Life as a professional athlete is of course a big privilege, but also a lot of hard work. You must really believe in yourself, love the training and never ever give up.
Petter Engdahl from Sweden is only 25 years old and already one of the top Skyrunners in the world. He loves everything about Skyrunning, and he is a true role model for the “new generation of Skyrunners”.
Petter has always been in love with sports, and when he was 16, he moved to Åre to attend the Ski Gymnasium. His progress was very good, and he did his first World Cup in Oslo Holmenkollen in 2018.
In the summer, he loved to run in the mountains, and it was his favourite kind of training for the winter. That is how he slipped into trail and Skyrunning.
He started his Skyrunning career in 2016 and he was ranked as 2:nd in the Skyrunning World Series 2018 and 2:nd in the Skyrunning World Classic Series 2018. This year he accomplished a 3:rd place at Transvulcania Ultra Marathon and a 1:st place at Peak Performance Vertical K, and a 3:rd place at Salomon 27k in Åre, Sweden.
What could be the secret behind?
This is Petter’s story…
Who is Petter and your story behind?
Since I was very young, I have always been in love with sports. You can almost say that I was born with skis on my feet! I also did other sports, like football, ice hockey, and track/field. But cross-country skiing was the sport that I liked the most.
So, when I was 16, I moved to Åre to attend the Ski Gymnasium. My progress was very good, and as I got better for each year, I did my first World Cup in Oslo Holmenkollen in 2018.
In the summer, I loved to run in the mountains, and it was my favourite kind of training for the winter. So, in 2016, I did my first Skyrace in Limone Sul Garda. I absolutely loved it and wanted to do more.
Now, I’m a part of the Salomon International Team. I won my first Skyrace in Livigno 2018 and finished 2:nd in the overall Skyrunning World Series in 2018, which was great!
I like to continue competing in both skiing and Skyrunning and see how good I can possibly get.
What is most important for you in life?
My family, friends and to ski and run. I also like to eat chocolate :-).
Your passion for Skyrunning? Where is that coming from?
I have never really considered myself as a runner. I was running during the summer to train for the winter. But then I started to follow the Skyrunning se-ries and I thought the races looked really cool. I also got very inspired by Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg. I liked to take their skills in the uphill’s and apply that to my cross-country skiing.
So, I started to run more in the mountains and participated in some trail races and I absolutely loved it.
Can you describe your significant personal strengths that took you all the way to this level of running?
I think that the most important parts are that I believe in myself, in my training and I never ever give up. I’m also lucky to have great people around me that believes me and supports me. That is super great!
How is life as a professional athlete? How do you think your life differs from a standard 9-17 office life?
Living as a professional athlete is of course a big privilege and awesome. However, if you are a serious athlete and you want to do it properly, it almost become a 24h job. But that is what I love about it, and of course there is a lot of travel for competitions, camps etc.
Which is the most challenging and demanding situations that you been through to get you where you are today as a person?
I lost a dear friend of mine a couple of years ago and that was a very tough period in my life. But it also gave me perspective on what is important in life, and not to take anything or anyone for granted.
Do you usually push yourself outside your comfort zone? How does it feel at the time? Can you see that the rewards coming out of this is worth this little extra effort?
Yes, and I do sometimes push a little bit too hard. In some situations, it has affected my performance, and this is something I need to get better at. During those years when I explored my limits and pushed really hard, I learned a lot about my body and what works and what doesn’t work for me.
How does a normal week with training and all that look like for you right now?
My training very much depends on the season and what phase I’m in. But my training is mainly skiing/roller skiing and running. About 20-30h/ week with 3-5 interval sessions, longer days in the mountains, 2-3 gym sessions and recovery runs.
Which are your best training tips to other Skyrunners all over the world?
- Focus on the parts that you like to get better at and set up small goals. That will help you to see your progress and to keep up the motivation.
- Find your strength as a runner. Which weapon can you use to beat your competitors? Work extra hard on that and use it during the race.
- Don’t push 100% in training, save that energy for the race!
Which are your favorite races that you would recommend to other Skyrunners all over the world?
Limone Extreme Skyrace and Trofeo KIMA is two of my favourite courses of all time! But I would also recommend Zegama Aizkorri or Matterhorn Ultraks!
Are you involved in any other types of running-projects that you like to talk about (ambassador / entrepreneur etc)?
When the time is right, I will tell you 😉
Do you have any dreams and goals for the future that you like to share?
I want to race Holmenkollen 50K in the FIS World Cup and UTMB the same year.
How does your game plan look like for that?
Keep believing in myself, in my training and find some small goals on the way to see my progress.
What is your inner drive?
I like to see how good I can possibly get and enjoy the journey!
What is your advice to other people that is dreaming of an active lifestyle running in the mountains as fast as you?
Work hard, stay hungry and enjoy the progress in your training.
Name: Petter Engdahl
Family: Father Jonas, Mother Petra and brothers Jonatan and Johannes
Your team or sponsor now: Team Salomon
Occupation: I’m currently a professional athlete and compete in cross country skiing during the winter and mountain running during the summer.
Education: Åre Ski Gymnasium
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pettereengdahl
Webpage / Blog: http://www.teamengdahl.se/
Thank you, Petter, for taking your time sharing your amazing story! Very inspiring!
Wishing you all the best luck in the future with your Skyrunning and everything that you want to do in life.