Completing the stages of the Camino means spend many hours walking and it is normal that assail us questions: Are we ready for a challenge of this magnitude?
All of us come doubts before starting to practice certain activities involving physical effort, and of course the Camino de Santiago is no exception. When we hear of the pilgrimage route always come to light hundreds of kilometers of routes, hours non-stop walking, the need to get up very early to get a place in hostels or difficulties to relax fully. These questions are even more common in people who want to embark on the Camino but are not accustomed to playing sports; if you're one of the latter, calm down, because if anything characterizes the Camino de Santiago is its flexibility (especially the French Way).
Make no mistake, being used to doing sport always helps, especially if we have to spend many hours walking, an activity that almost no one is used to, but if that's not your case, you should know that performing good planning before starting your trip, you can find the formula that works best for you. Planning any pilgrim should do before making the Camino is twofold: on the one hand we must prepare the body going for a walk to get used to what we will find and secondly, to be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves a route of stages not to exceed our physical and mental limits.
The Camino is to enjoy it, but as we say that you must prepare for it by not fully uphill. How long you need to train and arrive in perfect conditions? Each pilgrim is different, but you should book 60 to 90 days to walk and to accustom your body. You should start out walking at least three or four times a week in sessions of 2 hours during the first 30 days; after the first month you should be able to walk for 3 hours without problem. From this point it is advisable to gradually increase the number of sessions per week to 5, in which you try to walk on land where the layout varies, with elevations and descents.
In the last 30 days we strongly recommend that you start using both shoes and backpack that you are going to take to the Camino de Santiago, filling slowly with weight (up to 10% of your body weight) so that the conditions are the same as in your journey. You can also consider simple hiking routes to go getting used to all types of terrain, which is what you'll find on your trip. Always remember to hydrate and stretch before and after each workout and make a medical checkup before undertaking activities involving a considerable physical effort.
It may seem a long time to prepare, believe us, this way you will reach the Camino with much more confidence in yourself when walking many hours in the sun, and do not forget that confidence and mental toughness are also very important in to face a challenge like this. If you have met the training that you had originally proposed, you are getting a great morale booster before the Camino, but it is also important that when planning the days that you invest walking along the pilgrimage route be honest with yourself and do not set targets that you hardly get over it.
Planning your route, the sensible thing is that you take your first pilgrimage to familiarize yourself with the Camino and not be too hard on yourself; especially in the case of the French Way you will find hostels and accommodation in almost every town on the route, so you can shorten or lengthen your step as your physical and mental state.
We conclude by giving you some advice: do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone, which is precisely where the Camino de Santiago will take during your pilgrimage. Always think of the life experience that means overcoming your own physical and mental limits; many pilgrims agree that the Way has found them a side of themselves they did not even know.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649