What tools do I need to help me to accomplish my training goals?
First, the goals, for me, need to be concrete and achievable. 100 kms per week is a challenge most weeks, and I achieve it most weeks. I track my steps with a LifeTrak watch. It records my step, calorie burn and distance each day, then charts them for the week. Many people who walk with me use a Fitbit, and the info is on your wrist and in your computer, but as I don't have internet access at home, that wouldn't be an advantage for me. My watch was a gift from my daughter and went on my last Camino with me. I am very satisfied with the way it monitors my walking.
I lead walks, so there is incentive for me to be out there 3 times a week, with a plan ( and snacks for everybody). Being accountable to others help me get out of bed every morning. I'll blog later with some snack recipes, and also another blog post on my favourite walks here in Toronto. I don't have a car, so I go everywhere on foot or transit, and occasionally in a shared ride. The way I see it, if I have the time to walk to a destination, then I don't see taking transit ( and thus I save money towards the next Camino). I also can read and walk, so when I have a great book to read, I am happy to walk and read outside.
Since I don't have a back seat to toss items into, I carry a backpack everywhere. I have food, water, reading material, my wallet, my to-do list, and sometimes maps and miscellaneous other items. It often weighs 10 pounds ( and more, as I shop for groceries most days), so when I put on my Camino backpack, I am used to the weight. I use a MEC daypack.
It looks like this one. I like them with a flat bottom so they don't fall over when I set them down.
I have lots of coats ( the benefits of thrifting, mostly) but the ones I wear the most are waterproof and lined with fleece. It is easy to layer underneath, so that I can wear the same coat if it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or sunny and 10' or lower. I don't often wear my down jacket, as it isn't warm when wet. I do have a down vest, and I love it for layering. I have the weather channel on mute most mornings, so I can decide how many layers to wear under my coat.
I only wear Keen Shoes. I go through 2 pairs a year - one pair of sandals, which I wear as long as possible, even with socks (gasp!), and another pair of shoes for cooler weather. This is what the shoes look like. I wear a men's size 43, as my feet are very wide ( partly thanks to all the walking) and also thanks to genetics. I wear them a size larger that I might if I weren't doing all this walking, allowing room for swelling and sweating and merino socks.
This is the sandal I wear, and these are the two shoes I take on the Camino. The sandal is heavier than clogs or flip flops, which are popular with pilgrims, but I am able to wear these on the trail, with socks, if I need a change from the heavier shoes. I also can wear them into the shower room, but I go into the shower itself in bare feet.
Using poles while walking in Toronto is a good idea. They take some of the weight off your feet, knees and hips, and give the upper body a bit of a workout. Mine are missing right now, or I would be using them, and I might not have slipped and fallen in the mud on Friday!
Here's a picture from 2 years ago, as I was training for my 2014 Camino - so far we have had no snow in Toronto! Thanks for the picture, Julie.
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