2014 Camino Training Overview

People with backpacks walking on paved road toward ancient hill town

Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling, with a heavy pack, is easier than it sounds; you just can’t fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.”   ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

I am frequently asked what kind of training I did to prepare for the Camino Francés in 2014, and whether or not it was sufficient. My dad, a former ultra-runner, was very concerned before I left that I had not done enough of the right kind of training. Although I ended up wishing I’d done a few more long day hikes with a full backpack, the “training” I did turned out to be just enough for me.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California provided me with plenty of opportunities for long hikes through beautiful landscapes over a variety of different terrains with plenty of elevation gain and loss. (I’ve learned to never underestimate the value of doing downhill training; one of the worst hiking experiences I’ve ever had was when I blew out my quads while backpacking on Mt. Rainier in my twenties because I hadn’t done enough downhill training.)

I also spent five days in San Jose del Cabo on the Baja California peninsula of Mexico where I had the opportunity to “practice” walking up and down hills on sandy, dusty roads in very hot weather! (You can read about my final shoe selection and how they worked out for me on the Camino here and about my training, if you can call it that, for my 2015 Camino, here.)

How did you train for your Camino? Did you feel it was sufficient or did you wish that you had done more?

2014 January 26
Company: Steph
Distance: 5.61 miles
Climb: 340 feet
Notes:

2014 January 28
Ridgewood Fire Road Loop
Company: Marian
Distance: 4.78 miles
Climb: 618.53 feet
Notes: Both toes hallus rigidus/limits pain. Left shin pain. Dull achilles pain both ankles.

2014 February 1
Mill Valley to Muir Beach
Company: Lisa
Distance: 11.37 miles
Climb: 1440.83 feet
Notes: Arthritis in big toe painful.

2014 February 4
SVHill – Fox/Fawn Loop
Company: Marian
Distance: 4.78 miles
Climb: 618.53 feet
Notes: Both toes hallus rigidus/limitus pain. Left shin pain. Dull achilles pain both ankles.

Black and gray hiking boots on wood floor

Photo Credit: Lowa Renegade Boots by

2014 February 12
Open Secret – Random hill
Company: Salila
Distance:
Shoes: Wore new Lowa boots for first time. Pressure on Achilles. Rubbing on right toe.
Socks:
Notes:

2014 February 14
Walk to Steph’s (Okay, this can hardly be called “training”)
Company: Higher Power
Distance: ?
Climb: ?
Notes: Wore new Lowas. (Wore them all day today and yesterday at work. Pressure on Achilles, rubbing on right toe. Conclusion: these are not the boots to wear on my Camino.)

Baja Dusty and hilly road and rv

One of the dusty roads I walked on in Baja

2014 February 19
Loop to Flora Farm & ______, San Jose del Cabo
Company: sola
Distance: 5.59 Miles
Climb: 322 feet
Weather: 86 degrees
Road Conditions: sand & pavement
Shoes: Asics running shoes
Notes: No Achilles issues. Usual hallus pain right toe (scrunching others under helped). Not enough tread or padding.

2014 February 20
Flora Farms sign BajaOut-and-Back to Flora Farms
Photos
Distance: 5 Miles
Climb: ? feet
Weather: 86 degrees,
Road Conditions: sand & pavement
Shoes: Asics running shoes
Notes: No Achilles issues. Usual hallux pain right toe (scrunching others under helped). Not enough tread or padding.

2014 February 24
SVHill – Fox/Fawn Loop
Company: Peter
Distance: 4.78 miles
Climb: 618.53 feet
Shoes: Old _____ running shoes
Notes: Hobbled with Achilles pain by end.

Merrell Siren Sport 2

These turned out NOT to be the right shoes for me. Even a size larger than my normal shoe size was too small. They sure are cute though.

2014 March 13
SVHill – Fox/Fawn Loop
Company: Marian and Julie Alice
Distance: 4.78 miles
Climb: 618.53 feet
Time: 1.5 hours
Shoes: New Merrell Siren 2 (first time wearing them on a hike)
Socks: Fox River
Notes: Achilles and hallus fine during hike. Two hot spots on right foot; joint of right baby toe and somewhere on right big toe. Somewhat hobbled at home later in the evening but nothing out of the ordinary.

2014 March 15
Home Valley to Dias Ridge to Muir Beach Turnoff loop
Company: Peter
Highest Temperature: 80 degrees
Route:
Distance: 11 miles
Climb: 1440.83 feet
Time: 4 hours
Shoes: New Merrell Siren 2 first half; Asics second half
Socks:
Notes: Three hot spots: Hallus bone spur, left and right pinkie toes. Started with Band-aids on all three spots. Changed to _______ skin (can’t remember what it’s called) on right toe. Fine for awhile but by halfway in had to change to Asics because pinkies were too painful from Merrell’s (not wide enough. They definitely run small.) Asics, however, didn’t provide enough padding or tread. Also not stiff enough for the hallus but much better on the pinkies.

2014 March 16
Tenn Valley out and back
Company: Steph and katy
Weather: 70 degrees
Route:
Distance: 3.95 miles
Elevation Gain: 210 feet
Time:
Shoes: Tevas on the way down and orange and white running shoes on the way back
Socks:
Notes: All good.

2014 March 18
Larkspur stairs, Redwood Loop
Company: Mary Jo
Weather: ?
Route:
Distance: 3.59 miles
Elevation Gain: 200 ft
Time: 30 minutes
Shoes: orange and white runners

View of beach and ocean from above

Tennessee Valley Beach from above

2014 March 20
Tenn Valley out and back
Company: Peter
High Temperature:
Distance: 3.95 miles
Elevation Gain: 210 feet
Time:
Shoes:
Socks:
Notes:

2014 March 23
Matt D/Steep Rav
Photos
Company: Jim W.
High Temperature: 75 degrees
Distance: 7.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 1600 feet
Time: 4 hours
Shoes: Tevas on the way up and orange and white running shoes on the way back
Socks: ankle
Notes: Hallux pain

2014 March 27
SV Hill
Company: Marian
High Temperature: 60 degrees
Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: ___ feet
Time: 1 hour
Shoes: Tevas
Socks: none
Notes: Hallus pain!!!

2014 April 3
SVHill – Fox/Fawn Loop
Company: Marian
Route:
Distance: 4.78 miles
Climb: 618.53 feet
Time: 1.5 hours
Shoes: New Merrell Siren 2
Socks: Wright Coolmesh
Notes: Fine during the hike. The Achilles pain the next two days severe in the morning and nominal (but present) during the day.
These shoes aren’t going to work.

Waterfall on foggy beach

Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore, California by Andrew Mace

2014 April 6
Alamere Falls
Company: Matt S.
High Temperature: 73 degrees
Distance: 8.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Time: All day including lunch and relaxing on the beach!
Shoes: Tevas on the way out and orange and white running shoes on the way back
Socks: Wright Coolmesh
Notes: Hallus pain minimal and Achilles.(dissipated during hike, returned within 30 minutes of stopping)

2014 April 7
Lark. stairs, Redwood Loop
Company: Mary Jo
Temp: 73?
Distance: 3.59 miles
Elevation Gain: 287 feet
Time: 1.25
Shoes: orange and white runners
Socks: Wright Coolmesh with liners
Notes: Everything hurt at first…got better during, hurt afterward

2014 April 8
Short version SVHill – Fox/Fawn Loop
Company: Marian & Julie
Route:
Distance: ? miles
Climb: 618.53 feet
Time: ? hours
Shoes: ?
Socks: ?
Notes: ?

Sorich

2014 April 16
Snow Peak/Glacier Loop, Truckee
Photos
Company: Steph
Temp:
Distance: 5.54 miles (8.9 kilometers)
Elevation Gain: 859 feet (262 meters)
Max elevation: 7556 feet (2303 meters)
Time: 3 hours
Shoes: turquoise/white
Socks: Wright Coolmesh with liners
Notes: Geocaching!

2014 April 19
Dipsea/Bootjack/Sun Loop
Photos
Company: Peter
Temp: 71F
Distance: 8.12 miles
Climb: 1443 feet (440 meters)
Max elevation: 1578 feet (481 meters)
Time: 4:00 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia (1st hike)
Socks: Long Coolmesh with liners
Notes: Full Pack (I guessed 15 pounds, Peter guessed 25 pounds)

2014 April 20
Matt Davis/Troop 80 Loop
Photos
Company: Mary Jo
Temp: 70 – 80 F
Distance: 5.06 miles (8.14 kilometers)
Climb: 646.33 feet (197 meters)
Max Elevation: 1509.19 feet (460 meters)
Time: 2:00 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: Crew Coolmesh with liners.
Notes: Full Pack. Feet fine other than typical hallux.

2014 April 24
Short but steep SVHill
Company: Marian & Julie
Distance: 2.8 miles (4.51 kilometers)
Climb: 488.85 feet (149 meters)
Time: 1 hour
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: Coolmesh anklets, no liners
Notes: Hallux worse than usual but not unbearable. Some Achilles pain.

2014 April 26
Company: Steph
Route: Dipsea/Tenderfoot
Photos
Distance: 6.13 miles (9.87 kilometers)
Climb: 879 feet (268 meters)
Time: 3 or 5 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: New Smartwool crew. Hot but comfortable otherwise.
Notes: Hallux worse than usual but not unbearable. Some Achilles pain.

2014 May 1
Company: Marian & Peter
Route: SV Hill – Fox/Fawn Loop
Distance: 4.78 miles (4.51 kilometers)
Climb: 628.53 feet (149 meters)
Time: 1 hour
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: Coolmesh anklets, no liners
Notes: Hallux worse than usual but not unbearable. Some Achilles pain.

Views from the route that Marian and I frequently do after school

2014 May 4
Company: Diane
High Temperature:
Route: Tenn Valley out and back
Photos
Distance: 3.95 miles
Elevation Gain: 210 feet
Time:
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: Smartwool
Notes: All good.

2014 May 5
Company: Matt
High Temperature:
Route: Blind Beach/Red Hill/Pomo Canyon, Sonoma SP
Photos Part 1
Photos Part 2
Distance: 12 miles (19.3 km)
Elevation Gain: 1426.5 feet (434.80 meters)
Time: 6 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: Smartwool
Notes: Not too much pain in achilles during hike. Hallux normal pain. By mile 9, my feet were beginning to get sore.

2014 May 10
Company: Lisa Groesz
Temp:
Route: Hog Back to Matt Davis to Troop 80 Loop
Photos
Distance: 5.06 miles (8.14 kilometers)
Climb: 646.33 feet (197 meters)
Max Elevation: 1509.19 feet (460 meters)
Time: 2:00 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: smartwool
Notes: Full Pack. Feet fine other than typical hallux. Tried poles. Liked them.

2014 May 17
Company: Lisa
High Temperature:
Route: Homestead Community Center to Muir Woods, then Dipsea Back
Distance: 8 miles (12.87 km)
Elevation Gain: 1572 feet (479.15 meters)
Time: 4 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: Smartwool
Notes: Nothing to report except the happiness I feel that eight miles no longer feels like a long hike.

2014 May 25
Company: Lisa, Lindsay, & Leslie
High Temperature:
Route: Bolinas Ridge Trail
Photos
Distance: 11.1 miles (17.86 km)
Elevation Gain: 451 feet (137.5 meters)
Time: __ hours
Shoes: Old Shoes
Socks: SmartWool: blisters galore. Won’t do that again.
Notes: Beautiful day and wonderful to hike with friends. Need new shoes and socks.

2014 May 31
Company: Matt
High Temperature:
Route: Old Mill Park/Dipsea/Edgewood/Pipeline/Hogback/Matt D/Bootjack/Stinson/Dipsea Loop
Photos
Distance: 16.8 miles (27 km)
Elevation Gain: 3526 feet (1075 meters)
Time: 6 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia (The “Right” Shoes)
Socks: WrightSocks
Notes: Woo hoo! Tired but not spent. Ate like a lumberjack at dinner though ; )

2014 June 1
Company: Haya, John, Paul
Weather: Foggy and temperate
Route: Tenn Valley/Coastal/Green Gulch Loop
Photos
Distance: 8.5 miles (13.7 km)
Elevation Gain: 1633 feet (498 meters)
Time: 4 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: WrightSocks
Notes: Woo hoo! Tired but not spent. Nice to do two big hikes on consecutive days.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mlevel/1515757178/in/photolist-3iWDNs-6hmbrg-6hmbTx-9cFY86-9duTEG-9cXuq4-9d1zfQ-9dFykF-9duTi1-9dUp6V-9dfSB3-9dFyYK-9cFYzk-iwXz1B-iwXG9e-iwXCcX-iwWWmg-4cwhjc-c92Ub9-c92TpY-73b7XL-8XJVYY-7kTQoS-teEAa-7kTPDN-6hmaZD-6hquXu-6hmavn-hT9eCp-teE75-teDhk-6ufTGn-c92ULs-4Khnr1-oeauX1-teFLv-teDwa-aooWhy-3Zf6vu-8XJWiU-cLSshW-545WT7-9cYVEp-9cYUTB-9cYU7Z-8moKV-teFcM-mV3mM4-hT8ifZ-6ujhWS
Miwok Trail by Steven Miller

2014 June 14
Company: Lisa
Weather: Warm and windy (low 70s?)
Route: Tenn Valley/Miwok Loop
Distance: 5.3 miles (8.5 km)
Elevation Gain: 874 feet (266 meters)
Time: 2 hours
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia
Socks: beige
Notes:

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