Sunday, March 29, 2009

Individualized Training Programmes

As we get closer to the departure date, training for our Camino begins to get more serious and by serious I mean we're going to start really soon. Hey, it's Canada and it's been a long, cold winter which might be conducive to hibernating or catching up on the movie scene but definitely not conducive to outdoor trekking.

So far we have eaten our way through our Camino preparations. Our plan has been to attend every information session that serves food, free wine and tapas. Surprisingly, there have been a lot of them. We heard about and joined a London 'Friends of the Camino' group, which meets a couple of times a year to share their Camino stories and experiences over coffee and goodies. Again over coffee and goodies we had a three hour session at Williams Coffee Pub with a new Camino friend, John Madruga who really got us off on the right foot for this adventure. A recent talk at Novacks was particularly informative and helpful. It turns out the London Camino group group has a potluck dinner and celebration every July 25th in honour of the Feast of St. James. The wine is plentiful and the food and tapas are delicious. We also attended The Sacred Steps, an exhibition at King's College featuring art works inspired by the Camino as well as a panel discussion by three Camino graduates. The wine was plentiful and the tapas delicious. Recently, we went to a reception at St. John the Evangelist Church where the newly trained hospitaleros demonstrated their skills. The wine was plentiful and the tapas delicious. We've hosted friends who were heading out on the Camino and then again when they returned to share their experiences. The wine was plentiful and the food was pretty good too. Obviously we are shameless.

Actually, food seems to be the best motivation to get Dayton to train. Basically, Dayton's attitude to physical training is, "Why should I hurt now?" or "That's what the first 400km are for." I'm pretty active on a regular basis but winter walking is so not my thing. It's pretty sad that I'd get excited and consider -5C a good walking day. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we didn't get many days where the temperature was that high, so I concentrated my training programme on accommodating some of the differences in lifestyle I might have to deal with on the Camino. I've been trying to switch from white wine to red, to wearing the same clothes day after day and soon I'm going to add showering every other day. I've also been working on my Camino hairstyle. No hair dryer or curling iron for 47 days - that's not going to be good.

John, on the other hand, has taken a more traditional approach to getting into shape. During the winter months, which he enjoyed in the moderate climate of Destin, Florida, he did a lot of walking and running; running as in entering races! When we went to visit Linda and John this past February in Destin, John had mapped out some 20-30km walks. Once again food entered significantly into our training programme. Linda would drop us off 8 miles from a restaurant and we'd walk there to meet her for a replenishing lunch. Burn 300 calories walking - consume 3000 calories for lunch. The wine was always plentiful but the food not always as delicious as our other events.

To be honest, in the last week or so, we have gotten out for a few walks around town and a few walks carrying our packed backpacks. Definitely have not encompassed that ruthless concept. After each walk some of my gear invariably finds its way to Dayton's pack. Hey, he's gained all that extra weight so someone has to make use of the increase in his 10% of total body weight allotment - might as well be me.

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