Preparing for the Camino Frances

After quite a few years it looks like I am going to have the time this year to go back and walk a reasonable part of the Camino Frances.  The last time I walked was in 2005, I had also walked the route in 2004.

For the last few years work has been so busy that I dare not leave for the amount of time that I would want.  One of the problems of working for yourself.  Another problem of being self employed is not taking time off when it is needed, thinking that everything will fall apart if I am not watching it – all the time.  This nonsense thinking ended with me completely exhausted at the end of last year and wondering if this is the type of life that I really want.  The answer to that question is fairly obvious.

Both time I walked the Camino before I never thought of it as a long distance walk.  But this time, unlike the last, I am preparing for it as a long distance walk.  Why?  Well the previous times I was younger and a bit fitter.  For the last few years I haven’t walked as much as I would like and last year I did little hill walking.

The result of the above and 12hrs a day sat working at a computer is that I am 4 stone heaver than I was at the end of my last Camino.

I really feel the need to get a bit of walking fitness back or the journey during the first week or so will be hell – I know and remember what it was like the first time in 2004.

Last weekend I walked for 11km over three hours.  Before I was even finished I could feel the muscles in my body complaining – is this the same person who walked 47km in one day on my last Camino?  47km is not the usual amount, but I had just had some bad news from home and just kept walking that day.

So now I have started to walk more, twice so far this week I have walk the road, which is about 10km, into the city centre – not a pleasant walk but I had to be there for two things, so I just took a bit more time and did the walk.  I can say now at the end of the week I feel better mentally for the walking exercise this week.  May it continue.

5 replies
  1. Anna-Marie
    Anna-Marie says:

    I know what you mean. I’m starting to prepare for the Via de la Plata after more than two years of not walking seriously, and I look at 30 kilometre-plus distances and think, “No problem.” Then I have to remind myself that I didn’t actually walk more-than-30-kilometre days until I’d been walking for close to two months. Right now, just walking an hour a day with my backpack for a few days running brings out small aches and pains.

    Good luck with the walking!

  2. Catherine Todd
    Catherine Todd says:

    What an excellent post… you are getting ready to do for the SECOND TIME what I have been dreaming of doing the first! Even with heartache, footache, bad news from home, and all the rest… to be able to “just keep walking” would be a dream come true. Where I live there is really no place to “just walk” so I’m dreaming of doing just that. When my bad back will allow it and my mental state will help create it.

    You wrote: “I feel better mentally for the walking exercise this week. May it continue.”

    Amen. Looking forward very much to reading about how it goes… second hand experience is better than none at all! And surely this will help when you’ve been spending 12 hours a day in front of a computer. I did that for 14 years and I think that is what help mess up my back, so now I use a laptop laying in bed. I can’t wait to get back into some kind of shape so I can “walk and ride.”

    Love the Camino de Santiago and can’t wait for more! Happy New Year.

  3. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Read with great interest your preparation for your 2nd Camino; I am impressed with the distance you covered (47km) on the one trip. I am preparing for my initial Camino trip and would like your advice on many things;
    1. I think I will have two weeks to devote to this pilgrimage, and assuming I can skip over some areas of the route, I would like to know which areas you would recommend. This would be for the camino in the north, traveling around 8-15 miles a day.
    2. What brand of walking boot do you recommend?
    3. What are some essential items to pack?

    Thanks! Elizabeth

  4. Galen
    Galen says:

    Good to see these posts. I am going in September and currently only walk around 5 miles a day. My plan is to travel an average of 12 miles per day. I walk with a cane and am missing 3 of my toes due to a recent operation. My pace is only about 2 miles per hour. That makes for some pretty long days to come. I am hopeful and optimistic but “training” now for September.

  5. Linda thm
    Linda thm says:

    Galen how wonderful that you are preparing now for September.
    I am also preparing for this spring. I will think of you and your determination when I grow a little weary.


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