How do you know if you are prepared to do the Camino de Santiago?
Before starting an adventure like doing the Camino de Santiago, it is common to have doubts, and even more when we are not used to making great walks in our everyday lives. There are many who are overwhelmed only by listening to the amount of kilometers you have to walk through, the early rises or the bad conditions of some of the shelters that prevent us from fully resting. If you recognize some of these cases, do not worry, the main advantage of the Camino de Santiago lies in its flexibility. The Camino de Santiago is accessible to everyone. In addition, in the case of going with an organized Camino de Santiago package, we will not have problems with the quality of the accommodations.
The doubts before doing the Camino are normal
That's right, doubts are normal. When we do not usually do sports daily, the first idea that comes to mind is: will I be able to do the Camino de Santiago? In these cases, we should calm down and think that with good planning and prior training, we can all be able to finish the Camino de Santiago without problems.
And it is that preparation and training are essential for all pilgrims who decide to do the Camino, even for those who are used to walking or doing moderate physical activity. Taking a walk is not the same as walking for many hours without resting. Therefore, preparing the path well, both mentally and physically, is the most important point.
Training before doing the Camino de Santiago
Training will depend on many factors. From Camino Trip, we will review the main ones:
How much time do we need to train before doing the Camino? Professionals recommend training from 60 to 90 days before starting the route. During the first month, it would be advisable to start with walks of 1 to 2 hours for 3 or 4 days a week. The second month, you should increase the hours of walking to 3, as well as the frequency. Finally, during the last two or three weeks, we should gradually incorporate weight on our backs up to 10% of our body weight. The perfect thing would be to use the footwear and backpack that will be taken to the Camino.
Try different hiking trails. The Camino de Santiago is not flat, that is, it changes slope during the different sections, as well as terrain. We recommend trying different hiking trails to get used to changing terrain before starting.
Perform a medical check-up before starting workouts. It is important to do a quick check in the doctor before starting the workouts. Spending days or weeks walking more than six hours a day on average can affect your heart, muscles and joints.
The training will depend on the route chosen. Before deciding which route we are going to take, we have to take into account our physical capacity. For more complex routes such as the Camino del Norte or Camino Primitivo, we will have to start our training two to three weeks earlier than the one previously said.
Tips for doing the Camino de Santiago
Know your limits. Before making the Camino de Santiago we must take into account our limits and never demand to our body more than we are able to endure mentally and physically. The first time we take the Camino it has to be more an exploration of the route than a physical test. The Camino is not a race, and we must enjoy it while we are doing it, it is useless to have a bad time and remember it later as a traumatic experience. That’s why we recommend doing it at your own pace.
Along the way we also have to be attentive to the difficulties that each stage can bring, as well as the signals that our body sends us.
Suitable footwear. On the Camino you have to wear relatively used footwear to avoid the typical chafing and blisters of the first day. We recommend wearing the same boots or sneakers that you are going to use during the Camino in training.
Stretches during the Camino. Before starting each stage, we should stretch our muscles, especially those of our legs (twins, quadriceps and hamstrings). It is also important to control our heart rate during the walk.
Food and hydration. The food on the road should be frequent and light. Eating in large quantities will slow the gait, since our body will need more energy to make digestion. In addition, you should never miss hydration during exercise with either water or isotonic drinks.
Are you ready to start the adventure?