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How Far Do You Walk A Day?

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by stevelm1, Jun 6, 2015.

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How far do you plan to walk a day (or did walk a day)?

  1. 10 or less miles a day (16 km)

    4.3%
  2. 15 or less miles a day (24 km)

    65.2%
  3. 20 or less miles a day (32 km)

    21.7%
  4. More than 20 miles a day

    8.7%
  1. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    I am planing on walking around 12 miles/20 km a day. I know from my reading that many walk more than that. I am curious to find out what is the typical distance folks tend to walk so I am posing this poll. My expectations is that walking only 12 miles a day I will probably not see many of the folks I start with ever again (place sad face here). I know we all walk our own Camino at our own pace but I thought this might be a question many folks are curious about. Everyday presents its own challenge and not everyone can walk exactly the same distance every day so what I am looking for here is a rough average.
     
  2. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    I know that when I walked it I was quite irregular in the daily distances. My shortest day was about 12km and my longest was 37km. That last was from Astorga to Acebo which took me over the highest point on the trail. Since I walked the whole way from SJPdP in 34 days I must have averaged 23-24km a day. On the other hand, I walked over 30km on three days so must have walked less than the average on some days. I let my body dictate progress. Some days I felt able for a marathon and others I felt each step was an effort. The old adage "listen to your body" is a very true one.
     
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  3. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Steve, there are typical stops on the way (Roncesvalles,Zubiri,Pamplona,Puente la reina,etc, ) which"set" for you daily distance, mainly if you want to go with someone in group..Of course there are many places where you can stay. Camino has it's own rhythm, so sometimes you will walk 20kms, and other day 30kms with no problem. So..be open and...... Buen camino!
     
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    My longest day was 45 km and shortest about 10km - that was a rest day. I agree with @Hobbler with letting my body decide.

    After a week or ten days the daily km just rose quite easily the more I was used to it.

    I also tried to miss a lot of these set days that people walk mentioned above as they can become very busy. This seems down to people following stages in guide books.
     
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  5. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @Leslie: yes, me too.after few days on my Camino i looked for these no typical stops and it was very good. @stevelm1: Recommending:)
     
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  6. raymond john

    raymond john Well-Known Member

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    Steve
    This is your camino and there are no rules, just do what comes naturally, Carpe Diem.

    Buen Camino.

    Raymond John
     
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  7. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    I figured out pretty early in my planning that Brierley was a good guide, but I was not planning on walking his suggested daily segments. Over the next few months I am going to pick 5 or so places I want to try and stay at for sure, but will remain totally open to what each day brings. I do plan to be a bit of a touristogrino, as I am fascinated by the history of the Camino and Spain. I do not want to plan too much ahead, but will pick a few must see gems, and will let the rest just happen.
     
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  8. Dogface

    Dogface New Member

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    I got back a week ago or so from doing the Frances. I walked from St Jean and made it to Santiago (at a comfortable pace) in 26 days. I had a rest day in Pamplona and one in Burgos. I averaged 32k a day for the first half or so and then my group kinda dissolved (most of them were just doing secitons) so I walked my own pace and averaged 40k a day. I had a blast and didn't have a single plan the whole way. I think its awesome to not have a plan and just let stuff happen. If you walk a long way, walk a long way. If you wanna stop short, stop short. I got to Santiago with some time to spare before my flight so I walked to Fisterre. Just listen to your body and have fun. My shortest day was 25K and the longest was 60K.

    PS- I didn't take or ever buy a guide book of any kind and I am entirely thankful that I didn't. I stopped in big cities and small cities and I LOVED the smaller ones. Don't get too soaked into the guide book. I saw so many people with their noses glued to a guide book that they couldn't see the opportunities for the most meaningful experiences and adventures. (I could rant further, but I'll save it.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
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  9. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    Like many people, I listened to my body. I started out slow, and picked up the further I walked. I know my current limitations, but that changed day-to-day. When I return to the camino, I won't focus on numbers, but on interest.
     
  10. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    Dogface -- I am happy and amazed at your daily walking distances! Good for you! My body is telling me that at least at first 12 miles/20 kms is enough for a day. I suspect I have a few more years on my bones that you, if not, then I am really amazed. I like the Brierley maps to help decide what the next stage will be, but I plan to not plan ahead and take each day as it comes.
    Susan -- No question that one must listen to their body, not a clock or let a schedule drive you to hurting yourself. Santiago has been there for 1200 years, it can wait for us to show up in our own good time. I may get to the point that I want to walk more than 12 miles a day, but 12 or less gets me there quick enough for this stage of life. Fortunately I do not share the competitive gene that some seem to let control them while walking.
     
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  11. gdavisfe

    gdavisfe Member

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    :) Steve, I don't plan on doing more than 12 miles a day -- right now I can walk 6 miles in the morning, come home have lunch - rest (which means do things that need to get done around the house) then strike out for 6 more miles in the late afternoon. As I write this I realize - I need to get up and out of here --- walking, walking walking. :)
     
  12. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    gdavisfe -- for what it is worth I am doing 4 mile increments. I walk 4 miles take a break, eat something, and drink usually a coffee if available, water if not.
     
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  13. lin math

    lin math Linda's first Camino

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    Steve: Like you, I am a mature walker, and have never really done exercise outside the gym. We trained by doing longer walking stretches every few days (4miles, then 6, then 7,) and then left town for a weekend training hike in Big Sur, doing 10 miles with a 1,500 ft. elevation change, followed by a 5 mile day. I think more than distance, getting your "old" lungs and toes used to elevation, both going up, then down, is the most important (downhill is super hard on the toes unless you're laced in tight, with perhaps some toe protection). Once on the Camino this May, the weather played such a strong role in our physical and mental condition! One day, we were cold and soaked through, and stumbled upon a restaurant/albergue with a wood-burning stove cheerfully blasting out warmth. We practically stripped to our undies and let everything from boots to hat get thoroughly dry. We allowed ourselves to stay for 2+ hours, talking with some new Camino friends and feeling thankful for that herberge. And yet, that day we put 24.5 km behind us! If you leave early and therefore have enough daylight, you will have room both for distance, unforseen circumstances, physical problems, stops for reflection as well as enjoying new friends.
     
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  14. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    I live near the Cascade Mountains here in WA and they are providing lots of training opportunities to get some distance and height walking in. In Aug, when I have reached peak pre-walk shape I plan to climb Mt. Pilchuck with a full pack. 2300 feet in 2.5 miles is worst than anything I have read about on the Camino, but should let me know if I am ready for the first day. Of course I plan to stay in Orrison over night as I am a "mature walker" ;-) .
     
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  15. freddyt

    freddyt New Member

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    20 km a day average seems to be the most popular. This was certainly my experience both times as you were always running into the same people
     
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  16. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    I just did a May CF in 27 days on the road SJPdP to Fistera. Ave 30km, longest 42km. I would not go above 25km per day if I did it again in order to make the trip more leisurely.
     
  17. raymond john

    raymond john Well-Known Member

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    In my experience the walking up was hard but the walk down to Roncesvalles is much harder on your legs and feet , it's very steep. I would suggest you zigzag walking down like downhill skier. I din't, bruised my feet and lost 5 toenails naturally.

    Carpe Diem & Buen Camino

    Raymond John
     
  18. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Lots of great info posted and I agree that somewhere around 15 miles a day will be average, but as there are so many imponderables (Age, fitness, total distance to walk, route, - just to name a few), average doesn’t really mean that much and that listening to your body is the way to go.

    However, most of us have to have some kind of plan or timeframe as not many of us are in the position where we can simply take as long as it takes to walk a route; it might be a work commitment, or it might be a prebooked flight from Santiago de Compostela back home – Whatever the reason, most of us usually have some kind of timeframe to operate in and therefore have to come up with some kind of plan / timeframe.

    What has worked well for me over the years is to plan to walk around 100 miles per week (Around 15 miles per day) and to this I add a day or two to this for emergencies – I then divide the route up into 100 mile sections and this gives me an idea of where I should be at the end of every week. The first Camino I complete was The Camino Frances and I managed to get a couple of days ahead of schedule and with my couple of emergency days, I had sufficient time to continue on walking from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterra and this was the Icing on the cake of an Excellent Camino

    Good luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  19. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

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    Walked SJPP almost to Santiago in 2010 and found that my feet hurt after about 10 miles. I had no plan and was alone and decided that it would be better to get off of them sooner rather than later each day. So, when we do the Le Puy to Cahors route in a few weeks I've actually scheduled stops and accommodations with from 6 to 12 miles depending on the towns that are available in which to stay. We have 3 weeks and are in no rush. Rushing is probably not a real good idea when doing El Camino, anyway. The angels' voices can only be heard when the pace inside and out has slowed sufficiently. And then......my, oh my. How beautiful.
    Buen Camino. Take your time. More inspiration than persperation.
    Gregg
     
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  20. JFK

    JFK Member

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    25 K and under was very comfortable for us. 30 K or more was too much for us. Plus it means getting in to the Albergues late without much time to relax.
     
  21. Tom V

    Tom V Member

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    I'm a mature walker too. 66 years old. I took 34 walking days from SJPDP to Santiago. My longest was 32 km. Remember that the Camino is more than a long walk. Allow time to meet fellow pilgrims and have conversations.
     
  22. Manuel Blanco

    Manuel Blanco New Member

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    Hey...I need feedback from you....How many hours per day did you required to cover your average 24 km per day? And At what time did you normally set out to walk them?
     
  23. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Manuel - To best answer your first question, it needs to be considered within the context of two important points: 1) what is your regular walking pace?, and 2) what type of terrain are you walking over? When I walk, I am usually around a 17-18 minute mile. Doing the calculations, without breaks, I could typically cover 24 km or 14.5 miles in about 4+ hours. But, as the terrain gets more difficult, particularly uphills, most of us slow down obviously. Another factor is adjusting one's pace as you walk and talk with fellow pilgrims along The Way. I like to walk briskly, but I'm never in a hurry! My typical day, leaving around 6:30 am and stopping for breakfast and refreshments, put me on the trail for 5-6 hours for a 24 km hike. Leaving that early also put me to my destination by early afternoon. That pace allowed me to take my time, enjoy the villages I passed through, and take breaks. I always tried to remember that it wasn't a race. Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  24. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi @Manuel Blanco i think best of all is calculate max. 4km per hour (camino is not a race). But on the way you will see that it depends on many situations - blisters, terrain, or of you will be a part of camino family, etc, etc. Camino is your time, so set your own best speed, distances, starting time, etc. And enjoy. :)
     
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  25. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    Manuel, how fit are you? Do you find it easy to rise early in the morning, often in the dark, and start walking without breakfast? That's what most people walking the camino do just as a matter of course. It's the norm. I was 77 when I walked it and, since I walked for 34 days, I must have averaged 23/24km a day. If you walk more days you walk less per day; if you walk fewer days you walk more per day. It's up to you and depends on how much time you have, what your level of fitness is and whether you want to take time out to look at the scenery. Without knowing a good deal more about your fitness and experience it's difficult to advise you. Whichever way you do it I'm sure you'll find it a great experience. Buen camino.
     
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  26. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Hobbler - I, too, did much like you except that I didn't leave in the dark more than a few times. My preference was leaving just as the sun was coming up. My reasoning was purely selfish. I didn't want to walk through any of the beautiful Spanish countryside in the dark and miss anything. Those early morning hours were the best part of the day! Like you, because it was an early departure, I generally took breakfast about an hour out if possible. I was more than ready for coffee and something to eat by then. As Danvo mentioned above, that 4 km pace per hour is a pretty good average considering breaks, looking around, and chatting with other pilgrims. At that pace and by leaving early, one can still arrive at their destination early in the afternoon. I walked between 5-6 hours a day and covered 24+ km with no difficulty. Because I had my bed reserved most nights, I knew I was all set regardless of pace.
     
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  27. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    Just dragged out my old credencial to see if there is any stamp space left in preparation for my next camino starting 27 March and noticed I made a mistake in above earlier post. I walked SJPdP to SdC May 2015 in 27 days (not sjpdp to Fistera!). SJPdP to Fistera 30 days.

    Variation in distances each day depended on the weather, how I felt, and sometimes not getting a good feeling about a place and walking on ( or stopping early in nice places). Distances SJ to SdC were 28, 25, 28, 33, 26, 42, 37, 20 (hot), 38, 35, 40, 20, 33, 32, 19, day off In Leon, 34, 31, 28, 30, 33, 21 (hills) 23 (hills), 26, 33, 39, 20.

    I walked a slower camino Leon to Fistera autumn 2016 - 13 days to SdC - 18 to Fistera.
     
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  28. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator Donating Member

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    I have walked four different caminos, the first was my first hiking experience and I now consider myself to be relatively experienced. Surprisingly, each camino averaged 27 km per day (longest day 45 km, shortest 12 km). I would tend to walk a short day into a place of interest, giving me plenty time to look around, rather than taking a day off.
     
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  29. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey All - For anyone just planning their Camino, let me offer my statistics here along with a couple thoughts on what I would change. I walked the CF in 31 days averaging about 26 km a day. I had a half dozen 30+ km days with my longest at 35 km. My shortest day on the Camino was an easy 17 km. Even without rest days, the pace was very doable! Looking back now, 31 days was a bit quick. Next time, I will slow my Camino down by building in a couple of rest days (probably in Burgos and Leon), and try to keep all of my walking days under 30 km. Adding on a couple days off and cutting back in daily mileage, I'd plan a 35 day Camino. Ultreia!
     
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  30. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input on daily mileage....you are right, it is a personal thing. I want to soak up all that the Camino offers, don't want to miss the gems on the way. My one and only fear is blisters. I know how they can stop you in your tracks! I guess I will just experience taping, toe socks, liners and anything else I can come up with on my training walks. I am wondering if the downhill takes a toll on your toes, would open toe sandals for that part of the walk help? I know that when your feet hurt, it shows on your face! :-D
     
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