Now that you have decided to walk Camino de Santiago it is time to let the journey begin!
Preparing yourself physically is probably one of the most important factors to ensure your confidence and ultimately your comfort while on the Camino. Follow our tips on training for Camino de Santiago and if you have any other questions please contact us.
This statement holds true for any type of 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 some frightening feet on Camino, and it is 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 blisters. If you have any spots that you find 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 you walk to support you in avoiding injury. A simple little routine of yoga or Pilates or whatever it is that 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 a couple of 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 during the day, so it is good to get an understanding of what that is going to feel like. Choose a comfortable pack and take the things you will use on Camino for example; a 2-litre water bottle or bladder, snacks, sunscreen, a light jacket, your journal, 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. Carrying fruit, nuts and energy bars for example.
Don’t let the weather stop you.
Remember rain hail or shine you are going to be walking. Don’t be afraid of going out into a storm you may enjoy it; I know I do it reminds me of being a kid and never letting a moment slow you down! Training in bad weather will also give you a chance to test out your wet-weather gear and make sure it is comfortable and adequate.
Get out there fully equipped as though you are on the Camino, and try to get an understanding of what your body needs to be comfortable. Pace your timing to see how many km you do per hour so you can plan your days on Camino to suit your rhythm. Carry your daypack equipped and try to spend a couple of days doing the full kms that you will be doing when on Camino. Find somewhere nice so that you do not become uninspired. Walking a Camino is also very much a mind game as well!
Most of all it is important to go out with a mind that is out for some fun. Don’t push yourself too hard and remember on Camino you will be walking through interesting little villages and the beautiful Spanish or Portuguese landscape will be your companion.