Walking about 15 miles per day for a month can seem like quite a challenge, but if you follow an adequate preparation a few months in advance of your Camino de Santiago, you will do it at ease.
It is crucial to follow some basic training before walking the Camino de Santiago. You should start your training at least two months before your trip; the intensity of your training will vary depending on: the selected route, duration of the journey, and the sort of topography you will find. A basic training program will make a huge difference and it will help reduce the risk of suffering injuries.
Another important advice is to make sure you give your walking shoes a good test run before you go on the Camino, to avoid uncomfortable and painful blisters. The basics for your trip should include: a comfortable pair of walking shoes or boots, a small backpack with spare blister plasters, a water bottle that can be filled along the way and your pilgrim passport to collect the stamps.
The Spaniards say: “Walk like an old man and you will arrive as a young man“, we also advise you to not abuse your conditions during your first days on the Camino. Even if you feel strong, do not engage in the imprudence of taking long walks, they will penalize you at the end of the day. The pace in the steps is also very important, and you should never force yourself. The Camino is not about winning a race, you should rest and regain strength, the intake of sugar through food, fruits, and plenty of fluids are a must.
We recommend you train as much as you can, combining smooth and hilly paths. If you usually get out for a walk or hike each weekend, this will count as training. Gradually increase the distance you walk each week, make sure you reach at least 10 miles before starting your trip.
At the beginning of your training, walk for at least 30 minutes. At this time, the most important thing is to get your body used to walking, don’t worry too much about the distance. During your first month of training you should walk for 30 to 45 minutes at least twice a week.
Then you should increase the walking time to 1 hour twice a week, remember to use the same pair of shoes you intend to wear during the Camino.
One month prior to your departure, you should train for at least 2 hours twice a week. Two weeks before your trip, try to increase the distance, your target should be at least 9 miles, always with you gear on. Your target should go up to 12 miles one week before departing. Remember to walk with your full gear so that you know exactly how it will feel on the Camino.
Last but not least, listen to your body, both during your training and the Camino. If you feel you should take a break, go for it!!