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Physical Condition

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Randy W, May 14, 2017.

  1. Randy W

    Randy W New Member

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    Hi, I've been given the opportunity to join a group going on the Camino de Santiago. The group will walk about 140km. I'm not in great physical shape. I have about 3 weeks before the trip begins. The full trip is 16 days. The longest walk for a day is about 30km. Any suggestions. I'm retired in my early 70s in very good health other than walking long distances.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hi Randy - Welcome to the Forum. Generally speaking, three weeks isn't a lot of time to train for any event. If you're not in good shape, as you say, that makes it even a bit more challenging. However, being in good physical health is a real plus. Although it might have been nice to have been given a bit more notice, I still think your Camino is very doable. A 16 day, 140 km. Camino is very manageable. Where are you starting? Some parts of the CF are more difficult than others. As you'll be joining a group, can I assume that your sleeping arrangements have already been set-up? If so, that certainly takes some of the pressure off getting to a place early to find a bed. A 30 km day is a long one, but the other days must be shorter and more reasonable. Are you carrying packs or is there a luggage service? A very long day without a pack is obviously more easily done. As you have just three weeks before your Camino, start training/walking now! The more miles you can log now, the more enjoyable your hiking will be in Spain. However, don't overdo it! Start out gradually and build up to more and more miles. If you're going to be carrying your pack on the Camino, train wearing it as well. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is get a good pair of hiking or running shoes and wear them as you train. It sounds like an exciting challenge that I'm sure you will enjoy getting ready for as well as doing. Buen Camino!
     
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  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Good information already posted and I agree that the most important thing to get sorted out is your footwear – Footwear is a personal choice with different pilgrims choosing different options, my own preference is lightweight “Gortex” fabric boots as these need very little maintenance, keep your feet dry (*) when it rains and let your feet breath when it is hot

    · * As Spain is usually quite warm when I am walking Camino’s, when it rains I tend to wear a single shell Gortex rain jacket, shorts and gaiters, so the rainwater runs off the bottom of my jacket, down my bare leg and then over my gaiters and boots – If you don’t wear gaiters then rainwater wicks down your socks and your feet soon become soaked and when this happens’ blister inevitably follow

    You also need to decide on your socks – For many years I used Bridgedale liner socks and Thulo outers and this proved to be an effective combination for me, but on my last 1,000 mile Camino, I was given some 1.000 Miler socks and even after walking this distance, I never had a single blister.



    After footwear, your next consideration could well be your Rucksack – My “Advice” here would be to go to a professional outdoor shop and get the sales assistant to explain all the adjustments to you and help you fir it to your own body – I have written a few of my own ideas about Picking and Packing Rucksacks at https://web.archive.org/web/20151115120943/http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/23c942/

    But the “Trick” is to go as minimalistic as possible, keep your weight to a bare minimum and choose the correct size rucksack – Not one that is too small so that you then have to strap things on the outside, nor one that is too big, so you end up packing lots of “Just in case” items that you don’t really need.



    Then you should try and do at least a few days walks to ensure that your chosen footwear and rucksack fit you comfortably and, I then believe that, given your timeframe, you will be as prepared as you can be for your Camino



    Good Luck

    Rob
     
  4. jwmarshall

    jwmarshall New Member

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    Maybe this will help. I am 72 and last year I walked from Orense to Santiago to Fisterre and on to Muxia with my 25 yr old son. We walked at about the same speed, - sometimes together and sometimes within a few hundred yards of each other.

    It was my third Camino experience. My first was 5 years ago when I walked the Camino Ingles, alone, in 5 days.

    I have talked with others in the 60+ age group and compared notes on how we geriatrics can handle this.

    FIRST - go with the attitude that it is 'Your' Camino and you not only will make the decisions that are best for YOU, but you can change those decision at any time. (Starting time, how far to walk, how fast to walk, time for a break, this piece of equipment is not working, or needs to be replaced etc)

    To prep I try to increase my daily walks up to about 12 miles. Starting with the distance that isn't too much. I normally walk an hour a day anyway but for the Camino you probably should have a few 4 hour preparatory walks. At 3 miles per hour that is 12 miles or 18 km. A 30 km day is about 18 miles and 7-8 hours including breaks.

    Shoes really are key. And the socks also. Be sure to have walked a number of miles in them before starting. Same with your backpack - I like Osprey 35l or 45l - I have used them both. There are lots of choices.

    Since you are with a group the following may not be much help...

    We elders basically (meaning not all were 100% in agreement on this) set these guidelines-

    On your first couple of days limit your distance to 16km or 10 miles - even if you have done longer in preparation. It is a nice break in for the rest of the trip and a good starting gradient for longer days.

    Setting your own pace is much more important than keeping up with (a friend, a group, having to reach a certain point by a certain time etc). Your body will tell you how fast and how far.

    At your age you have earned nice accommodations and food. I like staying is a 1 or two star pension instead of an Auberge. But I always try to have dinner ( a pilgrim's meal) with fellow travelers on the Camino, and hopefully with some people that are walking that I have never talked with before.

    Plan on a few minutes of rest every hour and a nice lunch. Carrying a little extra water is advisable, but potable water is plentiful

    I hate walking in the rain and decided not to do it anymore... A light sprinkle is ok, mist is fine, a short shower is part of the experience - but rain - forget it.

    IT is a great experience. It is your 'Camino' .

    Buen Camino
     
  5. NOQ1015

    NOQ1015 Member

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    I am 63 and beginning my first Camino on Aug 24th . Thank you for these wise words jwmarshall. I just returned from walking 12 miles and am feeling ok. Footwear/socks are a constant concern and your advice really helps!
     
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  6. Cathy

    Cathy New Member

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  7. Cathy

    Cathy New Member

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    I love this great advice! My son and I start our Camino June 19th I am 63 he is 28.
     
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  8. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    I turned 64 yesterday....my first Camino will be the end of April, 2018. Except that I had
    a birthday recently, I don't even think about my age. And I don't ever plan to. Ok, sometimes I get in trouble because I attempt an activity with more gusto than I really should have, and then pay for it the next day. But so what. I decided that from here on out...I am just going to
    plan and do fun things until I no longer can. I have plenty people around me that won't go
    beyond their comfort zone because they are now seniors, and well "shouldn't do that". Um...
    I think LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!!
     
  9. Randy W

    Randy W New Member

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    Thank you so much for this information.
     
  10. Randy W

    Randy W New Member

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    Thanks.
     
  11. elisabeth

    elisabeth New Member

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    My partner Skip and I will be doing the Camino Portugal to Santiago in may 2018
    I run 6-8 miles a day( mostly beach) and he works out on machines at the gym.
    We will be 70 and 68.
    Any recommendations for training?
    Thanks
     
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  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Elizabeth - Regarding fitness, you're already there! The CP is not a difficult or demanding walk although the cobblestones on the Portugal section cause problems for some due to their unevenness. That aside, the walk from Porto up only has one mentionable climb, the Alta da Portela Grande after Ponte de Lima, and that's relatively short with an elevation gain of just 405m. Otherwise, it's pretty flat or rolling hills. With you and your partner running and working out daily at the gym, you'll have better conditioning than most of the folks you meet along The Way.

    The only adjustment you might want to make is that of getting used to having a backpack on. Shoulders do tire and doing some walking with a pack acclimates you to this aspect of the trek. But, let me recommend that you keep your pack light. I walked the CP with a pack weight of just over 6 kg including water. It was a joy to carry. You don't need much on the Camino so keep what you bring down to the essentials.

    For folks who exercise daily, they're in a very different category regarding training for a Camino. You already have the level of physical conditioning necessary for long distance walking. I think you'll find walking 20-25 km a day very manageable. Fitness trumps age in this case! Just keep running and going to the gym! Bom Caminho!
     
  13. elisabeth

    elisabeth New Member

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    Thank you, Wiley. Glad to hear that it is not as demanding as Inca Trail in Peru!
     
  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Don't stop or slack off!
     
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  15. elisabeth

    elisabeth New Member

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    Thanks! I certainly will not stop or slack Played 18 holes today( ran the course) and then ran 6 miles in the afternoon. I'm so looking forward to the Camino walk in may!
     
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  16. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Wow Elisabeth...you guys sound like you are in great shape. Thanks...ha....I need to step it up a notch!! You are going to have an amazing Camino. (pics please...body building poses) JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D When will you be starting in May? I plan on being there around the first of May. Maybe we will be enjoying Tapas together one evening.....breakfast...or lunch.
    Or after walking 30k maybe find a lake and swim a mile or two. :D (really kidding on that one)
     
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  17. Daniel Bowater

    Daniel Bowater Member

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    Theres already been plenty of good advice on this already... but heres my 2 cents. Don't talk yourself out of it. I started my Camino with a group of guys in St Jean. There were four Americans and me(Aussie). One of the Americans was 75 years old, in reasonable shape, and only did some training. The other three guys were strongly built/ mid 40's and were adamant they'd complete the walk. Im 35/ reasonably fit. The three similar guys rushed ahead and made it to Burgos very quickly like they planned. However, they all were injured in some way after pushing themselves so hard. One was in hospital, and two were in a hotel for several days on painkillers. Meanwhile the older guy was doing manageable 20km days- but doing it consistently. I was doing about 25km per day. Several times I passed him, but when I had my rest days (3 in total) he simply caught up.

    It was like 'totoise and the hare'. So many people were treating the Camino like a race, but it isn't. Part of the aim is to make it to Santiago without getting injured. As it turned out we arrived in Santiago the exact same day! It just goes to show how respecting the Camino and planning your distances goes a long way toward completing it (so to speak). Part of the journey is mental, using strategy, and using common sense. Its not all about physical prowess. Apart from that, I think it is good to take parts of it slowly, open yourself to the experience, and absorb the surroundings. A few walkers were egging me on to get into Santiago one day earlier etc. I was glad to let a few of those walkers go by! In regard to preparation I would suggest some training/walking with the same pack (and shoes/boots if they are new). This will help wear in your shoes and allow your back muscles to start conditioning for the trek. Hope this helps, cheers.
     
  18. elisabeth

    elisabeth New Member

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    thank you,Daniel! We are planning this Camino as a walking meditation. To be aware of the beauty around us and within us.
    We want to be in the best shape we can be, so we will be able to enjoy each moment.
    Thank you for your advice.☺️
     
  19. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Elisabeth, I hope my latest post to you did not come across as being disrespectful. I think that is awesome that you are certainly ready physically for the Camino. Your plan as a walking meditation sounds absolutely wonderful! Buen Camino!
     
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  20. elisabeth

    elisabeth New Member

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    Hello,
    I thought it was funny! It would be great to meet up in Portugal.
    Looking forward to seeing your postings.
    Buen Camino!
     

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