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Pirsing

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planned Camino Frances (Sep 2022)
Good day to everyone. What is best training for the Camino? Im 36 y.o. Right now im just walking in the forest/trail with 9 - 10 kg (20 - 22 pounds) backpack one time a week, but im not progressing with it. Everytime my feet get tired at the same distance. Usually when my feet get tired i walk 20 - 30 km more, after this, im crawling back home to rest :) Should i do it more frequently? I dont have time to do walking training everyday :( Maybe there are some other good workouts? btw im also running/jogging , but less distance.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hopefully your Camino pack will not be that heavy. I carry a CPAP machine in mine and and it weighs less than 5 kg. You don't have to be "in shape" for a Camino, but it does help. Just keep trying a few shorter walks every day as you are able and maybe one or two longer walks on the weekend. There are others who may advocate for a stronger training program, but do what you have time for. Lots of people walk without any training at all and are successful. Others train hard and are also successful.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Walk as frequently as you can. Continue with the long walks as frequently as you can - but short walks the other days is fine if that is all you have time for. What you are experiencing is quite normal. You will build up endurance as you go! Just be sure to pace yourself and listen to your body. If it tells you to rest, then rest! Once you get onto the Camino you will get into a grove. The thing that is different about the Camino - is when you arrive at your destination you are not forced to go on with "normal activities of your daily life". Your new goal will be to reach your destination, check into your albergue, make your bed, shower and put on clean clothes, take a nap if you want to, then eventually explore town and get dinner. Very different from your normal routine. It gives you ample time for rest and recovery. The first week, don't plan to go beyond the "stages" distance wise. You will add distance if you want to - later! Oh - don't bother with the running/jogging - that uses different muscles. Just keep walking as slowly or as briskly as you are comfortable. But it isn't a race. Slow and steady is what is needed to complete the Camino. I do recommend lightening your pack - I try to stay under 15 pounds always! The lighter the better. You don't need as much as you think you will need!
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
My Camino backpack base weight is about 2.7 kg (6 pounds).

That backpack i walking with is stuffed with water bottles specially for walk training.
Ah... you will be fine then! Also - depending on where you are hiking the Camino - you don't actually need to carry a lot of water. Frances for example - most of the trail 1L, maybe 1.5L will suffice although there are a couple sections where you will definitely want more! Or if it is going to be hot you may want more. But here are frequent places to refill water bottles for most of the trail.

Anyhow - instead of practicing with the heavy pack - I would suggest mirroring the weight of what you will actually take on the Camino. Including snacks/water weight.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Camino Frances. Starting at September. I checked today weather in SJPP and it was 35c today. Thats scorching heat! Im afraid i dont want to know what heat will be in september 🥵 I think i will need a lot of water...
So plan on 2 lightweight 1L water bottles (I use 2 1L disposable bottles of water and refill - like a "smartwater" bottle which is a brand in the US that just happens to come in 1L bottles), but most of the time it is sufficient to only fill 1 of them because there are so many places to refill. Where you definitely need to carry more is the Pyrenees after Orisson-Roncesvalles (refill and refuel in Orisson and have snacks/lunch in your pack for the rest of the day). And then Carrion de los Condes - after that is a 17km stretch with no place to refill water or eat and no shade.

The rest of the time, just look at the distances between towns. You can refill your water bottle in pretty much every town along the way. Most of the time it is fine to have 1L of water with you and just refill. I usually had an extra .5L in my other water bottle but rarely had to go to the other water bottle.

If course - if you are already a big water drinker then definitely take your usual water intake into consideration! But the closer the towns are, the less water you have to carry! Unlike other hiking trails - clean water is readily available across Spain.
 
Past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
You are already on a good path by giving yourself plenty of time to condition with your loaded pack. You will be rewarded by hiking hills for cardiovascular conditioning going up and especially conditioning muscles for going downhill. "Shin spints" (strained anterior tibialis mm on the front of the lower leg) were a common pilgrim complaint. Not fun. Also do some of your walking on uneven ground and loose rock to strengthen your ankle and foot muscles. We use poles to power up hills. There's another batch of muscles to get to know and prepare.
 

K_Lynn

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Try to walk 5-10km a day, and a couple of longer days once a week with your loaded pack. Every hour or two stop walking, sit down, take your shoes and socks off and allow your feet to cool down. Put on a dry pair of socks and walk again.
I found my feet got very hot on camino and just taking my shoes off for 5 minutes allowed me to keep marching. Walking 20+ km every day is very hard on your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. Frequent short breaks and a longer coffee/lunch break will help ease some of the aches and pains.
*make sure your shoes are a half to full size larger than you usually wear, your feet will swell a lot from the constant pounding.
Buen Camino!
 
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Pirsing

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planned Camino Frances (Sep 2022)
But it isn't a race
My goal is to walk as fast as long as possible. Im an athlete and i love to make challenges, so i want to train hard and maybe even walk a few caminos in a row. Just want to travel till it get very cold, then go back home. I'll start Camino Frances with my wife and friend. They will be with me for one week, so i'll walk with their pace. Then they have to go back home, and i will start walking faster and longer. From today i will work more, because my work have some walking tasks (delivery). Usually i make 15k steps a day. Want to increase it to 20 - 25k and hope to see some progression in my long hiking trainings. Here is example of my current walking training, pic attached. Walking non-stop, eating snacks on the go. Trail goes next to the river, rugged terrain, without big ascents/descents. Then i walking home (20 - 30 km more). Also a month ago i did 6 day hike in mountains, ~23 km per day, but with huge ascents/descents and 19 kg backpack. So, as you can see, i train very hard to make my Camino as ultralight and easy as possible :) 🏕️ walk.jpg
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
I am no expert in these matters, but you may want to check out the “Knees over Toes Guy”. Joe Rogan had him on his podcast and he is very popular and I am trying to add a few of his exercises in my prep (keep in mind I am much older than you). He ‘survived’ multiple knee surgeries and now leaps huge and dunks basketballs, grabbing the hoop.
He focuses on the tibialis quite a bit, which is often ignored…and may help with shin splints.
Some of his exercises include pulling a weighted sled (which I just started doing, KILLER on the legs and gets you gasping) and less flashy ones like tibialis raises or Poliquin step downs (that my physio had me doing)…just check Youtube for Kneesovertoesguy. Joe Rogan credits the guy with saving his knees, that have had their wear and tear from years of BJJ.
Personally, my goals are more on the religious side, though I admire the preparation you are doing. And if you pass me on the route, feel free to carry my pack to the next town, great workout! (Joking)
 

Pirsing

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planned Camino Frances (Sep 2022)
He focuses on the tibialis quite a bit, which is often ignored…
When i do workouts in gym, when im resting, its my favorite "between sets exercise". Just pulling up dumbbells with my foot to train my tibialis anterior (also doing handstand to spend more time, but im in doubt i will need it in my Camino 🤣).
 

Richard Smith

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Pirsing, you are a 36 year old fit guy who exercises and it looks like you have a very light pack.
You do not need to do any physical training for a Camino. In my opinion all your challenges will be in another direction.
I am 66 years old and if I were speaking to you as myself 30 years back, I would say slow down, smell the roses, don't try to do too much. Look around you. See what the Camino presents to you. See how you react to that.
I would say to myself, don't do this >> My goal is to walk as fast as long as possible.
But no worry. If you bash ahead this time you have heaps of years to do it a different way later on, if that seems like a good idea after you finish.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
My goal is to walk as fast as long as possible. Im an athlete and i love to make challenges, so i want to train hard and maybe even walk a few caminos in a row. Just want to travel till it get very cold, then go back home. I'll start Camino Frances with my wife and friend. They will be with me for one week, so i'll walk with their pace. Then they have to go back home, and i will start walking faster and longer. From today i will work more, because my work have some walking tasks (delivery). Usually i make 15k steps a day. Want to increase it to 20 - 25k and hope to see some progression in my long hiking trainings. Here is example of my current walking training, pic attached. Walking non-stop, eating snacks on the go. Trail goes next to the river, rugged terrain, without big ascents/descents. Then i walking home (20 - 30 km more). Also a month ago i did 6 day hike in mountains, ~23 km per day, but with huge ascents/descents and 19 kg backpack. So, as you can see, i train very hard to make my Camino as ultralight and easy as possible :) 🏕️ View attachment 125785
I was just wondering why you have picked the Camino Frances and possibly other camino routes after that if your goal is to walk as far and as fast as you can each day? Is it because of the infrastructure and cost savings of being able to sleep in albergues etc? I am sure there are far more challenging walks that are as or more beautiful then the camino. I really hope that you are able to experience the other aspects of the camino such as friendship, reflection, love and inner peace that so many of us find when we walk. I am sure you will be able to accomplish your goal barring any setback that any of us may encounter walking long distances. But what I really hope is that your first week walking with your wife and friend, two people I am sure you love will give you an opportunity to feel what I described. Maybe you will continue on your long distance great personal race, and when you get to Santiago you will decide to try the next Camino the "pilgrim" way. Whatever happens I hope you find happiness and remember the Camino gives you what you need not what you want. What you want? Most of the time many people think they know but discover otherwise. But again Buen Camino, and enjoy and be safe.
 

Reidun Fyno

I'm a beliver :-)
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino de Assisi (2015)
Camino Frances from Villafranca del Bierzo (2017)
Good day to everyone. What is best training for the Camino? Im 36 y.o. Right now im just walking in the forest/trail with 9 - 10 kg (20 - 22 pounds) backpack one time a week, but im not progressing with it. Everytime my feet get tired at the same distance. Usually when my feet get tired i walk 20 - 30 km more, after this, im crawling back home to rest :) Should i do it more frequently? I dont have time to do walking training everyday :( Maybe there are some other good workouts? btw im also running/jogging , but less distance.
I think that 20 - 30 km when your feet are already tired is the problem. It takes some time for your feet and legs to restitute after that. So I don't wonder why you do not progress.
Less weight in your backpack would also be progressive.

If I can walk 15km 3 times a week, with a 5 kg rucksack, without problems - then I know I am ready.
On the Camino there is not a lot to do but to walk, so, there are quite some hours to do walk the distance, waking up at 6 or 7 every morning as you are.
If you do not strain yourself so much, you'll be fine
Buen Camino to you

I was 64 when I walked the first time. I recon I will never stop longing for the Camino. Now I am 70 and planning to walk again next year.
About walking sticks - Many people like walking sticks. I also had a pair, but fortunately I forgot them one morning and I experienced it was much easier and more comfortable without them - We are not the same and must fund our own way.
<3
 
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Dessie2016

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago (2016)
St Jean to Santiago (2021)
Camino Frances. Starting at September. I checked today weather in SJPP and it was 35c today. Thats scorching heat! Im afraid i dont want to know what heat will be in september 🥵 I think i will need a lot of water...
I did Frances from Leon in Sept and started the first week just wearing a hat, light top and bermudas. So make sure you hydrate regularly. Every town will have a water fountain for refilling. I had a 2ltr Osprey water bladder in my pack which was never in danger of going dry at any point. Once I crossed into Galicia, then it got cooler and wet (on some days). Nonetheless, I always made it a habit to start off with a full water bladder each morning. When you stop for breakfast or lunch, just make sure you drink at least 0.5l of water. And watch the cervezas (beer). Don't think that they provide proper hydration....
 

USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
Good day to everyone. What is best training for the Camino? Im 36 y.o. Right now im just walking in the forest/trail with 9 - 10 kg (20 - 22 pounds) backpack one time a week, but im not progressing with it. Everytime my feet get tired at the same distance. Usually when my feet get tired i walk 20 - 30 km more, after this, im crawling back home to rest :) Should i do it more frequently? I dont have time to do walking training everyday :( Maybe there are some other good workouts? btw im also running/jogging , but less distance.
Great responses from fellow pilgrims. I am in Zubiri and have thoughts on training if you are starting in SJPDP. First, work on cardio endurance and leg strength. I live in Florida so I walked 7 to 10 miles a day with a 20lb pack. Hike to Roncesvalles was alternately marvelous and the brutal. Both up and down hill. Second, hike with a pack as light as possible or consider using a transfer service. The first hill out, you will be happy. Third, practice using walking sticks. They became my outriggers for steady movement during high winds and helped push uphill and control descent speed downhill. Finally, I am a 64 year old in pretty good shape. It was a ba$$ buster of a day but I was elated at arriving Roncesvalles. Buen Camino!
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
With training, there are two different parts to focus on:
1. Cardiovascular fitness.
2. Muscle strengthening.

Cardiovascular fitness is the ability for your heart and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to your muscles during exercise under load, and your muscles ability to use that oxygen efficiently so they can produce energy.

Exercises should be used which will allow you to hit a target heart rate zone, over a for a period of time during exercising, which provides the needed aerobic effort for conditioning. This is a website which will help you calculate what your target heart rate zones will be.

https://www.lifespanfitness.com/fitness/resources/target-heart-rate-calculator

Treadmills at incline, running, walking at a faster than normal pace, walking up hills, rowing machines, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, riding a bicycle at a faster than normal pace, swimming, etc. are all examples of effective aerobic exercises when used to achieve target heart rates.

Keep in mind that as your fitness level improves, it will take a more sustained effort to hit the same heart rate zones. That is why using target zones is so effective. They don't change relative to fitness level. Someone extremely out of shape does not exercise as hard as someone who is extremely fit to reach their target.

Muscle strength is a function of how much maximum force your muscles can exert against resistance. Exercises for strength will also provide a temporary aerobic effect, but the main goal is to increase your capability to function while under resistance.

Think about having to lift the weight of your body, with a pack, with each step going up the Pyrenees. Or being able to lift and carry a load. Or the constant resistance of your body weight and pack to your shoulders and to the 'core' muscles in your back and abdomen.

Some basic strengthening exercises for home include push-ups, lunges, squats and planks. A google search will show you the way to do these exercises.

Other conditioning issues involve things like ankles, feet, and flexibility. Do a search on this forum for posts about exercises to help prevent shin splints and to help prevent plantar fasciitis.
 
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Chris Gi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Good day to everyone. What is best training for the Camino? Im 36 y.o. Right now im just walking in the forest/trail with 9 - 10 kg (20 - 22 pounds) backpack one time a week, but im not progressing with it. Everytime my feet get tired at the same distance. Usually when my feet get tired i walk 20 - 30 km more, after this, im crawling back home to rest :) Should i do it more frequently? I dont have time to do walking training everyday :( Maybe there are some other good workouts? btw im also running/jogging , but less distance.
If your feet are getting tired maybe you need to assess your footwear.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Everytime my feet get tired at the same distance. Usually when my feet get tired i walk 20 - 30 km more, after this, im crawling back home to rest :) Should i do it more frequently? I dont have time to do walking training everyday :( Maybe there are some other good workouts? btw im also running/jogging , but less distance.

I just posted a thread on the issue of sore feet and knees when training for a long distance walk

The first thing to look at are your shoes. If your shoes do not provide the adequate cushioning needed for your metatarsal structures, your feet are going to feel like a throbbing soreness as if have been walking barefoot on cobblestones. There are remedies for this, but the first thing is to assess whether you do have a shoe that has the level of actual cushioning needed to protect the metatarsal area.

The second thing I'd be look for is sufficient protection against print-through to the foot from rocks and tree roots and other trail debris. Manufacturers do this in two ways
  1. A stiffened sheet of thermoplastic or other material called a 'rock plate' within the midsole. This is common in shoes that are specifically marketed as trail runners.
  2. Cushioning levels that are thick enough to absorb the print-through from reaching the foot. Hoka One One is the prime example of a manufacturer who uses this method, employing this strategy with various models of their shoes.
If a shoe is great in all other aspects, but has a problem because there is no rock shield, or it is not sufficient, then you can make one from simple materials. The instructions for DIY rock plate I wrote are here. (click on the blue text)

A Podiatrist that is knowledgeable about running and backpacking sports can assist if the two suggestions do not have an effect at reducing your foot discomfort. I would not go to a Podiatrist as my first course of action because most of the symptom you describe seem to resolve with increased strengthening of the foot structures as you exercise and your feet adjust to the new activity, and with the remediation's I listed.

Please feel free to sent me a PM (private message) if you have questions or concerns if you think I can be of further help..
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Good day to everyone. What is best training for the Camino? Im 36 y.o. Right now im just walking in the forest/trail with 9 - 10 kg (20 - 22 pounds) backpack one time a week, but im not progressing with it. Everytime my feet get tired at the same distance. Usually when my feet get tired i walk 20 - 30 km more, after this, im crawling back home to rest :) Should i do it more frequently? I dont have time to do walking training everyday :( Maybe there are some other good workouts? btw im also running/jogging , but less distance.
I would do more frequently, but less weight/distance. I'm not sure how far you are walking, but you say it is 20-30km beyond the point where your feet get tired. For most pilgrims, what really does them in is less the distance walked or the amount carried but the fact that they are doing so day after day after day after day.
In doing my training, I generally didn't carry more than I was going to carry on the Camino, nor did I walk longer than the 20-30 km I'd walk on the Camino, but I tried to up the frequency, from once a week to 2, 3, 4 days a week, where I was walking both weekend days, to the point where I could walk with my properly loaded backpack 25km a day for three days in a row (long weekend) without issues. Then I figured I was ready.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
1st: You're 36 - you will be fine.
2nd: The hardest part for me was ascending and the altitude. So, climb stadium stairs. AND...If you have any mountains near you...climb them.
3rd: You're 36 - you will be fine.
 
Past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
4. You are 36, train at a gym, run, and practice walk with a pack that‘s heavy, Agree. You will do fine. And figuring out how to deal with the ”littles”, issues with your body that may crop up, will help you become an artful walker, if you aren’t one already. As B. Shaw said, ”oh to be 70 again!”
 
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2022
I, too, feel like I don't have enough time to train fully, and I also get really tired feet, so I'm trying to be on my feet as much as possible all day, preferably with a pack for some portion of the day. I've never done a Camino but I'll let you know if it works for me (I go in July)!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
1st: You're 36 - you will be fine.
You'd think so, but it isn't good to be cocky. The number of stories of young, seemingly fit people who wreck themselves and end up being passed by let's say much more mature pilgrims, tells another story.

I'm not saying that people can't succeed at a Camino without training. I'm proof that it is possible, as is my son. But we're both also proof that one won't necessarily be fine, age notwithstanding.
 

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