Preparation and Training
This section covers “Top Tips” on how to prepare for long distance hikes in Spain.
If you are an experienced, avid hiker with many kilometres under your belt then you can skip this section of the guide book.
On the other hand if this will be your first long hike in Spain then “Top Tips” are for you.
Top Tip 1
The first step is to get to know your body and be honest with yourself are you in shape for a 500 kilometre walk over a period of days?
Can you, if needed walk 25 kilometres in say 5 hours with 14 kilogramme haversack on your back?
Fortunately the Camino de la Alhambra offers many stop off places so as not to be as demanding as many other Camino's in Spain.
Never the less, all hikes require strong legs, good balance, healthy lungs and willpower.
Hiking is a full body work out so be prepared, especially if you are carrying your possessions on your back.
The best part about hiking is speed doesn't matter. Its OK if you have to stop for a break, in fact we recommend stopping to enjoy the scenery or cuisine on this fine Camino de la Alhambra whenever the fancy takes you, it may take up some of your schedule but you can always pick up from where you left off on another occasion. If you want to improve your hiking fitness fast, then walk. Walk whenever you can, everywhere you can, for as long as you can.
Hiking poles can be a godsend if you encounter steep hills, I personally only ever used a sturdy walking stick.
Top Tip 2 When to start training for Hiking
We recommend you to start your training at least eight weeks before your hiking adventure. This will give you time to build up your body. Remember to give yourself rest days in training.
Top Tip 3 WARM-UP/COOL DOWN
Light warm-ups before training to raise the heart rate, and, always cool down and gentle stretches after training to bring the heart rate down and rid the body of lactic acid by stretching.
Top Tip 4 CARDIO EXERCISES
1. Squats 10
2. Jumping Squats 10
3. Side Squats 5 on each leg
4. Lunges 10 on each leg
5. Step-Ups 20 on each leg
Top Tip 5 BALANCE TRAINING EXERCISES
1. Single leg forward bends, alternate legs, hold for 5 breaths in and out
2. Single leg side, forward and back jumps, alternate legs
3. Single leg standing with knee raise, alternate legs, hold for 5 breaths in and out
Top Tip 6 SCHEDULE
About two weeks before your planned hike replace exercises with hikes including a backpack with the gear you plan to take with you on your hike, to get used to the weight.
Have two to three days complete rest from training before your trip.
Finally, keep hydrated and regulate your eating habits and quantities, and enjoy the Camino de la Alhambra and the beauty of the journey.