lbs consider sending it ahead by taxi.
Almost all my shoes have upgraded insoles. It has really made a huge difference in my feet. The only time I have foot pain any more is when I wear shoes that don't.
 

Sommerfugl

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances 2013
I walked my frist camino this spring from Pamplona to Santiago. I'overweight too,and do not have time to exercise more than once a week. I met several pilgrims who had problems with their knees after pasing the pyrinees. Starting on the Spanish side of the mountain and using walking sticks will increase Your chances of gong all the way. you will meet so many interresting people on your way. I would have liked to walk with you.....
 

Irène Elisabet

St Benedict Ora Pro Nobis!
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Interesting thread! I too am training for my upcoming first Camino. I've been running 5k's in my area, going to the gym working out with a combination of running and hill walking on the treadmill. I'm also losing weight with the help of (www.myfitnesspal.com) which is free BTW. One thing not mentioned on this thread but is very important is back strength. I've been focusing HEAVILY on shoulder, upper back, lower back and abdominal strengthening. If you are a member of a fitness gym look for the circuit trainers that work those parts of the body.
Buen Camino!
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
Interesting thread! I too am training for my upcoming first Camino. I've been running 5k's in my area, going to the gym working out with a combination of running and hill walking on the treadmill. I'm also losing weight with the help of (www.myfitnesspal.com) which is free BTW. One thing not mentioned on this thread but is very important is back strength. I've been focusing HEAVILY on shoulder, upper back, lower back and abdominal strengthening. If you are a member of a fitness gym look for the circuit trainers that work those parts of the body.
Buen Camino!
Thanks for that tip, Irene! I work out at LA Fitness here in Jax. I have been looking for ways to increase my core strength.
Walked my first 5k in years last Saturday and have the Marine Corps Half Marathon and 5k this week. I'm not a runner and am in fact a pretty slow walker but have no real difficulty finishing or repercussions after.
You'll find my photo near the end of this forum thread. Somehow I don't think the Marines are going to be as colorful. :)
For us sloooow walkers only!
 

Alexster66

Member
Past OR future Camino
April/May 2014
I walked to work yesterday and home again, all up 24 km. Really proud but it just showed me that I'm no were near being able to do this day after day yet. I'm hoping to walk to work 3 times a week to build me up
and my regular pack that I carry is about 3 kg so a good start. I agree about increasing my upper strength, I can't afford a gym but should be able to find exercises to help me....very poor core strength as I sit in an office all day.
Any suggestions would be most welcome but I will also search online. A foot surgeon wants to operate on my hammer toes but I'm reluctant to have it done prior to leaving in late April, as it would really delay my training,
I will speak to him further I think and look into getting new implants for my shoes for now and see how I go.
Buen Camino
Alex
 
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jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
At 68 my exercise program was all the above! However what helped me the most was walking up and down the stairs at my condo. It is 13 stories and I did not enjoy it, I did like my other exorcise programs. Walking down the stairs were even more important then going up. I did 13 flights 3 times a day for several months. My legs said "thank you," during my journey!
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
I've just returned from walking on the Arles Way, and what do I wish I'd done differently?
1)
I'd have walked MUCH more on roads. Not something we tend to for much in the UK and it kills your feet!
2)
I'd have trained carrying a heavier pack than I intended taking with me. Get body used to this then a lighter pack would be simple.
3)
Train more and harder in really hot conditions. Again not something we get too much here but take every opportunity.

Finally when I do my next section I'm planning shorter stages - 10 to 12 miles maximum. Without pressure to walk big mileages you walk 'head up' rather than relentlessly plodding along 'head down'. Walking head up means that you see and enjoy so much more. And you're less likely to miss the waymarks!

Ultreïa.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
If you want to improve your core strength the obvious answer is to deadlift.

I'm leary of suggesting it. Find somebody who knows how to weightlift to show you. Start with very low weight. Even if the weight seems foolishly low. Better your ego gets hurt then your body.
 

k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
Waywalker,

Congrats on the weight loss and your current exercise routine. If you continue, I am sure you will be able to complete the Camino.

I first walked the Camino Francés at age 61 in 2011. I too am a Floridian (Sarasota) and, therefore, could not practice on hills. I recommend step aerobics for building the thighs--walking just does not do it--if you plan on walking over the Pyrenees. There are many DVDs to help you with this. I like the Step Reebok with Gin Miller, but there are others. Check your local library to see if there is a copy for you to try out before buying. I walked the Camino Portugués in 2013 and did not have problems with the hills in Gallicia; I attribute this to the step aerobics and to doing lunges and other thigh-building exercises like biking.

Buen Camino.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
I walked to work yesterday and home again, all up 24 km. Really proud but it just showed me that I'm no were near being able to do this day after day yet. I'm hoping to walk to work 3 times a week to build me up
and my regular pack that I carry is about 3 kg so a good start. I agree about increasing my upper strength, I can't afford a gym but should be able to find exercises to help me....very poor core strength as I sit in an office all day.
Any suggestions would be most welcome but I will also search online. A foot surgeon wants to operate on my hammer toes but I'm reluctant to have it done prior to leaving in late April, as it would really delay my training,
I will speak to him further I think and look into getting new implants for my shoes for now and see how I go.
Buen Camino
Alex
Lots of exercise stuff including core on You Tube. Pilates is specifically designed to strengthen the core muscles so you might look for some CDs or videos of that to help you develop your own system.
 
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gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
A foot surgeon wants to operate on my hammer toes but I'm reluctant to have it done prior to leaving in late April
Hi Alex. I'm a hammer toe man and my toenails were turning black with the relentless walking pressure. I don't know why I did it, because it sounds illogical, but I tried placing earplugs between my toes and lo and behold the healing began.
Might be worth a try cobber.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
My
Waywalker,

Congrats on the weight loss and your current exercise routine. If you continue, I am sure you will be able to complete the Camino.

I first walked the Camino Francés at age 61 in 2011. I too am a Floridian (Sarasota) and, therefore, could not practice on hills. I recommend step aerobics for building the thighs--walking just does not do it--if you plan on walking over the Pyrenees. There are many DVDs to help you with this. I like the Step Reebok with Gin Miller, but there are others. Check your local library to see if there is a copy for you to try out before buying. I walked the Camino Portugués in 2013 and did not have problems with the hills in Gallicia; I attribute this to the step aerobics and to doing lunges and other thigh-building exercises like biking.

Buen Camino.
gym has step classes which I have been avoiding like the plague but will look into them once my knee heals a bit more. Thanks for the suggestion, I wouldn't have thought of it.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Finally when I do my next section I'm planning shorter stages - 10 to 12 miles maximum. Without pressure to walk big mileages you walk 'head up' rather than relentlessly plodding along 'head down'. Walking head up means that you see and enjoy so much more. And you're less likely to miss the waymarks!
If you are not already walking with poles, one of their benefits is that you walk with a more upright stance. I find I am less inclined to walk with my head down, although I still managed to miss a few waymarks nonetheless.

Regards,
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
.....Well God bless you all I broke into a sweat just reading your posts. Of course loosing weight and being fit before you start are important and it's very sensible to take actions to improve your overall fitness.......but IF something happens and your regime falls by the wayside due to work/family/life etc don't panic and try to 'make up' for lost ground or you could end up overdoing it. On my first Camino of course I meant to get super fit loose loads of weight etc .......but I didn't:oops:.
What I did do though (well I had no other option) was to start SLOWLY very SLOWLY and found (as has been pointed out on the forum) that I walked into fitness en route (didn't loose weight it just shifted around and got firmed up a tad). Don't get too stressed about it you'll make it :)
Since then when trying to shed weight I found a useful incentive is to weigh my full pack and set the goal of loosing that amount of weight....reward is the equivalent of walking pack free=pilgrim bliss:).
 

Alexster66

Member
Past OR future Camino
April/May 2014
Thanks Waywalker63, i rarely think of you tube i will definately have a look, dvd may be the go so i have something to follow.

Gerard thats brilliant, i've tried rolling up tissues with not much success but the earplugs makes a bit more sense.I can usually get in about 5kms before that intense pain sets in but honestly if something as simple as earplugs can help i'm all for it, thanks to you guys here yet again.
Here's to happy feet
 
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Deleted member 3000

Guest
but IF something happens and your regime falls by the wayside due to work/family/life etc don't panic
A pilot took off from Dallas headed for Miami. After an hour, he found himself off course, so he turned around and went back to Dallas. Another pilot determined how far off course he was, made a correction, and arrived at Miami. Which would you fly with? It is the same way with training. Know your destination, and make correction along the way when you are off course.
 

Irène Elisabet

St Benedict Ora Pro Nobis!
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
I agree about increasing my upper strength, I can't afford a gym but should be able to find exercises to help me....very poor core strength as I sit in an office all day. Any suggestions would be most welcome but I will also search online. Alex

Here is a link that reviews circuit training without machines: http://www.livestrong.com/article/115989-circuit-training-exercises-equipment/

The circuit machines I've been using for back strength are: lumbar flexion, ab flexion, rear deltoid, deltoid flexor, lat pull down and triceps. I have found that pretty much gets the whole back and the shoulders including the trapezius. I'm hoping to be able to carry my pack without too much pain. The key to avoiding back pain is back strength.
 

WayWalker63

Active Member
I found a link on Pinterest for this hiking/backpack training program today. There are 3 parts to it. It looks pretty good so I thought I'd share in case someone else is interested. I haven't tried them myself yet.

http://www.hiking-tips-for-you.com/backpacking-training.html

I've been a little frustrated with my lack of progress training this week, well the last couple weeks really. Seems the last time I fell (#3 since the end of May, 2 dog x 1 trip) I wrenched my right knee. Having a hard time just walking on it without pain much less training on it. It is getting better just not fast enough for me. :rolleyes:I know I have almost a year to get ready but it seems I'm backing up. Even the water aerobics has to be modified to not include many twisting motions. I'm barely holding on to my weight lose without the exercise. Last weekend I did a 5k and really suffered, the walk itself wasn't hard but my knee really hurt afterward. I was supposed to do another one this weekend but decided not to risk it again so soon. I think I'll wait until at least November for any more of those.
Maybe I can focus on core strength while I wait for my knee to heal. :)

Anyway that's what's going on in my world, what's happening in yours? How is your training going? I hope you all are having a better time than I am.
 
Last edited:

WayWalker63

Active Member
I've just returned from walking on the Arles Way, and what do I wish I'd done differently?
1)
I'd have walked MUCH more on roads. Not something we tend to for much in the UK and it kills your feet!
2)
I'd have trained carrying a heavier pack than I intended taking with me. Get body used to this then a lighter pack would be simple.
3)
Train more and harder in really hot conditions. Again not something we get too much here but take every opportunity.

Finally when I do my next section I'm planning shorter stages - 10 to 12 miles maximum. Without pressure to walk big mileages you walk 'head up' rather than relentlessly plodding along 'head down'. Walking head up means that you see and enjoy so much more. And you're less likely to miss the waymarks!

Ultreïa.
Thanks for those insights from your experience Sixwheeler!
I don't have to worry too much about training more in the heat, heat we have plenty of around here. We have plenty of road and sidewalk too but no many places to walk off the hard surfaces. However, the suggestion to carry more than I plan to carry on the Camino while training is a good one. Thanks!
I don't think I see myself doing more than 20km/day. I'm not a fast walker (~11-12 min/km on flat ground without a pack) and I don't plan on walking in the dark so I think 5-6 hours max of walking a day will be enough for me.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm hoping to be able to carry my pack without too much pain. The key to avoiding back pain is back strength.

I think being as strong and as fit as possible is about the best insurance policy you can bring with you on the camino, but when it comes to backpacks, if they fit right and are well constructed they will not put any weight on your back. If your back hurts when you carry your pack, it means that you've got the wrong pack or you have not strapped it up right, because it's the hips that take the weight of the pack. I have a lot of chronic lower back pain from sitting at work, not having a strong enough core, etc, but when I walk the camino with my fully loaded pack I never feel a tinge.
 
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DawnsJourney

Member
Past OR future Camino
September (2014)
I plan on my first Camino in September 2014. I have already started training and gathering things I need. I bought my boots at a great store called REI, so I can return them for a full refund or trade in. Already put 50+ miles on them. I am so glad I found this forum as well as this thread. I look forward to reading everyone's suggestions and victories!

Buen Camino
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Welcome to the forum, @DawnsJourney. This is only one of several threads about preparing yourself for your pilgrimage. Browsing and searching is a good start, and if you find that your specific query hasn't been addressed, ask. Don't be surprised if you are offered apparently contradictory advice - there is no one universally correct way to do things, but many of us can tell you what worked or didn't work for us.

Regards,
 

DawnsJourney

Member
Past OR future Camino
September (2014)
Welcome to the forum, @DawnsJourney. This is only one of several threads about preparing yourself for your pilgrimage. Browsing and searching is a good start, and if you find that your specific query hasn't been addressed, ask. Don't be surprised if you are offered apparently contradictory advice - there is no one universally correct way to do things, but many of us can tell you what worked or didn't work for us.

Regards,
@dougfitz, Thank you for the welcome. I look forward to exploring the site and topics. I like to get advice from many different sources and then pick the things that work for me. I have a friend who did the Camino September 2012 and he is my main source of information and advice at the moment. He is probably sick of all my questions. LOL
 

Irène Elisabet

St Benedict Ora Pro Nobis!
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
I think being as strong and as fit as possible is about the best insurance policy you can bring with you on the camino, but when it comes to backpacks, if they fit right and are well constructed they will not put any weight on your back. If your back hurts when you carry your pack, it means that you've got the wrong pack or you have not strapped it up right, because it's the hips that take the weight of the pack. I have a lot of chronic lower back pain from sitting at work, not having a strong enough core, etc, but when I walk the camino with my fully loaded pack I never feel a tinge.

Yes there are many causes of back pain, many currently are due to hunching over a computer. I know that core/back strengthening does not cure all these ills but it does help many. One site I work at forces me to sit in a chair all day that has NO back, one of those padded stools on wheels - nothing worse to sit on for 12 hours. I would sit there with pain in my neck and back most of the day. Once I started strengthening my back, now I can sit there all day without pain. Now that's just me so I don't propose this will work for all.

I also know when I send back pain patients to physical therapy, they go through something called "back school" which is intense back and core strengthening. Those that complete the program and go on to do the home exercizes often will report complete to near complete pain resolution. Of course this will not work for issues such as nerve impingement or arthritis.

I agree with you 100% on the need for a properly fitting backpack. With long hiking and even running, I find my endurance is increased with core exercize so that why I focus on it so much in training for the Camino. I also am rather fanatic about it in my own life because for my entire career back pain has got to be the bane of my job - seems everyone has it and its so hard to get rid of. I'm doing my darndest to not get it myself. ;)
 

compliance51

member 2013
Past OR future Camino
april (2013) SJPP to SDC.
MAY (2015 )Via Podensis
You will be fine. I walked 4/24/13 from SJPP to Santiago 5/30/13 at 57. Living in Hilton Head we have no hills and I was shocked at how high the Pyrenees were. Took me 2 days to walk from SJPP to Roncesvallles and I was exhausted at the end of both days...toes with many blisters and feet swollen past my size 11 shoe (went up 1 size maybe needed a 1/2 size more...vaseline, vaseline, vaseline). However the most amazing views imaginable were on both days. I cycled to prepare for my pilgrimage to build endurance...should of walked more but also had been cycling for 15 yrs. (3 ladies I met from Orlando trained in a parking garage and they said it hardly prepared them.) Looking back there's only so much you can do within your reference point...where you live in flat lands compared to what you actually see when you get in SJPP... walking/climbing mountains. Coming from the south and having been to Central/South America and seeing mountains was totally different than actually climbing O'Cebreiro , the Pryenees, Cruz de ferro.. It was the most amazing journey of my life and you build strength and endurance as you walk the camino. Every day will be full of pain, laughter, picnics, spiritual energy and friends along the way. I begin 4/2014 La Puy en Velay...one camino leads to another. You will be fine and age matters not...the first 150 miles I was the youngest...many 60 and 70 yr olds peppered with a handful of 80 yr olds.. Buen camino
 
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