Author Ian Sharman

Ian Sharman is an ultrarunning coach with USATF and NASM certification. He is on the Altra Running Team and has represented England for ultrarunning. He only started running in 2005 but quickly got addicted to races and became a student of the sport, interested in all types of running terrain and style of event. In particular, Ian loves to explore the world through running and has raced in six continents with almost 200 marathon and ultra finishes. Some highlights include setting the record for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in 2013, during which he won the Leadville Trail 100. He also set the fastest North American 100-mile trail time at his Rocky Raccoon 100 course record of 12:44.

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From the Coach: Consistency is King

I often get asked if there’s a secret to maintaining consistency. This question usually has the undertone of having your cake and eating it too, i.e. doing excessive training and getting away with it. Yet, it’s a fairly simple formula that I instill in those I coach, as well as in my own racing.

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Progressing for Next Season

At the end of the year, most of us back off training and allow for a little downtime and reflection, plus, family commitments are especially time consuming (and fun) during the holidays. What should you consider when thinking ahead to next year to allow yourself to keep progressing and improving your running?

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Road Races to Improve Trail Running

I’ll admit I have a bias on this topic, since when I first started running ultras in 2005, I also got hooked on road marathons. However, one thing I noticed was how effectively sub-ultra road races prepared me for many aspects of longer races.

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Racing in the Heat

As we get into the middle of summer, many races involve running in severely hot weather. The most experienced runners use several tricks to deal with this, which are most evident at two Californian races renowned for their searing heat—Western States 100 and Badwater 135.

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Maximizing Vert

Summertime means the mountains are open for runners and hikers, and the majority of the high alpine races are during this time of year. However, many runners, especially city slickers, don’t have equivalent climbs where they can train. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for the more mountainous races no matter where you live.

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A Purpose for Every Run

One of the simplest improvements a runner can make to his or her training is to approach every run with a simple question: “What am I trying to achieve today?” It sounds obvious, but it’s all too easy to get caught up aiming for weekly mileage targets for no better reason than because they sound impressive.

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Off-Season

No matter what mileage you run per week or how many races you have in a year, it’s helpful to have an off-season, and this is the time of year to consider how to get the most from this phase of training. This article lists some of the advantages of down-time, plus tips for getting the most from it.

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Training With Weight Vests

One thing I’m frequently asked about is how I incorporate weight vests into training, since it’s a tool I use for myself and for those I coach. It was especially key to my attempt at the 2013 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, where I ran 100-milers close together and had to get the most out of training while focusing on recovery.

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Races As Training Runs

Races can be very useful training arenas as alternatives to solo long runs. There’s certainly a tendency for ultrarunners to race a lot more frequently than the traditional spring and fall marathon, so what’s the best way to incorporate races for training purposes?