You’re at the bar with your friends having a quiet drink when one of them starts telling you what he did last summer on holiday. He tells you what he did The Camino to Santiago and does something very typical of human beings, remembering only the good things. You start to be enthusiastic about the story and you consider the idea of walking the route on foot.

Months go by and you are already in the North of Spain, however, you have finished the first stage and you discover something: you were not trained enough to make such a long trip. You give up and go home.

This situation is not at all uncommon and it happens more than you think. Although the Camino de Santiago is an extraordinary route of beautiful landscapes, it is necessary a previous preparation to do it. In this article we will show you how to prepare the Camino de Santiago on foot. Don’t go away, we’re starting!

Physical preparation for walking the Camino

Doing the Camino de Santiago on foot is the most authentic form of pilgrimage. But, as we mentioned at the beginning, to enjoy the experience to the fullest and not suffer, is necessary a previous physical preparation. Like all physical exercise, the trail requires that we prepare our body for the adventure. Take note!

First of all, you will have to choose a route that is of an acceptable length for you. If you are in good physical shape, you can consider doing a longer route. For those who are not so used to walking long distances, we recommend choosing itineraries of no more than 120 kilometers.

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  • It is necessary to train by walking every day for at least 3 weeks. Walk at least a couple of hours a day.
  • If you can invest a day of your weekend to go on a route of around 10 kilometres, great!
  • Train on different terrains: asphalt, grass, gravel, uneven terrain, etc.
  • Try walking with the backpack you will wear during the tour to get used to it.
  • At home, you can also do leg and buttock exercises to help strengthen your legs and glutes.
  • Mental awareness: it is important to be psychologically prepared and have willpower. Positive self-motivational thoughts help a lot. If you think you can’t or won’t stick it out, chances are you’ll give up. So you know, stay positive!
  • After this preparation, you will be 100% fit to walk the trail without difficulty! Also, remember that all the ways of Santiago are perfectly prepared for walking.

Tips for walking the Camino

Footwear for walking

In this adventure, your feet are your means of transport, so you must take good care of them and pamper them. The biggest problem for the novice is always blisters and sore feet. It is a maxim that must be engraved in your head. The rules you must follow are as follows:

Neverwear new shoes: shoes, if your feet are not used to them, are a death trap that can make you want to abandon your Camino de Santiago and return home on the second day. We recommend you to see our article of what shoes to wear for the Camino de Santiago so that you know how to choose. It is also important to choose good socks without blister seams.

You will alwayscarry a remedy in your medicine cabinet for your feet: this is because it is the weakest part of the body and suffers the most. In your first aid kit you will carry Vaseline, plasters and other remedies so that your foot can recover between stages.

Footwear for walking

Clothes and backpack

Do not overload your backpack during the stage, take only the essentials for the route. Always wear comfortable, technical clothing that is breathable so that it doesn’t get wet and cause chafing.

The breaks

It is recommended that you keep a steady and sustained pace. It doesn’t matter if there is a downhill or if the section is easier to walk, don’t rush to push the pace. It’s important to get into a rhythm that you feel comfortable with and stay there.

Make stops every 2 hours maximum of at least 10 minutes. Loosen your shoes if you need to and hydrate.

Accessories

A hat or cap to protect you from the sun and sunglasses will not be superfluous. Of course you should bring sun protection and a trekking pole to help you walk.

Pilgrims arriving at a shelter

When is it best to walk the route?

It is best to choose a time of year such as spring or autumn. This way, you’ll avoid the excessive summer heat, but you’ll still have good walking weather. However, summer is also a very good time. You’ll just have to make sure to walk in the early morning hours, to escape the heat of the central hours of the day. This is especially important if you are walking with your dog.

We hope that our recommendations have helped you and that you are encouraged to undertake this wonderful adventure. From Viajes Camino de Santiago, we will be happy to help and advise you in everything you need.
¡Buen Camino!

All the journeys of the Camino de Santiago by bike
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