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Training for the Camino

Mqa200

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Not applicable
#1
Hi, all!

For a few months, I have been loosely considering walking the Camino some time in the future.

I am actually training for a half marathon in early May right now, and it just occurred to me that shortly after the half marathon may be a good time to walk the Camino. I am normally a pretty fit young woman (28 yrs old), and, without training, can pretty easily bike about 40 miles or run about 5. I regularly walk a few miles just to get around my city.

Do you think I can just turn around, after my race, and do the walk? Or do I need to train by hiking with a pack for a month or two? I want to avoid blisters and injuries.

Thank you for your answers!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017), plus more than 2000 Km/year of trekking, hiking and minor caminos since 2000.
#2
My two cents...
From what I read you are much more fit than 90% of the people who start a Camino! ;)
IMHO you only need to do some long walks of about 4 to 6 hours (18 to 30 Km), progressively increasing the time/distance, and become familiar with the weight of your backpack.

P.S.
You can even start now to walk long distances, surely that will be good for your endurance and resilience in the half marathon. And, above all, find the pleasure in walking! :cool:
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#3
Yes, without a doubt. You will be fit. You may not entirely avoid blisters, but training with a pack is only helpful because it makes us realise we need to lighten the load! Take only the absolute essentials. Don't pack your fears. Nothing "just in case". One set of walking clothes, wash them every day, one garment to wear while your walking clothes are wet, a rain covering, a hat, a very light sleeping bag (consider a Costco Down quilt - cheap, light and warm).

If you feel a hot spot - stop and fix it. And don't let blisters get bad - take a day off and sit in the plaza and watch the world go buy - that's the best fix.

Provided you keep your pack light then the shoes you are wearing for the half marathon should be good for the camino - maybe a new pair to ensure the sole will last the distance. Good comfortable shoes are really important and if they are comfortable enough for you to do the half marathon they should be OK.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
#4
Just go. You'll be fine. Lots of people do their 'training' on camino. In my experience, long distance walking requires a different sort of fitness to other sporting endeavours. I've met loads of sporty types who get injured during the first few days because they overdo it (and because they're a bit more competitive), whereas relatively unfit people who take it slow and steady always seem to get there in the end. Make sure you have a backpack that sits right, and a comfy pair of trail runners. Unless you're lucky, you probably will develop a couple of blisters and a few aches and pains, pretty much unavoidable on an 800km walk. All just part of the pilgrimage experience :)
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#5
I agree with Jan_D, one issue to consider is that although you are fit, you are still not immune to injury. Don't push yourself too hard. Take time to stop and take off your shoes periodically. There is a lot of up and down on many of the routes. The up is tiring, but the down is very hard on the knees.
 

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Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), CF run/walk 2018
#7
I am also training for a half marathon in May and might go on camino in few weeks time if I can get away. Your basic fitness will already be better than 95% of people so should be fine. The only things to are to sort out your footwear, break them in and go for some long hikes 30km to test out your shoes, pack and weight. Go light. I take 5Kg max. I never get blisters while running but walking is healstrike territory so do some toughening up kms. I often get hot spot on early season long hikes and these form calused thicker skin ready for Spain.

I also plan to run whilst on camino. Walk 30k then next day only walk 15k and run my AsicsHMPlan 5,12,16k at my short day village destination. May also run/walk some flat sections ( Osprey Rev 5 running pack minus bladder holds all my gear 5kg inc 500ml water).

p,s long walks are a great low impact cross training opportunity too!
 
Last edited:

Dorpie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#8
I'm over 40, overweight and went on one 4 hour walk in preparation for my first camino, I was fine.....well apart from the crippling blisters, but that wasn't a matter of fitness.

This isn't a race, if the going is hard, take a break. As I've said in previous threads half the joy of the camino for me was feeling myself get seadily fitter.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#10
Hi, all!

For a few months, I have been loosely considering walking the Camino some time in the future.

I am actually training for a half marathon in early May right now, and it just occurred to me that shortly after the half marathon may be a good time to walk the Camino. I am normally a pretty fit young woman (28 yrs old), and, without training, can pretty easily bike about 40 miles or run about 5. I regularly walk a few miles just to get around my city.

Do you think I can just turn around, after my race, and do the walk? Or do I need to train by hiking with a pack for a month or two? I want to avoid blisters and injuries.

Thank you for your answers!
Sure. If so desired, additional strength training of muscles -- stairs, hills, bleachers, etc. --- will add additional endurance for walking up hills.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Spring
#11
I am in a slightly similar situation. Cycled a lot and doing a classic 110km cycle race two weeks before the start of my first Camino. https://www.capetowncycletour.com/
What i did/do is:
- started 5 months ago to train for the Camino and gain walking-fitness plus wear-in my shoes and kit. Only aimed at achieving: 1) walk a lot and for a long hours at times; 2) level of exertion, only medium-to-medium/high; 3) avoid injuries, blisters etc; 4) stopped cycling and focused only an walking and testing everything.
- Will do the cycle race sweet-n-easy.
- first week of the El Camino - take it really easy and ease into the multi day walk.

Negative consequences of doing the above:
- gained some weight
- cycling friends are not impressed with me.

To answer your question - i think you should be fine if you do your half marathon at a reasonable pace, and if you do the first week of your Camino at an easy pace.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
#12
I was in my sixties, used to walking but no where near as fit as you when I walked the Frances. Make sure your walking shoes suit you and fit well, choose a pack that fits well and take as little in the pack as you can. Also take as few fears as possible, they tend to weigh more than the loaded pack. It is a walk in a civilised country, rarely will you be more than 5Km from a village if you need help.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 10
Le Puy 16
Thames Path 16
Southwark-Canterbury 16
Estella 17
Paisley-Whithorn 17
#13
@Mqa200 , hi and the only thing I would add is to get some (a lot) of your training to be gain elevation (going up hills). There are quite a few and getting a technique for them (together with fitness) will put you in a good place.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#14
Go.

You are fit and young.

Enjoy.

Buen camino.
 

RJM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#15
You are fit enough to walk the Camino right now. As long as you have good shoes and a reasonable weight pack, no problems. You are only 28 years old and keep fit. There are many, many pilgrims older than you and less fit than you that walk the Camino with no problems. It's not a wilderness hike nor is it devoid of logistics.
The first time I walked it I was in my forties, did no prior Camino specific training. I completed it with no real problems other than the usual sore muscles, etc.
 

nackyann

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2003)
#16
Yes, you are young and strong, so ought not to be too difficult. I turned 55 on the third day of my Camino and hadn’t trained hardly at all! Of course, I did suffer from blisters daily from not wearing good shoes! So watch out for that!
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#17
Hi, all!

For a few months, I have been loosely considering walking the Camino some time in the future.

I am actually training for a half marathon in early May right now, and it just occurred to me that shortly after the half marathon may be a good time to walk the Camino. I am normally a pretty fit young woman (28 yrs old), and, without training, can pretty easily bike about 40 miles or run about 5. I regularly walk a few miles just to get around my city.

Do you think I can just turn around, after my race, and do the walk? Or do I need to train by hiking with a pack for a month or two? I want to avoid blisters and injuries.

Thank you for your answers!
Absolutely!
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#18
Hi, all!

For a few months, I have been loosely considering walking the Camino some time in the future.

I am actually training for a half marathon in early May right now, and it just occurred to me that shortly after the half marathon may be a good time to walk the Camino. I am normally a pretty fit young woman (28 yrs old), and, without training, can pretty easily bike about 40 miles or run about 5. I regularly walk a few miles just to get around my city.

Do you think I can just turn around, after my race, and do the walk? Or do I need to train by hiking with a pack for a month or two? I want to avoid blisters and injuries.

Thank you for your answers!
I also suggest that for shoes, wear your running shoes. I do this and have no problems with my feet.
 

easygoing

Walking the Camino with my 15 year old self
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 5 times, twice in 2017. (May 2018 and September 2018)
#19
I have walked Pacific Crest Trail twice and the Camino Frances 5 times and never one blister. I wear a double-layered sock called Wright socks and cushioned Trail runner's that are one size larger than my usual. Altra brand is exceptional for cushioning. The cushioning in trail Runners lasts about 500 miles so you'll need a new pair to start. As for training they are right you can just start walking however I don't recommend that. The surfaces of the Camino vary but generally they're very hard surfaces. I start training 3 months before and I like to walk 12 to 20 miles once a week for the month before I go. I like to build up the muscles in my feet and I have a couple of odd toes that get very painful the first few walks until they toughen up. It's better to find out these things at home because you have a week to recover. Of note, I am a 72 year old woman who lives to walk and routinely walks 17 to 20 miles on the Camino. Buen Camino
 

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