Doing the Camino de Santiago: The “Rungrims”
More and more pilgrims decide to complete the Camino de Santiago by running it. The popularity of running, in recent years, combined with the countless kilometres offered by the routes of the Camino de Santiago to run, has brought it a new concept, that of the “Rungrim”.
In this blog post on Santiago, we want to talk to you about this new mode of pilgrimage. Here are some tips to complete the Camino de Santiago running and we’ll tell you which routes are best suited depending on the type of runner you are.
Why go to run on the Camino de Santiago
The reasons for running the Camino de Santiago can be very diverse. Some pilgrims do so simply as a challenge, others because they love to do sport and some for health or aesthetics.
If you want to do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria running, take advantage of meeting more pilgrims and soak in the essence of this experience, you are in the right place! Tell us more about your travel plans and let us arrange it for you.
As we told in you the post about motivations to do the Camino de Santiago, each pilgrim has their own. However, here are some good reasons for going to run on the Camino de Santiago:
Most of the Camino de Santiago route is done in rural areas or natural environments. Running in an unpolluted environment without the presence of vehicles is a pleasure for running enthusiasts.
Related to the above, there is the fact that much of the route is done across dirt tracks. Running on a dirt road is less aggressive for your joints.
Running the Camino de Santiago is the perfect excuse to visit new places and run surrounded by new landscapes. It is not the same to run every day on the same route as feeling, every day, that you are crossing a different scenario.
A great personal challenge
Running the Camino de Santiago can be the biggest challenge of your life. Usually marathons last a day or a few hours, doing the Camino de Santiago will be like facing a marathon for several days. Obviously, the level of the challenge must be adapted to your physical abilities, it is about overcoming yourself.
Tips for running on the Camino de Santiago
Running on the Camino de Santiago can be a highly rewarding experience, but it’s also a great personal challenge. That is why in this section, we will provide you with some recommendations to make the experience, as well as rewarding, for sure.
We always recommend that pilgrims prepare physically to do the Camino de Santiago, whether they are on foot or cycling. This fact becomes even more important if you set out to complete the Camino de Santiago running.
Running long distances involves not only preparing physically, but also psychologically. Running an average of 15 or 25 kilometres each day is like considering participating in a marathon for a week, for example.
We recommend that you train by running long distances. If you propose stages, then make stages of 20 kilometres, for example, it is not necessary that your training should be every day at that distance, since on the Camino de Santiago you will make stops. Also, it is also not advisable to overload your joints, before starting your challenge.
Also, it is important that you study the slopes well on the route of the Camino de Santiago that you plan to do running. If it has many ups and downs, it is recommended that you also include slopes in your training.
Organize your itinerary well and do it comfortably
Running the Camino de Santiago is much more demanding than doing it on foot or by bike, so therefore we recommend that you stay in places that guarantee that you can rest well and that allow you to enjoy some comfort. As we mentioned in this article about accommodations on the Camino de Santiago, hostels and hotels are an excellent option.
On the other hand, we also advise you to use this type of accommodation because they allow pre-booking. After running between 15 and 25 kilometres a day, you don’t want to travel extra distances in search of accommodation. Book in advance, don’t let bad organization end up overloading your joints and spoiling your challenge.
It’s best to do it with someone
Although the Camino de Santiago is an excellent experience to do solo, if you are going to do it running, it is better to be accompanied. Think that your pace will be different from the rest of the pilgrims, you will go faster than the walkers but you will not do stages as long as those who go by bike.
On the other hand, going with someone on the Camino de Santiago will help you to endure the important psychological challenge of running so many kilometres during the day. In addition, in case of pulls or cramps, you will have a partner to help you.
Respect your body
Keep your own pace on the Camino, don’t pretend to go faster by following a teammate. It is important that during the first few days you do not put your body in an extreme situation. Don’t forget that many days are waiting for you ahead.
Avoid new equipment and excesses
As we always advise pilgrims, avoid using new shoes or clothes. Use the material you’re used to running with and that you know doesn’t cause chafing.
On the other hand, it is also recommended that you take care of your diet and hydrate properly. This is important for all pilgrims, but even more so if you go to run on the Camino de Santiago.
Remember that you will sweat a lot during the route, especially if you do it in summer, and that you will consume a lot of calories. Feed yourself well, in this blog post you will find some recommendations.
Use a baggage transfer service
Running the Camino de Santiago is already enough of a challenge. You don’t need to take your body to the extreme by carrying your luggage on your back too.
We advise you to hire a backpack transfer service to carry your baggage between stages. This will avoid suffering injuries caused by overexertion.
During the stages, take with you only a small trail backpack in which you can store water, and some food that you can consume quickly during the tour, such as energy bars, for example. If the weather is changing, keep a raincoat or a layer that serves as a windbreaker in it.
Routes to run on the Camino de Santiago
Below we tell you about some routes of the Camino de Santiago that you can do running. In each section, we tell you what type of terrain you must be used to and what are the main advantages and disadvantages of running on them.
Camino de Santiago Frances
The Camino Frances is the path that joins Saint Jean Pied de Port with Santiago de Compostela. In total, it has 763.5 kilometres. However, you can start from anywhere in between along the route.
This route is best suited to do the Camino de Santiago running, as it has an extensive infrastructure. This allows you to plan very short stages without any difficulty.
The only drawback of this route is that it is the most popular. This in summer can be somewhat uncomfortable to run, as the large presence of pilgrims can slow your pace down.
However, the section where the largest agglomerations are recorded is on the one from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. On the rest of the tour you can run quietly, even in summer. Check out our Guide to the Camino Frances to learn more about the characteristics of its stages.
Running on the Camino de Santiago Ingles
The Camino Ingles joins Ferrol with Santiago. It is an ideal route for running, since it mostly runs through a totally rural environment. On this route you can enjoy the pleasure of running surrounded by a landscape of intense greens.
The route has a length of 122.3 kilometres. So it is an ideal route if you want to run on the Camino de Santiago for five days or a week. Check out our blog post for the stages of the Camino Frances, to learn more about its features.
In Portugal there are two routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela. Both are considered very simple and face very few slopes.
The above makes the Camino Portugues one of the most recommended routes for people who practice running, but who are not used to running in mountain environments. Check out the post we dedicate to the Camino Portugues to discover the two routes that cross the Portuguese countryside.
La Vía de la Plata
La Via de la Plata is a very long route and finishing it completely while running is almost impossible. However, this pilgrim route has several sections that can be very interesting for runners, such as the Camino Mozarabe or the Camino Sanabres.
Running on the Camino del Norte
The Camino del Norte is a route that originates in Irun and is 833.1 km long. It is a tour that faces steep slopes so you have to be in very good shape to try to do it running.
On the other hand, some of the stages on the Camino del Norte have few intermediate locations, so you have to be prepared to face days with stages close to 30 km. Check the article that we dedicate to this route so that you can discover more about it.
The Camino Primitivo is the same situation as the Camino del Norte. It’s an extremely difficult route. Check out our guide to the Camino Primitivo to learn more about its stages.
The advantage of the Camino Primitivo is that it is the path that has the least number of kilometres of asphalt. A real pleasure both for the pilgrims who walk it and for those who decide to complete the Camino de Santiago running.
Santiago Ways and rungrims
In Santiago Ways although we are lovers of the traditions and customs of the Camino de Santiago, we support all the new forms of pilgrimage that are always emerging. We must not forget that the Camino de Santiago is a route that is alive and that, as it did during the Middle Ages, it must adapt to new motivations that lead pilgrims to Compostela.
That is why, for some time now we have also helped the pilgrims who do the Camino de Santiago to reach their goal. So you know, if you want to have support from a specialized agency to support you when it comes to facing the challenge of running the Camino de Santiago, do not hesitate to contact us.
You can call us, leave us a comment or write on our Facebook page. You only have to indicate to our team that you want to do the Camino de Santiago running and they will take care of planning the stages, booking the accommodation and the transfer of your luggage between stages.
Buen Camino, rungrim!