Recommended by: Kilian Jornet Burgada, Ultrarunner and Ski Mountaineer
Jornet started running not all that long after he started walking. And his training grounds? The mountains around his home, the peaceful region of La Cerdanya, which straddles the Spanish-French border in the Pyrenees.
"It's a great place, not only for its beautiful mountains but also because you can practice all sorts of outdoor sports," Jornet says. "There are gorgeous lakes, beautiful valleys, nice mountains. Everything can be found here." Not to mention there are over 250 miles of trails winding through hills roamed by Carthaginians, Franks, and Moors.Puigcerdá, the tidy mountain-rimmed capital of the region, is a good place to start.
Find a host of trails winding into the mountains and through beech woods, boreal forests, meadows, trim little villages, and the crumbling stone ruins of millennia of human history. The best post-run ritual is hands-down the hot springs, such as Les Bains de Llo, that bubble up throughout the mountains.
Kilian Jornet Burgada might be superhuman. He has won more than 80 endurance races and blown away more than a dozen speed records, and is widely dubbed one of the world’s best endurance athletes. On foot, he has crossed the Pyrenees, traveled the length of Corsica’s famed G20 long-distance path, ascended and descended Kilimanjaro in one push, and trotted the entire Tahoe Rim Trail. On skis, he is no less formidable, winning the overall World Cup title in ski-mountaineering racing multiple times.