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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > December 2018 > THE ART OF RECOVERY

THE ART OF RECOVERY

ELITE ULTRARUNNER AND ONLINE COACH IAN SHARMAN REVEALS THE SECRETS TO INJURY-FREE RUNNING

US-based Brit Ian Sharman is firmly in the top echelon of the world’s best ultrarunners.

The pro athlete has twice won Leadville 100, finished in the top 10 of Western States 100 seven consecutive times and set a record for the fastest 100 miles on a trail. Ian’s also been an online coach (sharmanultra.com) since 2010. So what’s the biggest single training adjustment he makes when he starts working with a runner?

It’s not long runs, speed or hill sessions, or even strength workouts – though they’re all important of course. Instead, often the biggest factor in improving his runners’ performances doesn’t involve running at all. Instead, he believes a greater focus on recovery is essential. Without it, runners are likely to become overtrained or pick up far more injuries.

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About Men's Running

I never had any desire to run a marathon. Yes, I watched it religiously every year from 1984 when Charlie Spedding set the then-English record and marveled at the speeds. But it didn’t hold any appeal for me. I was a track runner, a thoroughbred, an out-and-out speed merchant; the thought of running 26 miles consecutively, back-to-back, was just too monstrous a thought. And then I started working in running and I realised that, for 99% of the population, running IS marathons. No one ever says ‘ah, you’re a runner, what’s your 1500metre time?’. The first question anyone asks is ‘have you run a marathon?’. Fortunately, I’m now in the happy position to say yes. Several in fact. And more half marathons than I can actually remember. But running a marathon still isn’t easy. If it was, more people would have done it. It takes training, and work, and effort and a resilient mindset that says ‘I’m not going to give up on this journey’. In this special issue, we reveal the secrets, the highs and lows and the training that can get you round a marathon. There’s something here for everyone, even if you’re an experienced marathoner. As Emil Zatopek famously said: “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”