Your Camino Training Plan posted: 2017-05-15 05:07:00
There is no set training plan that you have to do in order to complete your Camino journey. The Camino de Santiago is an all-inclusive experience, welcoming people of all levels of fitness. At the end of the day, the physical nature of the Camino is just about making it to Santiago de Compostela, some people take longer than others but everyone gets there in their own time.
The training you do is also dependent on the stage of the Camino that you are planning to walk. For example, you will need more practice to cross the Pyrenees than the Meseta (relatively flat area in the middle of the French Way). Any preparation that you do before your departure date will be a massive benefit to you during the journey and will reduce the chances of injury.
An important thing you will need to consider for walking the Camino is your footwear. You can either wear hiking shoes or boots, but this is based on your personal preference. Boots are heavier which may be uncomfortable for some people, particularly in the summer and while walking on the more level sections. We recommend using hiking shoes on the Camino pilgrimage as they are light, durable and discrete. The shoes will also last 2 – 3 years so they are definitely worth investing in.
The best way to begin your training is to just start walking and go from there. A good time to get your training programme started would be about 3 months before your walking holiday. Here is a guideline which you can use for your training. Click here for a pdf version on the Camino Training Plan.
Check out the essential items you'll need to bring when Packing Your Bag for the Camino de Santiago here
Tips to Make Your Camino Training Easier
- Start as soon as you can, the more you do the better you will feel for it when out on the Camino
- Combine both flat and mountainous terrain, this will help strengthen the muscles in your legs
- Gradually increase the distances you are walking. You don't need to do this on every walk but at least once a week
- Make sure if you don't normally walk with a backpack that you start wearing one when out walking. (If you have booked you luggage transfer with us you only need to practice with a small daypack.)
- If you are getting walking shoes wear these as much as possible to ensure they are well broken in before your Camino
- Listen to music it really helps the time go by
- Walk with a friend. This lets you spend time with a friend catching up whilst also getting your Camino training in
- Use an app or fitness gadget to keep track of your progress and to keep you motivated as you see the number of steps you walk add up
- Choose different routes so you don't get bored and this will also help you to tackle different terrains
- Pick a time of day that suits your schedule so you can more easily stick to your Camino training
- Listen to your body when walking, if your shoes are pinching or rubbing next time you wear them they a blister plaster as a preventative measure or try different socks
- Find a walking group - in most areas you can easily find a walking group to join have a quick search online. This is a great way also to meet other people that have a similar interest to you. If you are in Ireland check out our Events page to see when our next Camino Training is happening.
10 Benefits of Walking
1. Weight Loss - walking is an easy way to start burning calories
2. Lowers Blood Pressure - walking is an easy drug free approach to help lower your blood pressure
3. Strengthens Bones and Joints - walking is gentle exercise that helps strengthens your joints which bear the weight of your body the more steady you are on your feet the less likely you are to fall particularly in older age
4. Reduces the risk of heart disease - when you are walking your heart will become more efficient at delivering oxygen to the muscles, like all muscles they benefit from exercise
5. Reduces the risk of diabetes - walking means you are using your muscles more which in turn means that they are using more glucose, which over time has been shown to lower your blood sugar levels.
6. Good for your mental health - walking can allow you time for your mind to relax which in turn will improve your mood
7. mprove your balance and coordination - as mentioned walking is good for your bones and joints which in turn improves your balance and coordination, as we get older it is important to keep active so that we are not easily put off balance and fall and potentially fracture something!
8. Improves sleep - going for a good walk will help you get a good night's sleep as it will have given your brain time to relax and will also tire your muscles so you will be glad to jump into bed at night, even a bit earlier depending how big a walk you did that day!
9. Get your Vitamin D from the Sun - walking means you are outside and getting Vitamin D which your body needs so that it can absorb calcium which in turn helps with bone strength
10. Everyone can do it, just take the first step - walking is very accessible you just need to start. Try getting on or off the bus a stop earlier, take the stairs when you can, or leave the car at home and walk into town.
If you still need motivation here our some of our favourite walking quotes:
If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama
When walking, you see things that you miss in a motor car or on the train. You give your mind space to ponder. -Tom Hodgkinson
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you have on the Camino de Santiago tours our our services.