Prior to my Camino, I did a lot of training hikes on the weekends. I also tried to increase the distance of my daily walks to an average of five to six miles per day. But none of this could compare to the real challenge you face when on the Camino, that is, walking twelve-plus miles per day for several consecutive days.
The week before I left for Portugal, I walked to work three days in a row. It gave me a chance to test all my Camino gear and a new pair of insoles for my boots as well as to see up close places that I don’t get to see when I commute on a highway. With the help of Google Maps, I found a safe, walkable path, which turned out to be five miles long each way—only a mile longer than my car drive to work. On those three days, I walked alongside the peaceful Lake Temescal and took the time to smell the flowers.
Below there are a few photos from my walks to work.
One of the great planning tips Nancy Reynolds shares in her Camino Experience presentation is to venture on multiday walks. I, too, highly recommend that you do that. If, however, such trips are not logistically feasible for you, think outside of the box and seek every opportunity to walk as much as possible in your daily routine. You could, for example, try traveling part of a distance to, say, work or gym by car or bus and covering the remainder on foot. This extra training will not only help you condition your body to avoid various injuries when on the Camino, but it will also enable you to test your endurance and your gear.
Soon I will share my tried-and-true blister prevention solution. Until then, keep training.