Camino de Santiago is a famous network of pilgrimages that lead to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the Galicia region of Spain.
The people that follow it do it for their spiritual growth, but there are also people who enjoy it as a great way of exercising while cycling. The Northern Spain route is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Regardless if you plan to walk or cycle the route, you have some basic training that you should follow to make sure everything will be fine. It is recommended that you ought to start your training about two months before you actually make your trip – yes, that’s how demanding it can be.
Naturally, the intensity of the training depends on what trail you chose to follow as there are shorter ones and longer ones, ones with better terrain than others and so on. Following a simple training program can make quite a difference and will greatly reduce the risk of suffering from any kind of injury.
If you plan to walk the Camino
In case you decide to walk the route, the first thing you have to do is test your walking shoes. They have to be really comfortable as you don’t want to try and walk while having a painful blister. So choose the best pair of walking shoes you can find!
Check a comprehensive buying guide if you need to buy a new pair.
If your fitness level is pretty good, it is recommended you should try 2 or 3 times a week to walk for about 3 – 4 hours. This will make your body ready for the long periods of time that you need to walk on the route and you’ll build stamina so you won’t get tired too soon.
Some of the essentials you need for the walk are the aforementioned pair of walking shoes, a backpack (don’t forget to put some blister plasters in it, just in case), your reusable water bottle (you can fill it every time you need to on the road) plus the pilgrim certificate which allows you to collect all of those important stamps.
If you plan to cycle the Camino
In case you decide to cycle this route you’ll still have to exercise before you actually go on it. Get on the bike and start exercising by riding up some hills you can find in your area. You can also try a spinning class and try having cycled about 20 miles before you can say you are set to go.
As mentioned, the terrain can vary and it all depends on the route you have chosen to cycle on. If you don’t want to overdo it, you can ask a travel specialist about the terrain when you are booking the cycle route.
Some of the essentials that you’ll need for your bike adventure are shoes that are comfortable and have a good grip, a padded pair of shorts for when you’re riding the bike, a reusable water bottle and, of course, the certificate.
Keep in mind that while taking part in this event, regardless if you’re walking or cycling, it’s going to have some challenging moments so get ready! This experience will also be clearly unforgettable, but you also need to make it enjoyable, so all of the hard work you put in before you actually go on it is quite necessary.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going as a pilgrim or for the scenery, following these footsteps you’ll surely see that the training was worth it and that the trip in itself was worth it as well, as it can be for many a once in a lifetime experience.