Monday, January 24, 2011

Climbing Mountains, an interview with Jacob Rydman

If you run in the Auburn Confluence area chances are you’ve seen Jacob Rydman running.  Jacob enjoys trail running and going up mountains, FAST.

Jacob who is new to ultra racing won the 2010 Sierra Nevada Double Marathon in convincing fashion.
It was his first ultra race. After meeting Jacob at Sierra Nevada I’ve followed him on his blog, Climbing Mountains. Jacob recently tasked himself with running 100 ascents of K2 in 100 days. If you know the “Training Hill” you know it is not an easy thing to do.

Jacob recently agreed to let me talk to him about his running.

How did you get into the ultra/trail running scene? I know you ran before you did ultras.

I ran for two years at Yuba College. I was recruited by William Jessup University and ran Cross Country for them. After a lay off from running I decided to run the 2009 California International Marathon. During my training I went to Lake Tahoe a lot to train. While training on the trails there I found I really enjoyed it. It’s very free and challenging to run trails.

I follow your blog; unlike many other runners you’re very open about your training. How did you come up with the idea to run K2 a 100 times in 100 days?

The trail running community is all about camaraderie. You can train with people and its fun but you still push each other, I enjoy that a lot.

The K2 ascents came about because I didn’t have any races lined up for a while and I wanted to push myself. I wanted the challenge.

How did the ascents go once you got started?

It was very hard at the start, especially during the holidays. It also took my body a while to find its rhythm on the hill. It was very demanding both mentally and physically. I am a stronger runner both physically and mentally after completing the 100 ascents. I also finished early; it took 95 days to do 100 ascents.

I saw you ran with Anton Krupicka, Scott Jurek and a lot of other ultra heavy weights at the Ponderous Posterior 50K. How did this come about and what was it like running with them?

Anton posted about the run months before. I connected with Anton about coming to the run. It just so happened that a friend of mine was heading that way at the same time. It all worked out so I went. About 90 people came out and ran. I learned a lot about trail running from the event, I took a lot away from that experience.

What are your racing plans for 2011?

Way to Cool 50K is my next event, but the American River 50 is my next goal race. I will mini-taper for Way to Cool, but American River is my goal race.

After that I will run my first 100 mile race at Tahoe Rim 100 in July. That will be an interesting race. I have no idea what to expect at that distance. For the rest of the year I know I will be racing The North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Jacob. I help coach a group of new Ultra runners with Fleet Feet Ultra Training. Anything you want to pass on about training?

Yes, I think you should train on terrain or conditions harder than you expect on race day. On race day you will be better prepared both physically and mentally for the race.

Excellent advice Jacob and thanks for a great interview.

Jacob is also an outdoor ambassador for New Balance.  Jacob's blog: Climbing Mountains



  1. Very Cool AB. I've been following his blog for a while too. I've also done K2 a few times. OUCH!!!!
    Nice interview!

  2. Thank you very much Pam (TBM). You would like him.


  3. Thanks for the interview with Jacob. I follow most of the NB team runners and agree that Jacob seems to have all the skills and mindset necessary to compete with the elites.

    The main reason for my message is to show you an example of a "custom" banner for your blog. I am a school teacher by trade, so I try to supplement my income with my small web/graphics business. I am trying to find some new business and thought it would be interesting to combine my love of trail running with my web development skills.

    Here is one I came up with for your blog:

    If your are interested, you can contact me via email on the "contact" page on my business website:

    I would have emailed, but I found no contact info on the blog.