Olive Me Blog

Teresa Parker blogs about restaurants, recipes, and the reasons why she's in love with Spain's food and culture.

How to Slow Down to 10 Miles per Day

Spanish Journeys encounter with a cow on the CaminoMaybe the best thing about being on the Camino de Santiago is the way it takes you out of the cities and into villages and landscapes. The way it slows you down.

Walking, you see deeper into Spain: vineyards, the meseta, the rocky coast. You take a closer look at the way nature has planted heather along a dirt path. You negotiate right of way with a cow lounging on a mountain pass.

With a Camino trip planned for September, I feel good knowing I’ve carved out time for these kinds of experiences.

What I don’t love knowing is that I can’t just show up and make 10 miles a day.

What about you?

If you’ve been thinking of joining our 100-mile journey this fall, now’s the time to make your commitment. Especially if you need to start walking more in order to be ready for this kind of slow travel.

I’ve been reading about how people prepare for the Camino, and it seems to me all the advice out there adds up to something like this:

  • It’s not important that you walk faster.
  • Focus on building strength for making longer walks.
  • Break in new boots or shoes during your training months.
  • Walk regularly, 4-5 days/week, varying up the terrain.
  • Gradually increase your distance, working up to two 10 or 12 mile walks each week.
  • Dark chocolate is a legitimate performance-enhancing aid.

I know I won’t follow this perfectly, but here’s my walking plan. For April and May it’s about getting in the rhythm of walking four times each week. Over the summer, I’ll go up to five days a week. Gradually, a couple of those walks get longer.

April–May:
4 walks, 3 rest days

Walk 1

Walk 2

Walk 3

Walk 4

Total miles for the week

April 2-8

1 mile

1 mile

2 miles

1 mile

5

April 9-15

2 miles

1.5 miles

2 miles

1.5 miles

7

April 16-22

2 miles

2 miles

2 miles

3 miles

9

April 23-29

2 miles

3 miles

2 miles

4 miles

11

May 1-7

2 miles

3 miles

2 miles

4 miles

11

May 8-14

2 miles

3 miles

3 miles

4 miles

12

May 15-21

3 miles

3 miles

3 miles

4 miles

13

May 22-28

3 miles

3 miles

3 miles

5 miles

14

June, July, August:
5 walks, 2 rest days

Walk 1

Walk 2

Walk 3

Walk 4

Walk 5

Total miles for the week

June 1-7

3 miles

3 miles

5 miles

2 miles

5 miles

17

June 8-14

3 miles

3 miles

6 miles

3 miles

5 miles

20

June 15-21

3 miles

4 miles

6 miles

3 miles

6 miles

22

June 22-28

4 miles

4 miles

8 miles

4 miles

6 miles

26

July 1-7

4 miles

4 miles

8 miles

4 miles

8 miles

28

July 8-14

4 miles

4 miles

9 miles

4 miles

9 miles

30

July 15-21

4 miles

4 miles

10 miles

4 miles

10 miles

32

July 22-28

4 miles

4 miles

12 miles

4 miles

12 miles

36

Aug 1-7

5 miles

5 miles

12 miles

5 miles

12 miles

39

Aug 8-14

5 miles

6 miles

12 miles

5 miles

12 miles

40

Aug 15-21

5 miles

8 miles

12 miles

5 miles

12 miles

42

Aug 22-28

5 miles

10 miles

12 miles

5 miles

12 miles

44

September

5 miles

12 miles

12 miles

5 miles

12 miles

4

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to get in shape for the trip. And if you live near me, let’s take some walks together here.