Now that you have decided to do the Camino de Santiago you are probably worried about starting with the training and knowing if you will be able to walk all the kilometers of the Camino de Santiago that you have ahead of you without getting injured. Reach being well prepared physically is the first step to increase your chances of achieving your goal and enjoying the experience and enjoy the experience one hundred percent.
In this article we tell you the keys to a good training so that the Camino de Santiago becomes the best trip of your life.
What should I consider before starting my training?
First of all, we would like to let you in on a secret: Everyone can do the Camino de Santiago! As lovers of the Camino that we are, after so many years and after having met so many pilgrims… we can affirm that everyone gets to Santiago, from a small child, elderly people, people with illnesses or special needs… there are no barriers of any kind.
On the other hand, the most important aspect to take into account before starting your training for the Camino de Santiago is your health. If you suffer from any pathology or illness it is best to go to your doctor and follow his recommendations.
First steps of training
If you are a sedentary person and are not used to doing sport on a regular basis, start slowly. Start at least 3 weeks beforehand, taking short daily walks on flat terrain, gradually increasing the distances and difficulty.
Start using the same footwear that you will wear on the Camino de Santiago to get your feet used to it. If you notice discomfort during your workout or feel it’s not too comfortable, look for an alternative until you find your ideal shoe .
Keep in mind that the legs are the ones that will make all the effort, especially the knees. It is important to train the basic muscle groups to avoid fractures or injuries resulting from weakness. We recommend you to do at least 2 times a week exercises to strengthen legs and buttocks.
Increase training intensity
As you become more comfortable and gain strength, you can increase the intensity of your workouts. Walk on rocky trails, increasing distances and slopes.
Remember that the Camino de Santiago is not a competition, so it is very important to follow your own pace, without rushing or overexertion.
Walkwith your backpack
If you are going to do the Camino de Santiago carrying your own backpack, it is ideal that you do your last training sessions with it. Remember that the ideal is to carry only 10% of your body weight. In other words, if you weigh 70 kg, you should only carry 7 kg on your back to avoid injury.
Another factor that should not be overlooked is the the backpack on your back. Remember that the weight should fall on your hips and not on your shoulders, otherwise you will have a constant torture all the way.
Maintaining a mind-body balance is a very important factor when starting your training. You must prepare yourself mentally as a pilgrim. Remember that this is not your usual holiday and you won’t be lying on the beach but you will be walking many kilometres for days.
Remember that “will is power”, so free yourself from all fears and barriers, trust in yourself and don’t put limits on yourself. We assure you that at the end of the trip you will feel proud of yourself and completely fulfilled.
What should I keep in mind during the Camino?
Here are a series of recommendations that you should take into account so that your experience on the Camino is as satisfactory as possible.
1.- Plan the stages and the number of kilometres you are going to ride each day. Don’t do very long stages if you are not completely sure that you are going to be able to do them.
2.- Avoid the middle of the day when walking. Especially in the summer months, leave early to try to reach the end of the stage by midday.
3.- Hydrate yourself well. In your backpack you can’t miss a bottle of water, which you can refill in the many fountains you’ll find along the Camino.
4.- Listen to your body and rest when I ask you to. You’ll avoid injury and enjoy the experience more.
5.- Don’t wear new shoes. Wear boots or trainers that you have worn before to avoid blisters and chafing.
6.- Check that the material you carry (backpack, shoes, hiking poles…) is in good condition. You will avoid having to spend extra money repairing it or buying a new one.
7.- If you think it is necessary, use hiking poles. It will help you as a point of support, relieving tension in the knees and preventing falls.
8.- Eat well. Nutrition is very important when it comes to physical effort for so many days.
9.- Get enough rest. We know you’re on holiday and want to make the most of the day. Give your body a good rest, the next morning it will thank you for it.
10.- Be realistic. Overambition and overexertion can cause injury. It’s all about enjoying the experience and not making it an ordeal.
We hope this article has helped you to start your training for the Camino de Santiago. Cheer up and have a good Camino!