26 May 2014

Simple Camino Training Tips

The Camino de Santiago is one of the world's most famous pilgrim paths with thousands of people walking its many routes every year. Hundreds of Irish people take part every year, writes Trish Whelan.

Although walking the Camino is something that everyone can achieve (even over a few years), it's important to take time to prepare and train for your walk.

The level of training you need depends on the distance you are covering. However, the more you train, the more comfortable you will be on your walk. It also helps you avoid any common injuries like shin splints, strained muscles and blisters.

CaminoWays.com have put together some simple and straightforward training tips.

1. Start training early. Building stamina is the key to preparing for a successful Camino. If you are walking the full French Way from France to Santiago, we recommend you start training six months prior to departure. If you are walking a shorter distance, for example the last 100k from Sarria, beginning training two months before you leave is advisable.

2. Be consistent. Ideally, you should try your best to train at least once or twice per week for the las month leading up to your departure.

3. Challenge yourself. If you are already an experienced walker or are already comfortable walking a certain distance, it's important to set yourself challenges. The best way of building up stamina is to increase your distance gradually so make sure to push yourself to achieve the best results.

4. Vary your terrain. The Camino has a variety of trails so it's important that you practice walking on various different types of underfoot conditions. Different terrain will require different amounts of energy so being familiar with these before you set out is advisable.

5. Increase distance gradually. As mentioned, increasing distances gradually is one of the best ways to build up stamina. Start off with shorter walks of about 5km at the beginning of your training regime and then keep building on this until you are comfortable walking 15km to 20km the week before your trip.

6. Don't just walk. Although practising walking is crucial, it is also a good idea to vary your exercise. Try and incorporate some jogging and running into your exercise regime to use and work on different muscles.

7. Test your equipment. Go for a walk with the equipment you are planning to bring with you. This will give you an idea of how your gear will feel on the real walk. Make sure that your footwear is comfortable and that your bag isn't too heavy.

8. Practice stretching. Stretch every day to warm up and improve flexibility. Take the time to get familiar with some key stretches such as shin stretches before you leave so that you know exactly what to do while on your trip.

You can also train with the CaminoWays.com team. This team organises free prep walks the las tSunday of every month. Check CaminoWays.com Facebook Page to find out about their next walk: www.facebook.com/caminoways.

When and Price: A classic 7-day Camino de Santiago experience from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela starts at €565 ops in high season (that's April to October). Available all year round.

Special: Book 2 months in advance to avail of 5 percent discount.

Ask their travel consultants for additional nights and hotel upgrades in the main towns and cities.

Price includes: Accommodation on half-board basis, luggage transfer from hotel to hotel, holiday pack with practical information and walking notes.

www.caminoways.com, or call (01) 525 28 86.