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How do you train, Kilian Jornet?

SuuntoRun — 9 januar 2018

As a new year has started, many of us reflect on our training over the past year. We also asked Kilian Jornet how he trains. In this new video, Kilian does not only cover his training in 2017, but also a lifetime of learnings.

Kilian Jornet has spent a lot of time in the mountains since he was a kid and has been training to improve since he was a teenager. All the hours, days and years of training have made him one of the best all mountain athletes ever. Whether running, skiing or climbing Kilian is breaking records, winning races and inspiring others.


Kilian, in the video you say: “If you don’t have pleasure when you train, you will never improve!” What makes training fun for you?

You don’t train to have fun but to improve, to reach goals or to adapt, but it is important to have pleasure doing the activity you do to spend this amount of time easily. I love to ski and run and to be in the mountains and I’m enjoying when I do that and it is part of my training.


How do you turn tough days into good ones?

Some days you just switch to work mode, listen to music in your headphones and watch the watch count the time and meters you need to do that day. Sometimes it’s more hard than fun but it is important to do. A good or bad day is not fun or not fun. Some training session can be hard and fun, fun but not hard, hard and not fun or not fun and not hard. Good or bad depends on what you have improved or learned, what have you experienced.


How has your training changed over the last 10 years?

Not much in big lines, I like the principles of training I do, like quantity over quality and specific training. They seem to work for me. I try to be open and look at new ways to train and test different things.


How is it possible to be fast from short races, like a vertical km, to super long ultras?

Train different situations, train some long days, some short. It does demand a lot of time (years) and time (hours a year) to do all different kind of training.


What are your strengths?

In physical capacities, recovery rate and VO2 max. Then psychologically I can enter a non-emotional state that helps me in stress situations. Now also my experience.


What would you still like to improve?

Many things. It’s important to work to improve both the weaknesses and the strengths.


What are you focusing on this year?

Mostly rehab and recovery from my shoulder surgery that I had in October. Then I’ll see how it goes. I had a ski fall some years ago and dislocated both of my shoulders. Since then I have dislocated them several times and knew I needed to get the operation done at some point.


I don’t really focus but try to be in good shape on average and adapt depending on the next goal that can be a long or short ski mountaineering or trail running race or mountaineering.


What motivates you to keep pushing your limits?

I just think it is great to know yourself.



Watch Kilian's video "How do I train (again and again)"



Kilian Jornet started training the day he was born. The mountains were his playground and without realizing it he created his own training philosophy that is based on repeating, trying and failing. Watch Kilian’s How do I train now!