Just Kilian - Page 4
Training Takes Shape
Most weeks throughout the summer and winter, Kilian logs 30 to 40 hours of training. "This is my job," he says. His running schedule is bracketed in the spring and the fall by Kilian's Quest endeavors, which he seems to use more as training runs than all-out efforts.
When in Europe a black, diesel mini-van takes him from race to race, event to event. With a road bike attached to the back of his van, he has become adept at using it as a base camp, sleeping in the back at trailheads and rest stops. He knows his way through the Alps better than a taxi driver through Manhattan.
Kilian's trail racing season starts and ends with long, slow events—California's Western States 100 in June and Europe's Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in late August. For six weeks in the middle of the summer he concentrates on shorter, faster events—races that most ultrarunners would consider sprints.
"I don't like running just ultras or short races. For me sport is not only to discover the outdoors, the people, the mountains ... but also to discover myself. To explore my limits. When you race just 100 miles, 100 miles, 100 miles, you discover that your limit is 100 miles. But I also like short races, such as Sky Races, Sierre Zinal, the Vertical Kilometer."
"Kilian's trail-running competitive range is among the widest I have seen," says seven-time Western States 100 winner and current American 24-hour record holder, Scott Jurek of Boulder, Colorado. "One weekend he is out crushing the competition on a vertical kilometer course and the next he is taking it to us on the 166K Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. And during the winter he is the world's best ski mountaineer."
How does the young Spaniard do it? "It is important in the sport to not think about the sport," he explains. "Don't think of training as training. Training is going and running because you enjoy it. I love the sport for this reason."
The root of Kilian's love for the sport, suggests Kilian's father, that which drives him more than anything else, is curiosity—how far can he push his mind and body.
"He runs against himself with the targets he sets for himself," says Eduard Jornet. "Seeing how far he can go, seeing how his body reacts. It's in his spirit."
The Salomon-Kilian Marriage
In 2008 Kilian joined the Salomon International Team, which consisted of 15 athletes from Spain, France, Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Russia, South Africa and New Zealand. Initially he was situated amongst the likes of former Olympian and six-time Mountain Running Champion, Jonathan Wyatt, but after quickly realizing the young runner's potential, the team underwent a complete overhaul, placing Kilian at the top of the team with first-hand access to shoe, clothing and equipment designers.