Travel Guide

Camino de Santiago coaching. Zero to Hero program

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You’ve been occupied with strolling the Camino de Santiago for years and now lastly you’ve time to do it? In the event you don’t know the place to start out planning and the way to get into higher strolling form on your first pilgrimage we’ve got plenty of helpful details about the Camino de Santiago on our web site. This specific submit is devoted to coaching for the Camino. 

Over the past Four years, we’ve walked 7 completely different Camino de Santiago routes and had all of it the dangerous, the nice, and the ugly. From our Camino experience, we will say that the suitable preparation is the important thing to success. 

How lengthy earlier than must you begin coaching for the Camino?

In the event you don’t train/stroll repeatedly I’d recommend beginning at the very least Three months earlier than the deliberate pilgrimage. The sooner you begin the higher. Strolling is an efficient train with many well being advantages it’s value giving it a attempt. The beauty of strolling is that you just don’t want any particular gear (besides possibly sneakers). You possibly can practise it wherever; in a metropolis, city, countryside, park, mountains, health club, and many others.

Pilgrims training for the Camino
It’s really useful for pilgrims to coach for the Camino earlier than beginning the stroll

Select the Camino route you wish to stroll

Your coaching program will partly depend upon which Camino you wish to full. Some routes have plenty of mountains and hills just like the Camino Primitivo, some are extraordinarily lengthy and flat e.g. By way of de la Plata, some contain strolling on cobblestones and laborious surfaces just like the Portuguese Camino. Distance is one other essential factor to think about. Do you wish to sort out an extended Camino route, stroll solely part of it e.g. the final 100 km, or full one of many shorter Camino routes e.g. the Camino Ingles.

Climate and seasonality is one other issue to remember. In the event you’re planning to stroll the Camino within the peak summer season season (July, August) be prepared for very excessive temperatures. Warmth makes you extra drained. Some Camino routes just like the By way of de la Plata shouldn’t be walked throughout the summer season months. In the event you determine to do the pilgrimage low season (November – February) you’ll want heat garments consequently your backpack will probably be heavier.

We now have an in depth submit targeted on completely different Camino de Santiago routes that is likely to be useful should you haven’t determined but on the Camino route.

Campbell walking in the mountains on the Camino
Campbell on the Camino Primitivo after conquering a really steep ascent. It’s really useful to incorporate hills in your Camino coaching should you’re going to stroll this roue

Advisable objects to have for the coaching

I’d strongly suggest shopping for a pair of climbing sneakers (should you don’t have one) that you just’re going to stroll in. This manner you can begin strolling in your new sneakers from the start of your coaching. It’s not a good suggestion to stroll the Camino in model new sneakers. It will increase your probabilities of getting blisters rather a lot. 

Per week or two into your coaching should you really feel comfy you can begin strolling with a backpack. It’ll be good to make use of the identical backpack that you just’re planning to stroll the Camino with. I’d suggest a 35-40L backpack for the Camino stroll it must be sufficient to pack all you want. Keep in mind, the larger your pack the extra stuff you find yourself packing into it. You can begin coaching with a small backpack carrying simply water and a few snacks and improve its weight step by step. 

In the event you’re planning to make use of a baggage switch service and stroll with a daypack then use a small backpack for coaching. A 15-20L backpack will probably be large enough to make use of as a daypack on the Camino.

In the event you want extra info on what sneakers and backpack to purchase for the stroll take a look at our Camino de Santiago packing checklist.

Many pilgrims use strolling poles; we hardly ever use them on the Camino just for routes with strenuous ascents and descents just like the Camino Primitivo. We do use them quite a bit once we hike within the mountains. Strolling poles work nice for steep descents. I’d suggest utilizing them even on flat surfaces when you’ve got knee points. You can begin strolling with the poles from the start of your coaching or at later phases.

One other merchandise that works nice for the Camino coaching is a GPS watch. It’s not as important as having good sneakers and a backpack but it surely helps rather a lot for coaching. You possibly can observe distances, coronary heart charge, burned energy, progress, and set targets. We each have Garmin Fenix 5 GPS watches and use them rather a lot on daily basis once we go operating, swimming, strolling, or coaching within the health club in addition to once we stroll the Camino or hike within the mountains. They work as a step counter as properly. By the tip of on daily basis, you possibly can see what number of steps you make on common. 

Camino de Santiago “Zero to Hero” coaching program

Stage 1. Weeks 1 to 4

Begin your coaching with strolling 5 km/3,1 mi a day Three instances every week. It takes between 1 hour to 1h30min. to stroll this distance at a median tempo. It’s higher should you cowl 5 km/3,1 mi in a single go. In the event you really feel comfy with the space after one week you can begin growing it by including 1-2 km/0,6-1,2 mi each week until you attain 10 km/6,2 mi. (about 2 to 2.5 hours strolling).

After every week or two of strolling, you can begin including some weight. First only a small backpack with water and snacks. Make it kind of 2 kg/4,Four lbs. You possibly can add a ebook for further weight. 

In the event you’re a comparatively match individual you may as properly skip the primary stage and begin your coaching with the stage 2. 

Stage 2. Weeks 5 to 9

If strolling 10 km/6,2 mi with a light-weight backpack is straightforward sufficient for you, begin growing your distance. Add 1-2 km/0,6-1,2 mi per week till you attain 15 km/9,Three mi. In the event you stroll Four to five kmh (avg strolling pace with a pack) 15 km takes about Three to Four hours to stroll. You possibly can improve the backpack weight to Four kg/8,Eight lbs. 

You can begin including some hills to your every day walks particularly should you’re planning to stroll one of many “mountain routes” (Camino Primitivo, some components of the Camino del Norte, the stroll over the Pyrenees originally of the Camino Frances).

When your distances go over 10-15 km/6,2-9,Three mi you can begin taking breaks or splitting your walks into two components. Most days on the Camino pilgrims cease at the very least as soon as for espresso, breakfast, or lunch. You’ll positively have some breaks throughout your stroll.

Stage 3. Weeks 10 to 13

Proceed growing your every day distances by 1-2 km/0,6-1,2 mi until you attain 20 km/12,Four mi. Pack your backpack for the Camino to see how heavy it’ll be and proceed strolling carrying that weight. Attempt to make it 6-7 kg/13,2-15,Four lbs the lighter the higher. 

By the tip of the third month, it is best to be capable of stroll 20 km/12,Four mi with a 6-7 kg/13,2-15,Four lbs backpack comfortably. At a cushty strolling tempo this takes kind of Four to five hours.

Stage 4. Weeks 14+

If in case you have extra time earlier than beginning the Camino you possibly can proceed coaching. It’s very possible you’ll have longer strolling days, over 20 km/12,Four mi. As soon as every week you are able to do a 25-kilometer/15,5 mi hike/stroll with a backpack. 

If because of the climate circumstances or for some other causes you possibly can’t stroll outdoors, strolling on a treadmill is at all times an possibility. It has a number of benefits, initially, you don’t depend upon the climate. Second, you possibly can alter the incline to coach strolling the hills which is nice particularly if the realm the place you reside has no hills or mountains. Third, when you’re within the health club you may get impressed and add some further exercises to your coaching and get into a greater form. 

You possibly can set your personal strolling problem; it would encourage you to maintain up along with your strolling routine. Learn the way lengthy is the Camino route that you just’re planning to stroll and see how a lot time it should take you to finish it. After on daily basis of your coaching add up the space until you attain your aim.

Alya before walking the Camino del Norte
Alya firstly of the Camino del Norte. In the event you’re planning to stroll this route coaching is really useful

Easy methods to cut back bodily exhaustion on the Camino?

Even should you skilled earlier than beginning the pilgrimage and are used to strolling, attempt to stroll kind of 20 km/12,Four mi per day throughout the first week on the Camino. In the event you really feel drained or begin getting blisters, somewhat cease early and even take a day without work. Don’t push your self laborious from the beginning, simply take it straightforward. After every week or two of strolling, you can begin growing your distances and can be capable of meet up with your itinerary. One in every of our most important Camino de Santiago ideas is at all times to hearken to your physique and stroll at your personal tempo. 

Do I would like to coach for the Camino if I’m a match individual?

In the event you’re a comparatively match one that does cardio coaching, common strolling, or climbing you continue to may want some Camino coaching. Don’t underestimate the stroll like we did with our first Camino. I’d recommend placing on distance by strolling 25+ km/15,5+ mi with a backpack on daily basis for a couple of week or two sporting the sneakers you’re going to make use of on the Camino. In the event you don’t have time for this you may be positive on the Camino should you keep on with reasonable distances, between 20 km/12,Four mi and 25 km/15,Four mi per day at first, and step by step improve them as you go on. 

We walked the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon and from the start began with very lengthy distances about 35-40 km/21-25 mi per day. After a number of days like that our ft had been destroyed! We had blisters and will barely stroll. We’d achieved plenty of high-altitude climbing and climbing earlier than and regarded strolling the Camino as a straightforward stroll. We had been very unsuitable! To stroll 600 – 800 km (relying on the Camino route) will not be that straightforward. You do get drained, pissed off, irritated, get blisters, and many others. 

Camino is both physical and mental challenge that requires preparation and training
Strolling the Camino is a psychological problem as properly. Put together your self for ups and downs

Psychological preparation for the Camino de Santiago

Bodily challenges are solely part of the Camino stroll. Often, it’s simpler to organize and practice for it. An extended stroll is a psychological problem as properly. Generally it’s an even bigger deal than tiredness and blisters particularly if it’s your first lengthy stroll. Strolling the Camino will not be at all times enjoyable and thrilling with plenty of attention-grabbing things to see. It may be irritating, uninspiring, and even boring typically .

Put together that you just’ll be pressured to go outdoors your consolation zone on the Camino for many causes:

  • Lengthy strolling days
  • Unhealthy climate
  • Folks talking a unique language
  • Each evening you share a dormitory with many different pilgrims
  • You couldn’t sleep as a result of there was a snorer in your dorm
  • You’re feeling lonely
  • Lack of privateness
  • You bought bitten by bedbugs and many others. the checklist simply can go on.

It’s tough to coach for these sorts of conditions. All you are able to do is to acknowledge them and mentally put together that disagreeable things can occur on the Camino. The perfect is at all times to attempt to keep optimistic and don’t allow them to fully spoil the pilgrimage.

In the event you begin feeling emotionally overwhelmed from being surrounded by strangers, not having any privateness, or simply want a superb sleep I like to recommend discovering a personal room. Once I walked the French Camino alone I met many individuals and actually loved the corporate however at the very least as soon as every week (typically extra usually if I may discover a finances room) I stayed in personal. In the event you really feel such as you want a break, discover a personal room for an evening or two relaxation and calm down earlier than persevering with the stroll. Don’t fear about falling behind in your itinerary. Within the worst case, you possibly can skip a stage or two and take a bus/a practice to catch up. It’s essential to benefit from the stroll and to not stress out due to it.

Inspirational books on your Camino de Santiago coaching



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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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