The Importance of Rest Days—and a Re-revised Training Plan

Maybe it’s an excuse to be lazy.  Maybe this is what it feels like to be 64.  Maybe it is just the way it is, but let me say these things:  1) I think I may have been overly enthusiastic with my training plan; and 2) I need rest days. 

I’ve been officially training to walk the Camino del Norte for two and a half months.  I started in January and walked 81 miles during that month.  Most days I walked two and three quarter miles with Sally the dog and a few days I added four miles walking solo.  My training goal, however, was to walk three to five miles each day with a four-pound pack. I did that six times.  Six.  Hum.

A cloudy sunrise in January

In February, I walked ten days.  Yep, ten.  Most days were cold and rainy and I simply wasn’t up to meeting that challenge.  Over those ten walking days, Sally and I did our typical two and three quarter miles and I threw in a couple of four milers without her.  My total for February was 32 miles.  But, my goal for February was to walk six miles a day with a six-pound pack.  I did exactly one of those.  Sheesh…

One of the ten sunny and warm February days (and that’s Sally!)

So far in March, I have walked 12 days, with six days off for weather or other commitments. On five walking days I doubled up my walking—taking Sally for her two and three quarter miles, following up with a few more with my backpack.  Those five days I walked from eight to nine miles each.  To date, I have 59 miles logged in March. Better for sure, but I am still not on track with my training plan.  March was supposed to be seven-mile days with an eight-pound pack. 

A spectacular March day on the American River

Yesterday and today I walked Sally and then did my backpack miles.  I totaled seven and eight miles respectively and did my solo walking with a nine-pound pack.  And today–I’m beat. 

I get really proud of myself when I walk longer and I carry more weight.  That old ego really gets pumped up and pushes me harder and harder.  But it ends up being counter-productive in the long run, when I wake up with sore and tired legs and I don’t even want to roll out of bed. 

In order to alleviate those dog tired mornings, my revised training plan for March is this:  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I will just walk Sally.  We may go three and a half miles, because she did that today and survived.  On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Sally and I will do our two and three quarter miles and I will do a second solo walk of four to five miles with a ten-pound pack.  The intermittent pack days will hopefully allow me to move slowly and deliberately into longer walks with a heavier pack. And, Sunday I will rest because, while training is important, rest days are too.

And thank goodness I have April, May, June, July and most of August to train before I leave. 

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Rest Days—and a Re-revised Training Plan

  1. Love reading about your plans and adventures. Is there a 4 th route I can go on with you one of these years…or a route you’d like to revisit? (You’ll know more about that after August). Val


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