Kilian claims to train seven days a week – amassing 1200 hours of training per year. For a long time, Kilian has eschewed the tutelage of a formal coach and devised his training himself. A key to his success appears to be how he varies training according to the seasons, mixing running (mostly in the mountains although he has incorporated more flat running in recent years) with skiing, alpine climbing and cycling. This has allowed remarkable consistency through the years, which in turn has enabled him to develop a phenomenal aerobic apparatus and a body that is near perfectly adapted for what he does.

Endurance – He says that the vast majority of his training (88% according to his site) is done at low intensity – zones 1-3. Z1 before and after races. Z2 in long workouts (up to 10 hours plus) “to create volume”. Z3 in the lead-up to races, long sessions of up to a few hours.

10% is at high intensity (zones 4-5): “In Z4 specific workouts with intense intervals and repetitions. In Z5 workouts of a few seconds and many repetitions. Only about 10 times per season and during the competitions (about 30-35 days of competition per year).

2% of the time at maximum intensity (zones 6-7).

Whilst these numbers appear to be somewhat generalised estimates, Kilian is known for his fastidious documentation of his training, so they are probably more accurate than you would imagine.

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