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Health & Fitness Kilian Jornet: 'If there is a chance I will be paralysed, I'll now try and find another solution'

13:45  13 february  2020
13:45  13 february  2020 Source:   inews.co.uk

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Kílian Jornet Burgada (Catalan pronunciation: ['kjliən ʒur'nɛt]; born 27 October 1987 in Sabadell, Catalonia) is a Spanish professional sky runner, trail runner, ski mountaineer and long-distance runner.

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. Now Kilian trains outdoors seven days a week with a clear mantra: “If you don’t have pleasure when you

Kílian Jornet Burgada sitting on a table © Provided by The i

Well, this is awkward. We’re speaking to Kilian Jornet after watching a 40-minute documentary detailing the "other side" of his life as a superstar trail-runner, mountaineer and record-breaking ultramarathon athlete. The bits that don’t get featured on Instagram.

Bits like the repetitive grind of taxis, hotels and questionable coffee that comes with media tours. Around half-way through the film, he says in an ever-so-slightly exasperated tone, before he mounts the stage at a public appearance in an enormous Bangkok shopping mall: “The questions, they are the same all the time. I can answer most of them without even thinking.”

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Kilian Jornet Burgada. I define myself as a lover of mountains. I like competing, but, above all, I conceive sport as a way to discover landscapes both inside and outside you. Jornet will continue to combine different mountain disciplines which he is passionate about.

Kilian Jornet – Trail runner and ski mountaineer. Born in a mountain hut in the Catalonian Pyrenees, Kilian Jornet is one of What is also remarkable about Jornet is that he is as equally accomplished across all distances, from short 1km vertical But the day I stop winning, I ' ll still be in the mountains."

a man standing in front of a crowd © Provided by The i

i has half an hour with him, on a video-conference from his home in rural Norway, as he is scaling back media grand-tours now (more on that later). We are one of many outlets he has been scheduled in to speak to. Just how many of our questions will be responded to on auto-pilot?

None, it appears. He laughs when it is put to him that the documentary portrays him as a bit caged, as images of a sleep-deprived athlete in the back of a cab are juxtaposed with him scampering across mountain ridges or dealing with injury.

'I don't go well in cities'

“A bit!? I felt so caged then,” he laughs. “No, it was pretty tiring. I don’t go well in cities and it was very busy. I am happiest in the mountains, that is for sure.”

And on the broken-record nature of his interrogators, he adds: “The questions are repetitive, but it is part of the job – I know that in my position I have the chance to tell people about nature, about the outdoors and about experiences that are interesting to them. And, in training there is a lot of repetition, so I am used to it.

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Home. Kilian Jornet . Calendar. Blog. Training is an objective in itself and should not be a requirement to get into race shape. This is not a workout plan for you to follow. Each of us has different physical characteristics, capabilities and motivation, and so, training must adapt to these.

He'd blacked out in the snow-swept night somewhere on Mt. Everest's airy northeast ridge. Now Kilian Jornet was lost, exhausted and delirious, whipped by a fierce wind in the "death zone" high above 8,000 meters (26,200 feet).

“In Europe the questions are often concerned with races and performances. In Asia the questions tend to be about the risks involved and how I manage them. In America the questions are more holistic, about wellbeing and things like that. This is a very broad generalisation though.”

In-demand athlete

Jornet is in demand. For a sport that operates on the fringes and usually only graces mainstream media if there is a death involved, the Catalan is beyond high profile.

He has featured in National Geographic, been the face of global campaigns for multi-national outdoor clothing and equipment companies and written about in national newspapers across the planet. He has over 800,000 followers on Facebook and close to 900,000 on Instagram.

Kilian Jornet at an appearance session during the documentary 'Inside Kilian Jornet'

He has gained this profile by stretching the boundaries of what is deemed possible in mountain running and alpinism, including two solo, oxygen-free ascents of Everest within a week in 2017 and breaking the long-standing record in fell-running of the Bob Graham round, a 42-peak, 66-mile loop in the Lake District a year later.

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Kilian Jornet has pushed his body beyond its limits, has suffered multiple injuries, has been exposed to great risks and has broken records that have amazed the world. But nothing is a result of the chance : since his childhood, he has trained body and mind, and he has prepared thoroughly for both

Kilian Jornet has conquered some of the toughest physical tests on the planet. He has run up and Or die. "Trail running's first true breakout star, [ Jornet ] has yet to find a record he can't shatter." I ’ve always been the kind of person who prefers to say, I ’ ll try . I have always been shy and have always

He also regularly posts on social media vertigo-inducing clips of his training sessions, skipping over knife-sharp mountain ridges while musing about the beauty surrounding him.

Some of his training has been forced indoors, as he and girlfriend Emelie Forsburg – also a champion endurance athlete – welcomed a daughter into their lives last March. They alternate sessions between them, as one goes outdoors while the other makes do with a treadmill.

Rethinking priorities

And he has been forced to rethink his priorities, as is the case with many people when they become parents. Although the recalibrating of his life choices does not include less risk-taking.

“It is not so much that I stopped the ‘silly’ things [since my daughter was born],” he says. “Having a child made me think more about future generations and how wasteful we have been, individually and as a species.

"Everything I do now, my carbon footprint is in my mind, so I try not to fly where there is another alternative. I can do interviews from my house. It is only a tiny thing, but it is something.”

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[Chorus] I ' ll try I ' ll try to let it go Let it roll right off my back Yes, so I ' ll try I ' ll try To let it go Let it go and never look back this way. [Verse 2] Do you wanna be The one who points and blames That makes us feel many things 'Cause in a word I can't explain Why it hurts so much, you see We weren't born with

Kilian Jornet was raised on a mountainside in the Catalonian Pyrenees, where he developed a passion for being outside, playing in the snow, hiking through forests, climbing rocks and using running and skiing as I think I ' ll be in a better situation this year because I finished very well, muscularly speaking.

And of the risks, he adds: “I manage the risk – I know things that I do can be risky. But it comes from doing and practising things in training. If I see a situation on a mountain and think ‘if something goes wrong there is a 50-per-cent chance that I will break my leg’ then I will say to myself ‘OK...’ If there is a 50-per-cent chance that I will be paralysed if something goes wrong, then I will try and find another solution.”

2020 road trip

As far as this year’s plans go (cue a ‘European’ question), having conquered some of the world’s steepest, highest places, Jornet is aiming for a different challenge: road running.

Bearing in mind that Jornet described a victorious 100-mile Western States race – in an event in the Californian hill country which attracts the cream of ultra-endurance athletes – as “crushing grapes”, such was the monotony of the relative flatness for this seasoned alpinist, the idea of him tackling a road race is intriguing.

“I have a few races in the summer,” he says. “Then at the end of the season I want to try a road race. I have never done one before – I have always avoided roads – so it will be a nice challenge.”

And given Jornet’s pedigree, we can assume the race he chooses won’t be easy. How about the Spartathlon, a super-competitive, 153-mile race which follows Pheipiddes’ route from Athens to Sparta every autumn?

“Spartathlon?” he pauses. “I don’t know yet, I will see how my training goes and decide later in the year which race to do.” So that’s not a "no".

Inside Kilian Jornet is available free to watch on 13 February on Rakuten TV.

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