Inside the mind of a champion

Posted in Dishing the Dirt by Matt Ward on Thu 20 Jan '11

© JP Clatot / UTMB

Kilian - one of life's winners

Kilian Jornet is just one of a number of elite ultra-trail and mountain runners who seem to be a little different to the rest of us. The same can be said here in the UK of some of the great fell runners of the past…

Billy Bland, Joss Naylor, Kenny Stuart. What many would agree with is that mentally these runners were tough, very tough.

In a recent meeting author Conor Neill met with Jornet, and unearthed four key aspects that are particular this type of athlete. Having met a number of them I would have to agree!

1. Acceptance – the past is gone, it serves no purpose dwelling on problems, only on dedicating resources to solve the problem and move on.

2. Presence in the moment – plan and think about strategy… but once they start in a race they only focus on the moment, or next 5 minutes – they never let their mind think beyond the next moment, the next breath, the next stride, the next drink of liquids.

3. Humility – each has achieved great things, but do not allow any arrogance to enter, they have no feeling of superiority, of being special.

4. Responsibility – nobody else is going to solve their problems. They know how to ask for help, to use the resources around them, but they never expect that anyone else will take the decisions for them.

Read the full article here – An afternoon with Kilian Jornet

Reactions so far
  1. Conor Jan 21, 03:20 AM

    Thanks for sharing. These guys are really inspirational and I am finding that mental maturity is a huge part of their success. I would love any ideas you have on other individuals who you think would be able to provide insight into their approach to high performance in sports. Best. Conor

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