Skyrunner storyFredrik Nyberg
8 June 2020

From broken neck to first mountain race

About one year ago, he suffered a serious scooter accident and broke his neck. After six months of inactivity he decided to start training, and now he is heading for his first mountain race.

Fredrik is a 48-year old “110% type of guy” from Sweden with a passion for entrepreneurship and technology. Fredrik is also one of the investors behind Arduua Skyrunning.

Like many other hard-working people out there the training hasn’t always been top priority, and it’s always been hard to manage the time and commitment to keep up the training. But this time it will be different for sure.

This is Fredrik’s story…

Who is Fredrik?

I can’t do anything just a little, I always put 110% in everything that I do. I have dedicated my last 20 years as entrepreneur in the IT industry, which is something that I love and something that I’m very good at, lthough I’ve been working way too much, not always being very healthy and sitting still in front of the computer. I have also had periods in life where I was very stressed and sometimes almost burned out.

Last year I suffered a very serious scooter accident in San Diego, and I broke my neck quite badly in the C-section. I don’t remember so much about the accident and what happened, I just remember waking up at the hospital with this thing around my neck with my face all messed up. I was so scared, and I didn’t even know if I was ever going to be fully functional again, and the thought of becoming paralysed was terrifying.

This type of “close to death” experience makes you think over what is important in life and, believe me, I had a lot of time for thinking during that hospital period.

Katinka visiting me at the hospital in San Diego.
Åre Sweden, spending time with my family.

Of course, my family and my health are the most important. But, it’s so easy to forget what you have, and the days just pass. I’ve been spending way too much time on work and haven’t really been taken care of myself, or had enough time with family.This will for sure change now!

I also figured it’s important to follow your dreams and live your life fully. It’s all about now, not then, or the future.

How come you wanted to take on a challenge like mountain running?

As some of you might know my wife Katinka is the founder of “this crazy Arduua Skyrunning project”, and I’m a part of it as an investor. In November last year Katinka and I went to Spain to meet Fernando (Arduua Head Coach), and to see the Spanish mountains. Fernando and Katinka went so fast up the mountains I had a hard time to keep up with the speed! For them, 500 D+ was like “easy hiking”, but for me it was very hard, but it was a great experience to enjoy the mountains in this new way and, of course, to meet Fernando!

As I had been sitting still for so long even this little “hiking trip” was like a huge challenge for me, and the body felt very weak. So, I understood that I needed to do something.

As an entrepreneur it’s very important for me to know the product and also to love the product. So, one thing led to another and Katinka and Fernando talked me in to starting challenge myself, and sign up for my first mountain race, Välliste 13 KM, 550D+ in Åre, Sweden.

Fernando and Fredrik, Valle de Tena, Spain.

How does your training history look like?

Well, I guess I’m like many other hard-working people out there. I’ve done some gym training sporadically, some cycling and I have tried running a few times, but never managed to keep continuity in the training. Either I started too hard and got all kinds of problems like hurting knees etc, or I just didn’t manage to get the training done.

I usually tried to run like 6 km road running as good as I could (probably in zone 3), always remembering the time that I had the last time, always comparing, always a feeling of failure when I could never beat my old time, which was kind of a stress factor.

How do you train now?

Now I’m in the Arduua Skyrunning training programme training with Fernando which I began in early 2020.

Except for the mountain focus, the big difference with this training is that the training is based on time and how hard it is for me, which makes it very individual. So, for example I don’t need to feel the stress about running 7 km in a certain time. It’s also very motivating to have a big goal, a plan, and a trainer that is caring about my training, checking up on me.

I started up very easy. My running sessions in the beginning were partly walking, partly running. I had 2 of these running sessions per week, and 2 strength sessions, plus some mobility and stretch. With this setup I managed to train 4 times a week and keep the continuity in training without getting burned out or injured. It was also a nice feeling that it was always possible to reach the goal with the training.

In the beginning of the training program I also did all kinds of tests of mobility and strength, and as a part of the program I’ve been working on these weaknesses.

The trainings progressed very slow, and I hardly noticed that Fernando for example added about 10 minutes of running each week.

Now, after about 4 months of training I feel I have become stronger. I can run a 7 km trail easily, and it’s a very nice feeling. Fernando has now also added hill work to the training that I do in a local slalom slope.

I also do interval training now once a week in very high pulse, and actually I like these sessions. As all the running sessions are downloaded to my watch, it tells me exactly what to do, and there is no escape. For example, 15 min warm up (zone 1), GO. And then 1 min hard (zone 5), GO, 1 min rest, repeat 7 times, cool down 15 minutes (easy, zone 1). The watch literally speaks to me and tells me what to do, to slow down or to go faster, based on my heart rate.

“I also figured it’s important to follow your dreams and live your life fully. It’s all about now, not then, or the future.”

What is the best part of the Arduua training?

It means a lot to me having someone that’s taking care of all my training from a long-term perspective. From starting point and testing to planning and follow up till final race day.

If I compare this type of training setup with “Classic Personal Training” at the gym that I have tried before, this is a whole new level. Now, I have a Personal Trainer specialised in Skyrunning & Trail, that is fully engaged in my whole training journey.

I don’t have to think so much about what and when to train, I just have to do the training!

For me this setup means that I get the training done!

Do you have any advice to other beginners who might like to start with mountain running?

Yes. Don’t go out too hard in the beginning and consistency is important. Set up a goal and a plan, and don’t let small obstacles stop you like bad weather, feeling tired or bad planning.

And of course. I like technical stuff like the training watch. ?


Name: Fredrik Nyberg
Nationality: Swedish
Age: 48
Family: Yes, wife (Katinka) and two kids (twins 9 years old)
Your team or sponsor now: Arduua
Occupation: Entrepreneur / Business advisor IT-management & Cloud
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fnyberg

Thank you!

Thank you, Fredrik, for sharing your amazing story! Very inspiring!
Wishing you all the best luck in the future with your running and everything that you want to do in life.

Happy SkyRunning!


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