Finding your rhythm
An important factor to enjoying your Camino is to find your rhythm and go with that.
Walking to the beat of your own drum
When walking long distances it is critical that you honour your body and what it needs. Everything about your entire being functions on rhythm. In every aspect of life, it is critical to respect your own unique rhythm to have the best experience in this life. Walking is no different.
Trust your own body’s needs
While heading out with others can be fun, it can also be detrimental to your own experience. If you follow their lead and don’t listen to your body you run the risk of over-exerting yourself or not being comfortable with yourself. Ultimately opening yourself to physical problems. Pulled muscles, shin splints, blisters… the list is long.
And while we are on the topic of trusting our body remember there are no rules to walking Camino de Santiago… If your body is telling you to stop, then listen and stop!
Practice while training
Walking at a comfortable consistent pace that you can manage will come with practice. Start your training with an easy pace gradually building. Listen to your heartbeat, your breathing and physical sensations. I find after a few days on Camino I intuitively fall into my pace and rhythm. I know this when I become comfortable and walk with ease.
A few tips to help you keep a good rhythm:
Start out slow and steady, warm up, and give yourself time to increase your pace into a comfortable rhythm.
If your heart is beating too fast slow down. Steady consistent walking with fewer stops is better than going too fast and having to stop and recover.
Listening to music initially can help support you to find a comfortable stepping pace. Sometimes our mind can trick us into thinking we can’t before we can!
Take breaks, and give your body an opportunity to rest.
Sustain your body with good fuel foods, and plenty of water.
Most of all you want to take in what you are doing and enjoy the moment. Pace yourself to meet your goal of arrival but don’t challenge yourself where you forget to smell the roses at the same time!