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Oct 6, 2015

My guest today Ian Sharman
He is part of a small group in the ultra community - he is both a successful coach with his own coaching company and he’s an elite ultra marathon runner. In 2013 he set the record holder for the fastest Grand Slam of Ultra Running. Since Jan 2014 he has won 6 ultra marathons. AND, he has also earned a top-10 finish all 6 times he has run the Western States 100. So far, in 2015, he has won both Rocky Racoon (which he also won in 2011) and the Leadville 100 (which he also won in 2013). 
I dig into Ian’s approaches and philosophies in coaching to learn:
  1. About his current athlete load and how he trains.
  2. His overall framework of training prescription - the macro-view (philosophy) to training for ultra marathons.
He also answers questions like:
  1. How and when, in a season, do you focus on long runs?
  2. How and when, in a season, do you prescribe high intensity workouts - what is the benefit relative to ultra performance?
  3. When, if ever, is cross training appropriate? What’s the benefit?
  4. There are many terms for training features, like ‘speed work’, tempo, striders, fartleks, 2 per day, back-to-back, etc. Do these play a roll in your training prescriptions - how/why/why not?
  5. What might a week of training look like 10 months from a key event (e.g., Leadville 100) vs 1 month out?
  6. Do you use a HR monitor with your athletes?
  7. What is your approach to monitoring or ensuring that training is balanced with the right amount of recovery; monitoring for over-fatigue or over-training? Recovery runs vs days off?
  8. Tapering; how do you approach tapering with your athletes?
We wrap up with two specific questions for the Ultra Clan
  1. What are the two most common mistakes that Ian sees in prior training plans when an athlete first comes to hire him as a coach?
  2. What three specific action items of advice would he give to us that we can make sure we have in place to optimize our training or racing today?