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Ramping up the Camino prep

Now that I’ve been home from Mexico City for almost a week, I’ve begun ramping up my preparations for the Camino de Santiago, which I anticipate starting just after Easter. Specifically, I’ve been hiking more.

Although I want to work out my walking muscles and increase my stamina, I’m not trying to create a typical week of hiking — partly because I have other things to do while I’m home, and partly because I don’t want to leave everything on the hills near Phoenix and not have anything left for the Camino.

If I’ve done my math right, I’ll need to hike an average of just under 17 miles a day, six days a week, if I want to finish the trail I’ve chosen in ten weeks. In preparation, I’m trying to ramp myself up to 12 miles a day, four or five days a week. First, I’m starting with relatively little load — just a day pack with water and some clothing. Once I have a pack chosen, I’ll start slowly increasing the load.

Profile of the Shaw Butte Loop done three times back-to-back.

Profile of the Shaw Butte Loop done three times back-to-back.

So far, I haven’t been terribly creative about my trail selection. I haven’t searched for any longer hikes in my area. Instead, I’ve just been doing my favorite nearby hike, the Shaw Butte Loop, more than once. It’s about a 4.3-mile hike if I do it once, but since closing the loop short-circuits the hike back to the trailhead, each additional loop adds just under four miles.

Yesterday, for example, I did the Shaw Butte Loop three times back-to-back, and it was slightly over 12 miles. Because I climbed and descended the butte on each pass, the profile of the hike is probably more strenuous than I would expect on a typical day on the Camino de Santiago. I guess I’ll tell you in a couple months whether that’s true on not.

Look at that calories estimate!

Look at that calories estimate!

I recently installed the AllTrails app and started using it to plot my hikes. After a couple hikes, I noticed the calories estimate in the stats. I don’t know how accurate such estimates are, but it reminds me I’m probably going to have to take a hard look at how much I’m eating. My food intake will probably need to ramp up along with my hiking.