Training for Camino de Santiago.

Training for Camino de Santiago

Now that you have decided to walk Camino de Santiago, let the journey begin!

Preparing yourself physically is probably one of the most important factors to ensure your confidence and comfort while on the Camino.

Fitness matters

This statement holds for any active travel adventure. Walking Camino is not a casual stroll so the stronger you are the easier it will be. The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your days.

Wear in your shoes.

Train in the shoes you will wear on Camino so they adjust to your feet. I have seen frightening feet on Camino, generally because of poor-quality footwear and new shoes. Socks play a big part also so invest in some good quality socks designed to protect your feet.

Prepare your feet

One of the hot topics on Camino is Feet. If you have any spots that are usually susceptible to blisters cover the area before you even take a step in your shoes. And again, your socks will play a big part in looking after your feet. While walking as soon as you feel a little rubbing or discomfort take your shoes off, air and cool down your feet then put a cover on the location immediately. Once the burning starts you have waited too long!

Don’t forget to stretch!

Make a habit of stretching before and after walking to support avoiding injury. A simple little routine of yoga or Pilates or whatever you enjoy doing.

Gradually build up your training.

Don’t get out there doing 25 km on the first day. Gradually build up your distance and take your time. The aim is to build strength and ability in incremental steps. Walk 5km a day, then when you feel comfortable walking that distance, increase it to 10km. Once you’ve built up your endurance you’ll soon be walking 25km confidently and comfortably. Remember the days are long on Camino and you are in no rush, your room is waiting for you no matter how long you take.

Include Some Hills

All Camino trails differ in terrain however there will be some hills at the very least on all of them. Walking up hills strengthens different muscle groups to flat walking, so adding hills into your training will serve you well.

Train with your day pack.

Although you will not be carrying your luggage you will need a daypack with essentials, so it is good to understand what that feels like. Choose a comfortable pack and take the things you will use on Camino for example; a filled 2-litre water bottle or bladder, snacks, sunscreen, a light jacket, a journal, a sun hat, sunglasses etc.

Staying hydrated and sustained

Remember to continually sip on your water while walking and snack on food. It is important to keep your energy levels up. Carry fruit, nuts and energy bars as an example.

Don’t let the weather stop you.

Remember rain hail or shine you will be walking. Don’t be afraid of going out into a storm you may enjoy it. It reminds me of being a kid and never letting a moment slow you down! Training in bad weather is an opportunity to test your wet-weather gear to ensure it is comfortable and adequate.

Final Weeks

Get out there fully equipped as though you are on the Camino, and try to understand what your body needs to be comfortable. Pace your timing, and see how many km per hour you manage so you can plan your days on Camino to suit your rhythm. Carry your daypack equipped and spend a couple of days doing the full kms you will be doing on Camino. Find somewhere nice so that you don’t become uninspired. Walking Camino is a mind game as well, if you have done it you know you can!

Have FUN

Most of all go out with a mindset of having fun! Don’t push yourself too hard and remember on Camino you will be walking through interesting little villages and the beautiful Spanish, Portuguese or French landscape as your companion.

Buen Camino!
Bom Caminho!
Bon Chemin!