Karl-Fredrik Andersson
Skyrunner storyKarl-Fredrik Andersson
23 July 2019

Adventure Race athlete switches to Ultra-trail and Skyrunning

He was an active Adventure Race athlete for many years and recently he made a new venture within Ultra-trail and Skyrunning.

I had the chance to meet Kalle and his Team Billingen X-trail at Madeira Skyrace this year. Except for that Kalle and his team did very well at the race, I really liked his way of looking at training. I liked his training methods and I got curious of his background.

Kalle is a 40-year-old very determined and competitive person that lives and train in Idre, a small ski resort in Sweden.

About fifteen years ago he and some friends started an *Adventure Racing (AR) team. They worked their way up to the AR World Series, they competed for some years and they also managed to place themselves in the top 10 in some of the races.

Running has always been Kalle’s best discipline within AR. So, two years ago when he started to run more, he found out that he evolved quite fast. He got some podiums in national competitions and after that he took his running to the international stage.

Now he runs Ultra-trails and Skyrunning.

This is Kalle’s story…

Congrats Kalle to your second place in M40, Madeira Skyrace 2019! Can you tell us a little about the race and your experiences from that?

One of the most beautiful races I´ve ever competed in, extraordinary surroundings and views. I, like most of the other competitors, struggled a lot with the heat. But I felt strong in the steep up hills and over all I´m really pleased with how the race turned out for me.

Can you describe yourself with two sentences?

When I set my mind to something, I will achieve it. I don´t stop when I´m tired, I stop when I have crossed the finish line.

What is most important for you in life?

My small family of three and to do the things we love. Be out in and enjoy nature, train and just have fun together.

Your passion for Skyrunning? Where is that coming from?

Skyrunning is very new to me I´ve only competed in like four or five races including this one. But what I like about it the most is the pure rawness of it. I love the rough, exposed environment that high mountains give you, and of course the adventure and adrenalin.

Can you describe your significant personal strengths that took you all the way to this level of running? 

I would say my determination for sure, and my competitive nature.

Can you tell us a little about your training methods?

I like to work with very varied training to keep the motivation up!

I combine long, low intensity workouts with short, high intensity ones. I also like to emphasize that it is very important that you dare to keep the speed down in order to keep the pace/pulse low during the long-distance trainings. This in combination with hard intervals and some strengths usually do the work.

Running is always the primary focus, but I really like to mix things up so my body doesn´t get too strained. I corporate mountain biking into my training and in the wintertime, I do a lot of cross-country skiing. Of course, I do some weightlifting as well.

  • I train between 15 to 20 hours a week.
  • About 80% of my running is low intensity.
  • About 20% of my running is very high intensity.
  • About 60-70% of my training is running. The rest is strength and other sports.
  • At least 2 strength trainings a week

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?

No one likes being outside their comfort zone, but it is what makes you better at what you do. I don´t usually push myself outside of my comfort zone when I train but when I compete I´m good at doing so. In competitions I´m prepared to go far outside my comfort zone for long periods of time to achieve my goals and it´s definitely worth the misery when my goals are achieved.

How does your race plans and goals look like for 2019?

My largest goal for 2019 is to win Kullamannen 100 miles in November. I was fifth in 2017 and third last year so I´m hoping that the third time is the charm.

Which are your best training tips to other Skyrunners all over the world?

Train low intensity workouts for long periods of time, and of course have fun.

Which are your favourite races that you would recommend to other Skyrunners all over the world?

Buff Bydalen mountain marathon. It is an ultra-trail in the beautiful Swedish mountains with tough terrain and hard exposure.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a part time worker in Idre ski resort and I do a few different things. I keep track of our trails and some hikes. I also work with our high-altitude course. These activities I combine with other jobs, like in the supermarket.

Are you involved in any other types of running-projects that you like to talk about (ambassador / entrepreneur etc)?

I am the cofounder and organizer of the competition Billingen X-Trail and the running team with the same name. The competition is a short but tough trail run in the southern parts of Sweden.

What is your inner drive?

My motivation is definitely to become the best mountain runner I possibly can.

What is your advice to other people that is dreaming of an active lifestyle running in the mountains as good as you? 

Just do it and have fun while you are running.


Name: Karl-Fredrik Andersson

Nationality: Swedish

Age: 40

Family: Lisabeth, my partner and our five-year-old dog named Affe.

Country/town: Idre

Your team: Team Billingen X-trail

Occupation: Seasonal work in the local ski resort, Idre Fjäll.

Facebook page: Karl-Fredrik Andersson

Instagram: @Kallea1

Facebook page: Team Billingen X-trail

Instagram: team Billingen X-trail

Thank you!

Thank you, Kalle, for taking your time sharing! Wishing you all the best luck in the future with your Ultra/Skyrunning and everything that you want to do.

Happy SkyRunning!

/Katinka Nyberg

*Adventure racing can best be described as races that integrate multiple disciplines into a single event, over a long period of time and over rugged terrain. Races can be solo or team events. The sport owes its origins to triathlon — swim, bike and run races. During the 1980s athletes took triathlon ‘off road’ and threw in a whole new mix of activities and adventure racing was born.

Entry level adventure races are usually four to six hour events and are essentially ‘off-road triathlons’ involving a lake or river swim, mountain biking and trail running (with a map and compass). From entry level events, adventure races increase in duration and number of disciplines involved, from multi-day races to elite level races over a period of weeks.

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