We get asked this question a lot! And for good reason, as the Camino itself can be remote and not easy to “get off” of in the middle of a stage. But that being said, the Camino is accessible for all ages and all fitness levels. The last 100 km of the French Camino are by far the easiest, as you’re not crossing the Pyrenees and the uphills and distances are manageable.
Training is always key too, mostly to break in the shoes and prepare your feet to walk long distances. We typically recommend that people start to train 6 months ahead of time. Long walks are the best type of training.
It is important to get used to walking with a light pack, being on your feet for 4+ hours at a time and walking in different types of weather.
On the Camino you’ll be walking on different surfaces: asphalt, dirt paths, Roman Stones, and gravel roads. Prepare for this by trying to walk outdoors in various settings. If you just walk on a treadmill to prepare, your feet will be very very sore because of the hard surfaces of the Camino (take my word for this!). We suggest walking on roads, paths, tracks at the gym or school, and trying to hike in a few parks.
I used a walking stick for my last Camino in January 2019 and I didn’t think to train with it. After a few days using it on the Camino I had multiple blisters on my hands, and my hands were worse than my feet. So try and train exactly like you’ll be walking the Camino- same pack, same shoes, same clothing, etc.
That being said, I have seen people walk the Camino without any training at all! They set their own pace, they see the Camino as a doable challenge and make it work. Something special happens when you’re on the Camino. People support one another, they help and worry about others, and you feel bolstered by the spirit of the pilgrimage. If you’re hesitant about walking the Camino because of an injury or fitness level, I encourage you to put your fears aside and try it! The Camino has the power to transform you.