Updated: May 16, 2022
It was great to catch up with Jacob Snochowski after his recent win and course record at Centurion Autumn 100. One of many amazing achievements from an inspiring and dedicated athlete. We talked about all things ultra-running including racing, kit and tips.
Photo credit: Steve Ashworth / La Sportiva
You've got some amazing achievements under your belt and we'll ask you a little bit more about a couple
of those, however, we also noticed that you've also suffered from a range of injuries and niggles. What tips could you give us on recovery and maintenance and do you think that ultra-running is a good way to leave us all crippled by the time we hit 50?
Hi guys, first of all many thanks for having me here today.
Yes, you're right- in the past 3-4 years I had few issues with my health, thankfully most of them happened at the end of the season and I had most of the autumn and winter to recover. I managed to kick rhadbomylosis caused by torn calf muscle 30miles into 70mile long race, gilmores groin which unfortunately stopped me mid season, Covid-19 and most recently two ankle twists (thankfully it was first time in my life). All of those were pretty annoying, mentally. I always find that part most difficult, it feels like you can never reach the peak of your performance, because there is always that small gap in your training.
I never found the training part of recovery difficult, it actually works the other way. Once my head is in the right place, I am more motivated than usual to get fit as quickly as possible.
In regards to the recovery and maintenance -I personally do a lot of weight work through the whole year and almost always have done. I find it super beneficial and there is no better feeling than a strong body.
I am blessed to have some wonderful people around me, who work really hard to keep my body working, so regular massage treatments and hyperbaric chamber sessions are a regular part of my routine.
Of course having a great physio is super important, again, I am lucky to have one.
And most importantly - you need to know how to adapt your training plan to your current shape and needs, for example after I twisted my ankle at LL100, once I was able to run again we stopped all trail running and switched to road. First time I hit the trails was probably 5 weeks after the injury.
Will it leave us crippled? I used to work in a GP practice for many years - the amount of people with hip or knee replacement, which had nothing to do with sport in their entire life was much higher than those who exercised. I guess there is a risk, but I rather have my memories.
You've done so many events, we'd love to know which have been your favourite and why? And following
on from that, what has been your biggest disappointment with regards to racing?
There's been so many that it's hard to pick one, honestly. I think I loved the Highland Fling most, for an amazing finish on the red carpet, with the sound of bagpipes in amazing scenery. It was really something special for me, especially since I'd ran for 30 miles on an empty stomach and I was really begging for that finish line to appear as soon as possible.
I also loved me and my wifes running holidays in Poland. We covered 250km over 7 days in the Beskidy Mountains Few years back. It was awesome to share that adventure with her and my Lenny dog.
My biggest disappointment is definitely not finishing Lakeland 100, three times. I have extremely bad luck with this race, that's probably because I want to do well too much.
Congratulations on your recent Centurion Autumn 100 record. Can you tell us a little bit about the race and how you found it? We're also very curious to know if you were actually aiming for a new course record.
It was my first Centurion event as a racing runner, I've paced my friend a few years back also at Autumn 100. I have to say that I've enjoyed every minute of it, even those last 21km which were super dark and difficult. Race was perfectly organised, all the marshalls were fantastic and extremely helpful. As a runner I couldn't ask for more.
The route itself was very beautiful, to be honest I wasn't expecting that I'd like it so much. In terms of how I felt- I think it was my day, everything was just great, legs were strong, I ran literally everything, and that ten second win, which only added to the drama, was like cherry on the cake.
My main goal was to get under 14h, I managed, just..
We'd love a little insight into training, obviously we're not asking you to give away all of your
top secrets however how do you approach it and do you have any general advice for this area, perhaps with the 'front of the pack' local ultra runners in mind?
It all depends on the race we are preparing for, but usually it is a mixture of hill work (tempo and sprints) followed by speed work on road or trail (although for Autumn 100, my six weeks block was mainly flat speed tempo sessions). Quite a few quality sessions per week, with mileage not exceeding 60-65 miles per week. I used to coach myself for 13years, but this season and 2019 I am working with Sarah McCormack- it's important to find a coach who understands you and your body. I am more motivated now (when paying for the plan) to get out and do what's prescribed no matter what.
General advice- skip junk miles, don't run 100 miles + per week, have some time to relax and for your family, do a lot of cross training, kettlebell is your friend, adopt a dog.
You seem to have your racing strategy all figured out. How do you fuel for ultras and do you have
a 'go-to' race plan?
Yes, there was no faffing about. In my drop bag I had food packs prepared for each leg of the race. Per 40km I had planned 4 MF jells, 1 MF oat bar, 6x protein balls, 1x 50g xtreme fuel, plus whatever I fancied at Cp's. It worked until mile 50, then I had mainly jells...
My usual strategy is to have 1 gel, 200g of oat bar, 25g xtreme energy per hour of race. If the race is really fast I will have 2 jells. It usually works well. I've been using Mountain Fuel products for over 6 years now, so I know my drill.
You post a lot about kit and we know you're supported by some amazing companies but what would you
say is your favourite bit of kit and why?
Another hard question, Hehehe... I think that my favourite bit of kit is my beloved shoe- La Sportiva Mutant.. I remember using them for the first time, probably 6 years ago.. The way they felt and still feel on my foot-like they were designed for me! Some of my best memories are connected with that model of shoe.
There is so much more I could talk about, but Mutants were definitely game changers for me.
What do you have coming up (if you don't mind sharing)?
Got some plans for next year, but would rather keep it quiet for now. In regards to the winter, I'm really keen to do solo Bob Graham on nice wintery day. Let's hope I will be healthy enough to do it.
Photo Credit: Steve Ashworth / La Sportiva
Finally, what do you do in your downtime and do you have any other hobbies?
I love to spend my time with my wife and the dogs- even watching Netflix in the evening with my family gives me a lot of joy. I really like to take pictures, usually with a phone camera when running, but in my free time I am also playing with my proper camera. Listening to music and reading is also high on the list. Finally, I've got a new job which I enjoy a lot, so even work feels like fun and a small hobby.
Thank you so much Jacob. We are looking forward to following your future progress and achievements.
If you would like to follow Jacob, head over to Instagram @jacob_snochowski
The Summit Crazy Team