As I’ve gone through the information from other pilgrims, there seem to be several consistent points they make:
– Training in advance is very helpful in reducing pain and injury, and makes for a more enjoyable trip.
– Walking is different from running in terms of the loads and stresses placed on the feet. One should train for the anticipated event: since this is a walking event, one should train by walking.
– There are two main differences between this trip and the walks in the park: distance and dailiness. Normally, even if we take a long hike on a Saturday, we rest up the next day. That won’t happen here.
So, ideally, the training program would work up incrementally, adding small bits each day or week, to the point where you can comfortably walk a 10k in the morning and another in the afternoon, on consecutive days, with your 15-18 pound pack load. Before winter arrived, I had reached the point where I could do one 10k on consecutive days (and at that point the dog wanted to go home and I wanted lunch). I was walking 4 days a week, doing 3.5, 4.5, and 6.25, 6.25 mi routes. Your route should include hills and trails. I must admit, when I started, I was only doing 1.5 mi and 6 mi seemed like something I would never attain, but I got there. The two weekends prior to departure, should be back-to-back 20k walks with a full-plus pack.
It also appears in other reading that mixing up the best result is obtained by mixing up the training routine. If you do the same thing all the time, the body adapts to that and then doesn’t make further changes. Since camino walking is essentially a daily half-marathon, a training plan like this would work well.