The first Five

This is a system I developed a few Caminos back. It’s not for everyone, but it worked for me.

I walked an hour or so every morning before getting breakfast. This took me out of the cluster zones where everyone spent the night, into the groove of walking, and into a café that was not too crowded. Since I was relaxed, that hour usually was my furthest hour of the day, the coffee and a short break, extended this relaxation, often getting me to my destination much faster.

On a “normal” 25km day, I walked five, had breakfast, walked another ten, which got me to about 10am or 11am, depending on my daily form and when I got up. The final ten kilometers then added another two and a half hours to the equation, not rarely getting me to my destination before the albergues even opened.

After a week I noticed that this made me happier all day. I was able to get my system going, get into the groove as I wrote above, and looked forward to the day, with coffee and a croissant as the “reward” for my first five kilometers. This really pushed my reward cascade.

As I said, it’s not for everyone. Or anyone but me, possibly, but if you want to experiment, I recommend trying the first five.