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Training

PJhonnyS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
October (2014)
Hola!

Was wondering about the weight on everyone’s pack. I’ve read that the ideal weight is no more than 10% of your body weight. Therefore that would give me roughly 7kilos of gear. Has anyone carried more than 10%?

I’m on my 2nd week of Camino training now (though I’ve been lifting weights for almost a year). In my first week I started with a 10kilo pack and walk an hour on the teadmill. This week i carry 12.5kilos with a 7.5% gradient on the treadmill for an hour. So far my legs, shoulders, and feet are fine. I’ll be gradually increasing the time every week from here on. I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.

Do any of you think I’m over training? All your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you 😊

P.S. I’m starting from SJPD
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral 2019; Finisterre/Muxia 2019
The ideal weight is what you find comfortable to carry. Obviously, the lighter the better. As far as training, definitely walk outside on trails if possible and definitely the road. The trails give you uneven surfaces which is important to strengthen the different muscles in your ankles and legs and the road because the hard surface really shows which shoes perform well on them. For example, I find my hiking shoes are rotten for pavement as the sole is too stiff, not being able to bend my foot naturally as I step off tends to give me shin splints. And there is quite a bit of hard surface walking on the Camino.
 

PJhonnyS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
October (2014)
The ideal weight is what you find comfortable to carry. Obviously, the lighter the better. As far as training, definitely walk outside on trails if possible and definitely the road. The trails give you uneven surfaces which is important to strengthen the different muscles in your ankles and legs and the road because the hard surface really shows which shoes perform well on them. For example, I find my hiking shoes are rotten for pavement as the sole is too stiff, not being able to bend my foot naturally as I step off tends to give me shin splints. And there is quite a bit of hard surface walking on the Camino.
I live in the city so I’ll definitely hit the road once I get the actual pair of shoes I’ll be using on the Camino. Thank you for your suggestion 😊
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
I live in the city so I’ll definitely hit the road once I get the actual pair of shoes I’ll be using on the Camino. Thank you for your suggestion 😊
HelloPJhonnyS,
Without being condescending, it might be useful during your training to remember you are unlikely to be able to train enough to walk a Camino.;)

Rather, we can train to a level that will help us survive the first week or so without injury if we walk sensibly in that first week.

After that, when we have found our comfortable pace for our chosen Camino, we are usually 'getting into the groove' becoming more comfortable with the pack on our back, rest breaks, albergue life and so on.

Near the end of week 3 (if you walk that long), many people experience a minor miracle. That being, the pack suddenly feels light, our aches and pains go away, blisters have healed and walking less than 20 kilometres a day feels like being lazy.

Buen (enjoyable training) Camino
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Is there a reason you cannot train 'on the road'? Treadmill training will not give you the same experience you could expect to have wrt track surfaces and slope variability.

I find it easier to do regular sessions of an hour or so each day, with longer sessions on the weekends. I also vary the weight and climb for longer walks, building up the longer sessions to my target weight and distance, rather than training for long periods at my targets.
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
Hi @PJhonnyS - I don't think one hour a day is over training. But you haven't given us much to go on. We don't know anything about you or when you are leaving for the Camino. Are you going to lengthen your walks as time goes on? The amount of preparation needed depends on your age, level of fitness, where you are from, what you do for a living (sitting all day vs physical labour) etc.
 

PJhonnyS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
October (2014)
HelloPJhonnyS,
Without being condescending, it might be useful during your training to remember you are unlikely to be able to train enough to walk a Camino.;)

Rather, we can train to a level that will help us survive the first week or so without injury if we walk sensibly in that first week.

After that, when we have found our comfortable pace for our chosen Camino, we are usually 'getting into the groove' becoming more comfortable with the pack on our back, rest breaks, albergue life and so on.

Near the end of week 3 (if you walk that long), many people experience a minor miracle. That being, the pack suddenly feels light, our aches and pains go away, blisters have healed and walking less than 20 kilometres a day feels like being lazy.

Buen (enjoyable training) Camino
Wonderful! Looking forward to it. Thank you! 🙏🏽
 

PJhonnyS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
October (2014)
Is there a reason you cannot train 'on the road'? Treadmill training will not give you the same experience you could expect to have wrt track surfaces and slope variability.

I find it easier to do regular sessions of an hour or so each day, with longer sessions on the weekends. I also vary the weight and climb for longer walks, building up the longer sessions to my target weight and distance, rather than training for long periods at my targets.
No particular reason at all. I just thought I’d start with the treadmill for the first couple weeks and head outdoors once my pack feels comfortable. I’ll give it a go next week.

Thank you for your feedback 😊
Hi @PJhonnyS - I don't think one hour a day is over training. But you haven't given us much to go on. We don't know anything about you or when you are leaving for the Camino. Are you going to lengthen your walks as time goes on? The amount of preparation needed depends on your age, level of fitness, where you are from, what you do for a living (sitting all day vs physical labour) etc.
Apologies. I’m 40 years old and live in the Philippines. I workout 4-5 times a week (weights and cardio). I work in events.

My Camino will start at SJPD and will walk all the way to Santiago following John Brierley’s suggestions for major pit stops. My goal is to walk at the end of April or within May.

Im currently training an hour a day with a 12.5kilo pack (week 2). On week 3 I’ll head out doors and walk for 1 1/2 to 2 hours and possibly 3hours 😊
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
As opposed to focusing on time, consider training for distance. If you plan to follow Brierley (which you may want to reconsider your night stops based on crowds -see other threads on that topic), then you want to be able to comfortably walk those distances.

Also, try out your planned footwear on two days in a row of 20+ km to make sure they are still a good fit.

Happy preparations!
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
Focus on training your feet and especially downhill (something that can not be replicated in a gym). The gym is great for establishing core strength but nothing can replicate being outside with weight on your back.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
Training is asymmetrical. Being out of condition guarantees a poor start (although the first 7-10 days on Camino is effectively (advanced) training anyway). OTOH, training does not guarantee a good start--too many other factors like footwear, blisters, adapt to multi-hour time zone change, etc.
And for chronic conditions like bad backs, knees, hips, ankles or planar fasciitis, or Achilles, I would suggest having a Physical Therapist help set a training plan.
Training is also fun since it is the activity you are choosing to do for 5-7 hours per day for 34 days. Keep it up!!
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Focus on training your feet and especially downhill (something that can not be replicated in a gym). The gym is great for establishing core strength but nothing can replicate being outside with weight on your back.
This bit is particularly true, ( the downhill walking), no two people are the same and the sum of the Camino is way harder than it seems on paper, be prepared for the unexpected, the constant level or nearly flat walking on the Meseta is the toughest on mind and body, I developed shin splints near Sahagun, had to walk way slower, and shorten my stride, I also foolishly carried the same pack size until Sarria , when I sent nearly 3kg onto Santiago,
Previously I had thought 10kg of a pack was ok, andit was on anything else I have walked, Majorca, Scotland, Norway, like you, I read about 10% body weight, so about 6.5/ 7 kg for me starting out in France,
But took me three weeks to learn !
First few days slightly sore muscles, then everything seemed good to go, no blisters!
But after ten days , I joined the blister crew, and after another ten days, had shin splints,
Middle section was the worst, so glad to leave the maseta, on the inclines up and down my shinsplints went away and from Sarria onwards ,to Muxia was as easy as the first ten days.
Buen Camino , Bill
 

Arctic_Alex

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking Camino Frances April 2019
Hola!

Was wondering about the weight on everyone’s pack. I’ve read that the ideal weight is no more than 10% of your body weight. Therefore that would give me roughly 7kilos of gear. Has anyone carried more than 10%?

I’m on my 2nd week of Camino training now (though I’ve been lifting weights for almost a year). In my first week I started with a 10kilo pack and walk an hour on the teadmill. This week i carry 12.5kilos with a 7.5% gradient on the treadmill for an hour. So far my legs, shoulders, and feet are fine. I’ll be gradually increasing the time every week from here on. I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.

Do any of you think I’m over training? All your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you 😊

P.S. I’m starting from SJPD
Hola!

The 10% rule is not a bad one for people who have little experience and want to be on the safe side. Clearly the less you carry, the more relaxed it will be.
As for myself, I have been long-distance hiking already with 45% of my body weight, but that is a real pain and I only do it if I have to (e.g. real wilderness hiking in cold/wet climate without chances to re-supply for weeks). So I know if I train for it, I can do over 30 kg ... BUT ... if walking in rural and urban landscapes, civilisation, then I would never do it! Last year I did walk on the South West Coast Path in the UK during springtime and had only under 8kg on my back. The camino climate on average is warmer, so I will certainly carry less there.
I am limited anyway as I only travel hand luggage on the plane :p

As for the training. If you have the time, go for it. I will go totally untrained as I hate indoor training, and outdoors I cannot do any walking but on snowshoes before my start on the Camino in April.
Every training makes it more relaxed on the Camino. Especially also training of your back. So lifting weights is not a bad idea.

I would certainly recommend also stretching or yoga!

As said, I will train on the fly on the Camino. I know it will take one to two weeks for me to be back in shape. Those weeks will be painful ;-) ... So if you can avoid that for yourself. Go for it! :)
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Hola!

The 10% rule is not a bad one for people who have little experience and want to be on the safe side. Clearly the less you carry, the more relaxed it will be.
As for myself, I have been long-distance hiking already with 45% of my body weight, but that is a real pain and I only do it if I have to (e.g. real wilderness hiking in cold/wet climate without chances to re-supply for weeks). So I know if I train for it, I can do over 30 kg ... BUT ... if walking in rural and urban landscapes, civilisation, then I would never do it! Last year I did walk on the South West Coast Path in the UK during springtime and had only under 8kg on my back. The camino climate on average is warmer, so I will certainly carry less there.
I am limited anyway as I only travel hand luggage on the plane :p

As for the training. If you have the time, go for it. I will go totally untrained as I hate indoor training, and outdoors I cannot do any walking but on snowshoes before my start on the Camino in April.
Every training makes it more relaxed on the Camino. Especially also training of your back. So lifting weights is not a bad idea.

I would certainly recommend also stretching or yoga!

As said, I will train on the fly on the Camino. I know it will take one to two weeks for me to be back in shape. Those weeks will be painful ;-) ... So if you can avoid that for yourself. Go for it! :)
I am usually the same with hand luggage, but Ryanair have been playing about with hand luggage, so booked my bag into the hold this time,
Bill
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi - all of the above, plus - well, the blunt truth is that you cannot train for Camino .. to train properly you would need to do a Camino :).
Sure, you can get fitter, lose weight, improve muscle tone and so on - and all of that is great to do! - but the Camino is a particular type of walking.
Firstly you just cannot reproduce the constantly changing uneven and sometimes slippery surfaces ... most don't live anywhere where they can get their bodies used to hours of walking uphill and hours of walking downhill (it is the downhills that often wrecks your legs, especially the knees).

You cannot replicate the body stress caused by walking for many hours every day ... not just a day or two, but day after day after day.

And you cannot take your marvellously comfortable bed with you, nor that simple and silent bedroom you have (the one without noisy people waking you up in the dark at 4am!!).

So - treadmill training? Nahh - get away from the machines!! They are rhythmically repetitive and the Camino is constantly changing terrain. Go and find a hill, a big one, and walk up and down that again and again and again, with a loaded pack ... if you are a flatlander go find a tall building and walk up and down (down is important!!) the staircase, often.
You could leave the car at home .. if commuting on a bus or train get on and off at later and earlier stations and walk the new distances, take your loaded pack with you to work, wherever you go, every day.
Make it part of you (and wear the footwear you have chosen for Camino too).

The thing is - you will be fine you know. You will see pilgrims out there, mid-life, unbelievably overweight, coming from a desk job and no outdoor life at all at home; in front of the tv eating a nightly takeaway folk - and there they are, doing the Camino with you - and smiling!

I don't know your age but you will have pilgrims in their eighties walking past you (happens to me, I walk slow and stop a lot - always a new view to be astounded by) - so don't be afraid, don't be concerned.
If you follow the advice that many forget .. start slow, start easy, start with shorter distances, and build up as your body allows you to - and if you get injured or exhausted - top tip! Stop!! You will be fine.
So, be kind to yourself ;).

Buen Camino!
 
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Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
I am not a professional health work out person. What I found helpful was monitoring my heart rate. 180 minus your age. So if your 40 it should not excide 140. As you get fitter it’s harder to reach 140. Then you can add weight distances and so on. Consider restdays between your walking days, so you can recuperate. To increase your mileage during the Caminomay was be a good idea or me. If you carry extra pounds maybe shedding some of that will help you with your back weight. So best wished bon Camino.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Train with as heavy a pack as you safely can and at the longest distances you safely can, but carry the lightest pack you possibly can on the Camino.
As a general approach to physical training I would agree, but would add a word of caution.

It is often said here, "Don't try to walk your Camino before your Camino"

Which basically means, you need to be careful to not overdo your training. Kind of what @JohnMcM was saying.

I ramped up training too fast, too close to my departure date. The result? Injury that I still carry to this day 4 years later. (Achilles Tendonitis).

Do train. For general fitness and endurance, but also take it easy the first week on Camino whilst you find your feet and rhythm. I would just be careful about carrying too much weight in training. ;)
 
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Dorpie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
Hola @PJhonnyS

I'm starting to wonder if I'm somehow freakishly naturally fit. I was 40 when I did my first camino and the wrong side of 250 lbs/ 120kgs and walked precisely 6 miles for training. Despite this I struggled no more than anyone else on day one and comfortably finished in 31 days.

I'm not saying this to boast but hopefully to reassure, I don't think anyone in the OP's age group, unless they live a particularly sedentry lifestyle or have specific health issues need to do a huge amount of training for the camino, which isn't to say it won't make it easier. Walking 25-30kms a day may seem like a lot but in May with at least 14 hours of daylight you have a long time to make that distance.

Personally I loved the feeling of getting fitter, stronger and lighter as the days went by and was happy that I hadn't started out as a finely tuned athlete.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Has anyone carried more than 10%?
Yes. Likely a majority of people.
I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.
Do any of you think I’m over training?
I think your focus on carrying weight is wrong. What you are training for is a long walk. So, do long walks - many of them. Make it your lifestyle. It will benefit you for your entire life. With a minimal load, you are still likely to encounter difficulties with your feet first.

Oh! You need a few things with you! So minimize your load and do a few walks with your expected load. I use a backpack everywhere - sometimes it has very little, and sometimes it has more than 10%. I am accustomed to carrying a backpack now, so that is not an unpleasant surprise on the camino.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); Fall (2020) I hope
What you can handle during an hour on a treadmill is quite different from what you can handle day in day out, walking a half-marathon a day and a million steps on The Way. I'd start low in pack weight and try to go even lower. The steps and pounding really adds up over time.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
One member once suggested that the only way to train for a 4-6 week Camino, was to go out on a trail for several weeks to replicate the wear and tear of the on going walking. NOT
Most of us could not do a Camino before the Camino with time constraints etc

Heed the comments of experienced people- As I set a logical training progression, I was doing what I could make my body do. I thought because I COULD to it, it MUST be ok to do

I, and many people reporting here, had to interrupt our pre-camino preparations to recover when we exceeded our bodies' natural recovery ability. You won't know it till it's too late cause it seems so easy or do able
I had commented before that I had to put my self on different surfaces knowing there would be tarmac, asphalt, dirt paths, gravel, and rocky inclines. My body, shins, feet, hips and knees needed to acclimate to all those surfaces. (I could really feel the difference in my hips and feet when I started adding paved paths to my wilderness trails) And though the treadmills get us moving when its raining outside- they are meant to support and cushion the foot and body in a way that will NOT prep you for true outdoor walking
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Hola @PJhonnyS

I'm starting to wonder if I'm somehow freakishly naturally fit. I was 40 when I did my first camino and the wrong side of 250 lbs/ 120kgs and walked precisely 6 miles for training. Despite this I struggled no more than anyone else on day one and comfortably finished in 31 days.

I'm not saying this to boast but hopefully to reassure, I don't think anyone in the OP's age group, unless they live a particularly sedentry lifestyle or have specific health issues need to do a huge amount of training for the camino, which isn't to say it won't make it easier. Walking 25-30kms a day may seem like a lot but in May with at least 14 hours of daylight you have a long time to make that distance.

Personally I loved the feeling of getting fitter, stronger and lighter as the days went by and was happy that I hadn't started out as a finely tuned athlete.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
Good point. The OP is only forty years old and is getting fitness advice from an older age group, or at least I get the impression it is an older age group.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Hola @PJhonnyS

I'm starting to wonder if I'm somehow freakishly naturally fit. I was 40 when I did my first camino and the wrong side of 250 lbs/ 120kgs and walked precisely 6 miles for training. Despite this I struggled no more than anyone else on day one and comfortably finished in 31 days.

I'm not saying this to boast but hopefully to reassure, I don't think anyone in the OP's age group, unless they live a particularly sedentry lifestyle or have specific health issues need to do a huge amount of training for the camino, which isn't to say it won't make it easier. Walking 25-30kms a day may seem like a lot but in May with at least 14 hours of daylight you have a long time to make that distance.

Personally I loved the feeling of getting fitter, stronger and lighter as the days went by and was happy that I hadn't started out as a finely tuned athlete.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
What’s OP s age group?
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
I was thinking operation room so you guess my confusion.
 

Craig White

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
I walked the Camino last June, I'm now 66 and trained for two years walking 30 + km a day with full pack. Once I hit the Pyrenees all bets were off. Toughest time of my life. My pack was 12kg and after Perusing, I started to jettison items. Walking steep grades up and down should be the focus, lather your feet in Vaseline to prevent blisters and light breathable shoes. I wound up with 2 of everything for clothes, and a pair of long underwear for cold rainy days. Go slow, about 20 km a day and enjoy the experience. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Hi - all of the above, plus - well, the blunt truth is that you cannot train for Camino .. to train properly you would need to do a Camino :).
Sure, you can get fitter, lose weight, improve muscle tone and so on - and all of that is great to do! - but the Camino is a particular type of walking.
Firstly you just cannot reproduce the constantly changing uneven and sometimes slippery surfaces ... most don't live anywhere where they can get their bodies used to hours of walking uphill and hours of walking downhill (it is the downhills that often wrecks your legs, especially the knees).

You cannot replicate the body stress caused by walking for many hours every day ... not just a day or two, but day after day after day.

And you cannot take your marvellously comfortable bed with you, nor that simple and silent bedroom you have (the one without noisy people waking you up in the dark at 4am!!).

So - treadmill training? Nahh - get away from the machines!! They are rhythmically repetitive and the Camino is constantly changing terrain. Go and find a hill, a big one, and walk up and down that again and again and again, with a loaded pack ... if you are a flatlander go find a tall building and walk up and down (down is important!!) the staircase, often.
You could leave the car at home .. if commuting on a bus or train get on and off at later and earlier stations and walk the new distances, take your loaded pack with you to work, wherever you go, every day.
Make it part of you (and wear the footwear you have chosen for Camino too).

The thing is - you will be fine you know. You will see pilgrims out there, mid-life, unbelievably overweight, coming from a desk job and no outdoor life at all at home; in front of the tv eating a nightly takeaway folk - and there they are, doing the Camino with you - and smiling!

I don't know your age but you will have pilgrims in their eighties walking past you (happens to me, I walk slow and stop a lot - always a new view to be astounded by) - so don't be afraid, don't be concerned.
If you follow the advice that many forget .. start slow, start easy, start with shorter distances, and build up as your body allows you to - and if you get injured or exhausted - top tip! Stop!! You will be fine.
So, be kind to yourself ;).

Buen Camino!
Great, thoughtful advice, David. Thank you. I’ll be on the Camino in late April 2019, with bum knees and too little training due to the deep winter snow in Vermont, but I’m determined to make the walk, following the dictum “slow and steady wins the race”. See you on the Way.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Hi - all of the above, plus - well, the blunt truth is that you cannot train for Camino .. to train properly you would need to do a Camino :).
Sure, you can get fitter, lose weight, improve muscle tone and so on - and all of that is great to do! - but the Camino is a particular type of walking.
Firstly you just cannot reproduce the constantly changing uneven and sometimes slippery surfaces ... most don't live anywhere where they can get their bodies used to hours of walking uphill and hours of walking downhill (it is the downhills that often wrecks your legs, especially the knees).

You cannot replicate the body stress caused by walking for many hours every day ... not just a day or two, but day after day after day.

And you cannot take your marvellously comfortable bed with you, nor that simple and silent bedroom you have (the one without noisy people waking you up in the dark at 4am!!).

So - treadmill training? Nahh - get away from the machines!! They are rhythmically repetitive and the Camino is constantly changing terrain. Go and find a hill, a big one, and walk up and down that again and again and again, with a loaded pack ... if you are a flatlander go find a tall building and walk up and down (down is important!!) the staircase, often.
You could leave the car at home .. if commuting on a bus or train get on and off at later and earlier stations and walk the new distances, take your loaded pack with you to work, wherever you go, every day.
Make it part of you (and wear the footwear you have chosen for Camino too).

The thing is - you will be fine you know. You will see pilgrims out there, mid-life, unbelievably overweight, coming from a desk job and no outdoor life at all at home; in front of the tv eating a nightly takeaway folk - and there they are, doing the Camino with you - and smiling!

I don't know your age but you will have pilgrims in their eighties walking past you (happens to me, I walk slow and stop a lot - always a new view to be astounded by) - so don't be afraid, don't be concerned.
If you follow the advice that many forget .. start slow, start easy, start with shorter distances, and build up as your body allows you to - and if you get injured or exhausted - top tip! Stop!! You will be fine.
So, be kind to yourself ;).

Buen Camino!
I only ever train to try to strengthen muscles and connective tissue supporting my knees and hips. I KNOW I have problems there. So, I do try to prepare these joints. In the process, I am working on aerobic conditioning as well.

But, David is correct, the best training for a Camino is on a Camino.

Don't sweat it...well, you WILL sweat...a lot. But do not obsess about getting too prepared.

If you are in average good condition and do not have any chronic illnesses that might erupt, the first few days will sort you out. Once you find your pace, stick with it. Fast or slow, it is YOUR Camino.

Hope this helps.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
One thing that gets mentioned rarely in threads about conditioning and training to walk the Camino is diet and nutrition. If a prospective pilgrim is overweight, even losing as little as 5 kilos before they started their walk would be such an advantage. If one is very overweight, losing a bunch of kilos could be the difference between injury or not, or even completion.
One thing for sure, do not depend upon walking the Camino to lose weight or get you conditioned, if you cannot do it in the first place.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
For my 1st Camino I continued my regular morning walks about 3 miles before work. On weekends I would walk about 12-15 miles on Saturdays for the last 6 weeks before leaving. I carry full load about 5 kilos in my kit. That is about 5% of my body weight. (do the math) I am not thin. Since my 1st Camino I have been several long distant walks. This year is the Coast to Coast in England and then the Caminho Portuguese in October. My suggestion is be comfortable in your walking and training and have fun with it.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
I did SJPP to SdC my first year of retirement and it was a perfect Camino. I had the luxury of being able to train in the Santa Monica mountains on terrains that were very similar to those I found on the Camino (flat, hills, mountains). By the time I left, I was doing back-to-back 5-6 hour walks with 15lbs on my back. Again, I was the luckiest old gal to have been able to do that because I had no difficulty with any part of the Camino, no blisters, and found I could carry way more than 10% of my body weight. Really not meaning to brag, but rather to emphasize the value of doing as much training as you can.
 

Montana Bill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
HelloPJhonnyS,
Without being condescending, it might be useful during your training to remember you are unlikely to be able to train enough to walk a Camino.;)

Rather, we can train to a level that will help us survive the first week or so without injury if we walk sensibly in that first week.

After that, when we have found our comfortable pace for our chosen Camino, we are usually 'getting into the groove' becoming more comfortable with the pack on our back, rest breaks, albergue life and so on.

Near the end of week 3 (if you walk that long), many people experience a minor miracle. That being, the pack suddenly feels light, our aches and pains go away, blisters have healed and walking less than 20 kilometres a day feels like being lazy.

Buen (enjoyable training) Camino
 

Montana Bill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Best reply ever. Consider your question answered and seek no more. PJhonnys reply IS ALL ENCOMPASSING. Trust in it!!!!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Hola!

Was wondering about the weight on everyone’s pack. I’ve read that the ideal weight is no more than 10% of your body weight. Therefore that would give me roughly 7kilos of gear. Has anyone carried more than 10%?

I’m on my 2nd week of Camino training now (though I’ve been lifting weights for almost a year). In my first week I started with a 10kilo pack and walk an hour on the teadmill. This week i carry 12.5kilos with a 7.5% gradient on the treadmill for an hour. So far my legs, shoulders, and feet are fine. I’ll be gradually increasing the time every week from here on. I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.

Do any of you think I’m over training? All your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you 😊

P.S. I’m starting from SJPD
I can share with you the quick basics I follow when I train; each person can apply the principals for their individual needs, physical conditions, and limitations.

[NOTE: Before undertaking any change in activity level or exercise, be sure to check with your medical provider first. Even a quick phone call informing him/her of your plans will allow your provider to give you any guidance that is deemed important.]

There are two different areas of focus when I train:

1. Cardiovascular fitness.
2. Muscle strengthening.

With both parts to an exercise plan, it is far better to go slower and be more deliberate and committed to your fitness time, than to overdo it by rushing the exercises and risking overuse injuries and becoming discouraged. Using THR zones, you will always make progress even though you take more time to reach your goal.

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

A valuable and important tool that is easy and good to follow for developing cardio capacity is the concept of Target Heart Rate zones (THR). It doesn't matter what your fitness level is, THZ will allow each person to develop at their own speed and point of fitness.

Exercises should be used which will allow you to hit a target heart rate (THR) zone, over a set 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, using 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 THR zones is so effective. They don't change relative to one's fitness level. Someone extremely out of shape who cannot exercise as hard and as long as someone who is extremely fit, will still reach the exact same THR during their exercise sessions. It takes more intensity in training for the person who has a great fitness level to reach 140 heart beats per minute (BPM). An out-of-fitness individual will reach that same 140 BPM in a far shorter amount of time and with far less intensity to the exercise.

As you gain fitness, it will take a longer period of exercise and a harder effort at the exercise to keep reaching 140 BPM. It is this THR phenomenon which allows a person to use their own fitness levels as a guide to steady progress rather than relying on some formula laid out by someone who doesn't know you from a hill of beans.

This is what I do for Cardio. It is based on MY current fitness level as an example of how to use what you have around you as an exercise resource. You do not need a gym membership.

During most of the year, I alternate days of effort and length during the week. Every other day I do a Long Loop Trail which is about 7.5 miles in length and gains a total of 2800 feet in elevation. During the other two or three days, I do the Short Loop Trail, which is 3.8 miles in length and only gains 1215 feet of elevation. When I am up backpacking, that will, of course, serve as a daily workout.

For really crummy weather days --- and lately over the last four weeks when smoke from wildfires made the air hazardous for outdoor activity --- I use a treadmill that can achieve a 30 degree incline, and which I spent a bit of time carefully calibrating to make sure it is reasonably accurate for both speed and incline settings. If I didn't have a treadmill, I could jump rope, stair step, run in place, etc. A lot of times the local high school will let the folks in the district use their facilities.

I decided that I would save money by using a treadmill at home -- not to mention the convenience -- rather than paying a gym membership to use THEIR treadmill. It wasn't cheap, but I now have over 7100 miles on it over the course of several years. I learned how to maintain it and keep it accurate in it's measurements. Having the treadmill at home actually decreases the amount of time spent exercising by eliminating the 'getting to and coming back' from a gym.


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 cardio-vascular workout and 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:
1. push-ups
2. lunges
3. squats
4. planks.

Rather than try and describe the steps involved in properly doing each exercise, do a google search to show you the way to do these exercises.

Again, make steady progress NOT quick progress. The goal is to keep you injury free while you are getting stronger.

This is what I do for strength training and core conditioning. Again, take it easy and build gradually.

In addition to the exercises I listed, I use two pieces of equipment:

1. A cheap set of dumb bells
2. A TRX strap system.

Again, Google will provide and describe and show the basic exercises for this type of equipment. The TRX system is an offshoot of what several folks used in the military while in combat zones where there is no weight lifting equipment. Back then, it was cargo webbing straps. From that, someone made a gazillion dollars with a nicer, more modern iteration all nicely packaged up and all professional looking :)

Why didn't I think of doing that? o_O

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

Regardless of which exercises you are doing, include frequent walks. Not workouts ... just walk at a comfortable pace and for a comfortable period of time. Use this opportunity to try out footwear for Camino. Look for the beginning niggling of potential problems with your feet and joints so that you have plenty of time to have them looked at by a provider and deal with any treatment plan.

After you've been involved in your fitness regimen for about three months, put on the clothing and footwear you will be using on Camino, load up your pack, and for several days in a row walk for a 3 to 4 hour period. See how you feel and at what pace you are able to best sustain yourself. That will give you a baseline estimate to calculate logistical issues surrounding the question of how far can I comfortably walk within a given amount of time. If you feel you need more time with conditioning before doing that type of walking, then wait for another month or two.

Yes, things and conditions can be different once you are on Camino as the unexpected arises, but those walks will help not only give you some insight and guidance, but also help build your confidence.

It will also let you know how your feet, knees, back and shoulders are doing.

More than anything else, enjoy the entire process of getting ready for Camino. Keep thinking about your personal goals for doing Camino and what type of experience you are hoping for. Also, think about what you can contribute, as a pilgrim, to the spirit and nature of the Camino when you begin your first steps toward Santiago.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
As usual, Davebugg is spot-on! In my case, I advocate and practice a sequence of annual or semi-annual medical checkups and tests BEFORE attempting a Camino. I have discussed this previously in the Forum, pretty much as Dave does above.

However, this year, for the first time, we have a wrinkle in my planning. My wife 'persuaded' me to seek the services of a cardiologist to obtain baseline tests and information moving forward. I am in my mid-60s and although I previously lost nearly 100 pounds (2005 -2006), over the past decade, nearly half of the lost weight has crept back. So, of course, I acquiesced... Like I could refuse...

Anyway after three intensive cardiac tests at least one evident anomaly has cropped up. This coming Monday I have an appointment with the heart guy to review all the test findings and figure out what to do moving forward. Let's just say I am a little anxious, and worried that my plans might be changed... We shall see.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
As usual, Davebugg is spot-on! In my case, I advocate and practice a sequence of annual or semi-annual medical checkups and tests BEFORE attempting a Camino. I have discussed this previously in the Forum, pretty much as Dave does above.

However, this year, for the first time, we have a wrinkle in my planning. My wife 'persuaded' me to seek the services of a cardiologist to obtain baseline tests and information moving forward. I am in my mid-60s and although I previously lost nearly 100 pounds (2005 -2006), over the past decade, nearly half of the lost weight has crept back. So, of course, I acquiesced... Like I could refuse...

Anyway after three intensive cardiac tests at least one evident anomaly has cropped up. This coming Monday I have an appointment with the heart guy to review all the test findings and figure out what to do moving forward. Let's just say I am a little anxious, and worried that my plans might be changed... We shall see.
My prayers are with you, Tom. 😟
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Hola!

Was wondering about the weight on everyone’s pack. I’ve read that the ideal weight is no more than 10% of your body weight. Therefore that would give me roughly 7kilos of gear. Has anyone carried more than 10%?

I’m on my 2nd week of Camino training now (though I’ve been lifting weights for almost a year). In my first week I started with a 10kilo pack and walk an hour on the teadmill. This week i carry 12.5kilos with a 7.5% gradient on the treadmill for an hour. So far my legs, shoulders, and feet are fine. I’ll be gradually increasing the time every week from here on. I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.

Do any of you think I’m over training? All your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you 😊

P.S. I’m starting from SJPD
Yes, I have carried more than 7, 10 in fact. Big mistake so sent a couple of kilos home. Training, I think maybe over doing it. In my mid sixties, fat and unfit when I started my first camino and my training was a 4 km walk around the local park 3 or 4 times a week and then later a 4 km walk a couple of times a week that included a steep hill. Never trained once with a back pack and 70 years young now and completed 3 caminos and 2 St Jean to Burgos.
 

Rhysmike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
Hola!

Was wondering about the weight on everyone’s pack. I’ve read that the ideal weight is no more than 10% of your body weight. Therefore that would give me roughly 7kilos of gear. Has anyone carried more than 10%?

I’m on my 2nd week of Camino training now (though I’ve been lifting weights for almost a year). In my first week I started with a 10kilo pack and walk an hour on the teadmill. This week i carry 12.5kilos with a 7.5% gradient on the treadmill for an hour. So far my legs, shoulders, and feet are fine. I’ll be gradually increasing the time every week from here on. I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.

Do any of you think I’m over training? All your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you 😊

P.S. I’m starting from SJPD
I'm in my 60's walking my 4th Camino this year. I weigh about 80 kg at the start and with water and food my pack probably weighs about 12 kg, that's 15% of my body weight. It hasn't been a problem.

My wife and I train in suburban Australia, usually doing 3 to 4 walks of about 8 km a week carrying our packs, with a few longer walks as we get closer to leaving.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
PjonnyS. Everything that has been written is good advice. I trained plenty before my first Camino from St Jean to Santiago by carrying my full pack (7kgs) in rugged terrain for up to 20 kms per day. So I honestly found the Camino easy (except for the first day which was tiring) and no blisters or injuries. My daily distance was between 20 and 30km. I was 79 years old. You mention you intend to use Brierleys stages. If you want to avoid the big, impersonal and crowded albergues stay in the villages between the stages. Naturally Pamplona, Burgos and Leon are worth extra time to see these cities so I stayed about 10km short of these cities, spent the afternoon looking around and the next morning looked around some more in the morning and then walked 10 - 15 km to an albergue after the city. Once in the rhythm of walking I found I needed to walk every day. Also after the tough day from St Jean to Roncevalles be kind to your body and walk a shorter day for it to recover. This will also be an opportunity for you to break out of Brierley's stages.
I carry typically 7kg and I weight 71kg. As a matter of interest, when I was a Hospitalero I saw a petite lady who was having trouble putting her pack on her back, so I helped her. I had to brace my legs and use both arms to lift the pack to put it on her back, so I asked her how much it weighed. She told me 20kg! and I believe her and told her that she must get rid of a lot in her pack otherwise she would injure herself and would not reach Santiago. If looks could kill, I would not be here posting this.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I had commented before that I had to put my self on different surfaces knowing there would be tarmac, asphalt, dirt paths, gravel, and rocky inclines. My body, shins, feet, hips and knees needed to acclimate to all those surfaces. (I could really feel the difference in my hips and feet when I started adding paved paths to my wilderness trails) And though the treadmills get us moving when its raining outside- they are meant to support and cushion the foot and body in a way that will NOT prep you for true outdoor walking
Very true. My podiatrist said to keep clear of them. The foot needs to walk on uneven surfaces to get fully exercised and prepared.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I saw a petite lady who was having trouble putting her pack on her back, so I helped her. I had to brace my legs and use both arms to lift the pack to put it on her back,
I had a similar experience with a young Korean woman carrying a very heavy pack. Someone told me that she was carrying a big bag of rice. I don't know if she had @Robo's rice cooker too. :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I carry typically 7kg and I weight 71kg. As a matter of interest, when I was a Hospitalero I saw a petite lady who was having trouble putting her pack on her back, so I helped her. I had to brace my legs and use both arms to lift the pack to put it on her back, so I asked her how much it weighed. She told me 20kg! and I believe her and told her that she must get rid of a lot in her pack otherwise she would injure herself and would not reach Santiago. If looks could kill, I would not be here posting this.
Hiked along with two girls for a few days on one of the toughest spots on the Appalachian Trail. They had already hiked 300 miles south through Maine. One looked like if you wet her down she might reach close to 90 pounds. After provisioning her pack weighed 45 pounds. Gear did weigh more then though. (Roughly: 500 km, 40 kg, 20 kg)
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
One thing that gets mentioned rarely in threads about conditioning and training to walk the Camino is diet and nutrition. If a prospective pilgrim is overweight, even losing as little as 5 kilos before they started their walk would be such an advantage. If one is very overweight, losing a bunch of kilos could be the difference between injury or not, or even completion.
One thing for sure, do not depend upon walking the Camino to lose weight or get you conditioned, if you cannot do it in the first place.
Too true, I started putting on weight in Navarre, three course pilgrims meals , with pasta every meal as a starter! and cerveca ,
Bill
 

bjmccaskill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving Vezelay May 5, 2013
All wonderful advice. Couldn't agree more that "you can't really train well for the Camino except by doing the Camino." It's just different.

Try to lose excess weight before the trip. Personal weight is as hard on joints as a backpack. We used a 15% rule - 10% pack, 5% clothing. This is 15% of what we SHOULD BE.

Doesn't matter whether you wear the weight on your head, feet or back. Lightweight belt and hat count as much as anything else. I've heard it said that 1 pound on your feet burns as much energy as 6 in your pack. I do believe this to be true.

Start as fit as you can be (no rules) and START SLOW for a week or ten days, until your body adapts to the idea that it won't be getting many days off. In pure contrast, you would be better off not training at all and breaking yourself in gently on the trail than training hard and then pushing it from day one. Too often see the gung ho gone in a week and the "slackers" cruise all the way.

Have fun along the Way.
 

John H.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
I carried 9.5 kg + 2-3 kgs of water (1 litre = 1 kg) depending on the day and I weigh about 91 kg. That's 10.5-14%. No issues.

Get a really good pack with lots of adjustments and suitable for your height and learn how to adjust everything to fit you. Re-adjust daily/hourly as needed. I found that walking poles made it much easier to carry the weight - better balance, less weight on knees and hips, etc. I could walk farther using poles.

For training, the incline is good but 1 hour on the soft treadmill base doesn't really simulate everything you will encounter (dirt, gravel, rocks, pavement). I would try to do as many 2 hour walks on hard surfaces (pavement or cement) as you can. That seems to be the hardest on my feet and knees and may toughen the skin on your feet. I would also try to complete a few 4 hour walks in the last 2 weeks before you go (with adequate rest stops). Do all of this with the same footwear you will use on your trip. Have fun.
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
For training, the incline is good but 1 hour on the soft tread mill base doesn't really simulate everything you will encounter (dirt, gravel, rocks, pavement). I would try to do as many 2 hour walks on hard surfaces (pavement or cement) as you can. That seems to be the hardest of your feet and knees and may toughen the skin on your feet. I would also try to complete a few 4 hour walks in the last 2 weeks before you go (with adequate rest stops). Do all of this with the same footwear you will use on your trip. Have fun.
I agree. Exercise and training for backpacking, camino, trekking, etc have two distinct branches: cardiovascular and musculoskeletal.

A treadmill is a reasonable choice for cardiovascular fitness training.

Walking over varying types of terrain is needed for part of your musculoskeletal development. Ankles are an example of such. The best method for ankle strengthening and conditioning is to walk on uneven terrain. That doesn't happen on the treadmill.

Walking up hills and stairs are examples of strengthening your leg muscles, increasing their capacity to lift your body weight with every step, as well as increasing the amount of time and repetitions that one can do so.

It isn't just treadmills that are deficient in overall musculoskelatal fitness for backpacking/camino/etc. Those who use bicycles for fitness training have the same issues, where different muscle groups need strengthening for walking.
 

Harland2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April/May "2019"
When I walked the 630 mile South West Coast Path in England I carried 17.5 kilos including the rucksack, tent, food, water etc including what I was wearing (2.9 kilos). I always add on what I wear and carry e.g. poles, camera etc to get a better idea of the total weight on my feet! And no I don't weigh 175 kilos, more like 95 kilos and aged 71 6'3". I don't seem to feel the weight once it is strapped on around my waist. Normally I don't train for walks as I seem to walk myself into "walking fitness" after 2/3 days. When I first started walking long distances I said to a guy at the beginning that I hoped my feet lasted out; he said it is not your feet that will stop you it is your head! He was right, get your head in order and you will be OK, think of walking to the next café or your stop for the evening and not the 800kms ahead of you. I start the Camino Francés on 27th April - can't wait!
 

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
Is there a reason you cannot train 'on the road'? Treadmill training will not give you the same experience you could expect to have wrt track surfaces and slope variability.

I find it easier to do regular sessions of an hour or so each day, with longer sessions on the weekends. I also vary the weight and climb for longer walks, building up the longer sessions to my target weight and distance, rather than training for long periods at my targets.
There's another issue with treadmill training. The incline of the treadmill can be raised, to simulate uphill sections, but the treadmill can not be adjusted to simulate downhill exercise. I spent lots of time on treadmills, in an air conditioned gym, for an October 2018 Camino because where I live is hot and humid. What I found was long descents on the Camino were difficult for me. I experimented with various shoe and boot options. Trail runners were the most comfortable on all surfaces.
Ted
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2020
HelloPJhonnyS,
Without being condescending, it might be useful during your training to remember you are unlikely to be able to train enough to walk a Camino.;)

Rather, we can train to a level that will help us survive the first week or so without injury if we walk sensibly in that first week.

After that, when we have found our comfortable pace for our chosen Camino, we are usually 'getting into the groove' becoming more comfortable with the pack on our back, rest breaks, albergue life and so on.

Near the end of week 3 (if you walk that long), many people experience a minor miracle. That being, the pack suddenly feels light, our aches and pains go away, blisters have healed and walking less than 20 kilometres a day feels like being lazy.

Buen (enjoyable training) Camino
I love the minor miracle. I am reminded of my dear friend John who I met on my 2017 Camino. He was looking all over for his pack one day, thought it had been misplaced...only to find it was already on his back!
 

Jim Stinson

ibrew4u
Camino(s) past & future
5/2015 CF
4/2017 CF
5/2019 CF fr Astorga
For me the weight is irrelevant. Carry what you NEED. That will be the weight of your pack.
On day two or three you may redefine "need." There are "give and take" bins in the albergues for folks who want to shed something, or who are looking for something.
I weigh 175 on the Camino and I carry 20-22lbs, and use everything in the pack (unless its not raining).
Properly packed and fitted, it carries well and I can put in a 27-32km day without much suffering.
An hour of training is not much compared to 6-8 hour days, but a Camino day is typically not high aerobic, so an hour of aerobic and weight training is helpful. The best training is to get hot and sweaty in the boots, socks clothing and pack you will be wearing. This will expose any fitting issues before it is too late.
 

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
While some conditioning is a good idea, it should be kept in mind that the Camino is not, and should not be, the moral equivalent of the Bataan Death March. After all, when you get tired you can just stop for that day, and Lord knows there are plenty of places for that. I would, however, suggest giving a good break-in to the shoes or boots you intend to use so that there are no blister surprises there.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
There's another issue with treadmill training. The incline of the treadmill can be raised, to simulate uphill sections, but the treadmill can not be adjusted to simulate downhill exercise. I spent lots of time on treadmills, in an air conditioned gym, for an October 2018 Camino because where I live is hot and humid. What I found was long descents on the Camino were difficult for me. I experimented with various shoe and boot options. Trail runners were the most comfortable on all surfaces.
Ted
That really depends on the model of treadmill. Mine has an incline to a 30 percent grade, and a decline of 8%.

That is beside the point, though. I agree with you that the best way to strengthen the ligaments and tendons supporting the knees and ankles is actually walking uphill and downhill incorporating uneven terrain.
 

Hugo MacOscar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
HelloPJhonnyS,
Without being condescending, it might be useful during your training to remember you are unlikely to be able to train enough to walk a Camino.;)

Rather, we can train to a level that will help us survive the first week or so without injury if we walk sensibly in that first week.

After that, when we have found our comfortable pace for our chosen Camino, we are usually 'getting into the groove' becoming more comfortable with the pack on our back, rest breaks, albergue life and so on.

Near the end of week 3 (if you walk that long), many people experience a minor miracle. That being, the pack suddenly feels light, our aches and pains go away, blisters have healed and walking less than 20 kilometres a day feels like being lazy.

Buen (enjoyable training) Camino
Sounds like good advice to me. This "common sense" approach brings me comfort and boosts confidence.. Thank you.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@PJhonnyS , kia ora for this thread.

And I lot of good advice for fitness of the body.

My bag also includes training the mind. For me this was setting some goals to achieve. My key goals for training trips include working up to:
1) achieve 15 km before stopping for breakfast
2) achieve 400 m of elevation gain before stopping for breakfast.

For you upcoming pilgrimage, kia kaha (take care be strong, get going)
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
It is often said here, "Don't try to walk your Camino before your Camino"
I disagree! It is not possible to over train for the Camino. When you body aches in training, simple rest a few days, to recover. If you need a doctor, see you regular physician. Test out all equipment. Get the physical problems solved at home, so your mind can focus on more important matters on the Camino.

Start training 6 months before your departure date. Peek your training several weeks before your trip, then slowly work down training to avoid last minute injury.

There is so much more to the Camino than foot pain!


-Paul
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I disagree! It is not possible to over train for the Camino. When you body aches in training, simple rest a few days, to recover. If you need a doctor, see you regular physician. Test out all equipment. Get the physical problems solved at home, so your mind can focus on more important matters on the Camino.

Start training 6 months before your departure date. Peek your training several weeks before your trip, then slowly work down training to avoid last minute injury.

There is so much more to the Camino than foot pain!
-Paul
I agree with your points, though we will 'agree to disagree' regarding the possibility of over training.
I have done it and suffered for it.
And it was not obvious at the time.
Otherwise I would have stopped to rest........
 

longwalker60

Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2018
Hola!

Was wondering about the weight on everyone’s pack. I’ve read that the ideal weight is no more than 10% of your body weight. Therefore that would give me roughly 7kilos of gear. Has anyone carried more than 10%?

I’m on my 2nd week of Camino training now (though I’ve been lifting weights for almost a year). In my first week I started with a 10kilo pack and walk an hour on the teadmill. This week i carry 12.5kilos with a 7.5% gradient on the treadmill for an hour. So far my legs, shoulders, and feet are fine. I’ll be gradually increasing the time every week from here on. I’m training for the maximum I think I can carry which is 12.5kilos. In any case, I’m sure my gear will be much less.

Do any of you think I’m over training? All your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you 😊

P.S. I’m starting from SJPD
sounds like your in great shape. I think you can never overtrain. I was doing similar without the weights. As you get closer to your event, I would back up a little, your legs will be fresher, and you wont be burnout. Best of luck
 

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