How to Train for the Leadville 100: Inside Ian Sharman’s Training Journal

Tweet Learning from the best has always been important to me. After all, what better way is there to learn than by studying the experts? “The best and fastest way to learn a sport is to watch and imitate a champion.” – Jean Claude Killy — Jason Fitzgerald (@JasonFitz1) August 22, 2016 When it comes to running, you can skyrocket your success by studying elite runners and top coaches. This is why I interview a new expert every month for Team Strength Running members. And it’s why I encourage runners to learn from top coaches by reading their books. No, of course you don’t need to run their workouts! But it gives us a window into the training that’s done for specific events. And a few weeks ago, I met Ian Sharman in the mountains of Colorado just two days before the start of the Leadville Trail 100. If you’re not familiar, the LT100 is one of the most difficult races in the world: It’s 100 miles long… enough said Runners compete in the oxygen-starved air at 9,200 – 12,600 feet altitude It includes some of Colorado’s gnarliest mountain terrain on tough single-track trails And Ian is a three-time winner of this grueling race in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Other notable accomplishments include: 3x Rocky Raccoon 100 champion (2016, 2015, 2011 and Course Record holder in 12 hours and 44 minutes) Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (Record holder) Montrail Ultracup races (2014 champion) 7x Western States Endurance Run 100 top 10 Altra Running-sponsored athlete Ian is also a full-time coach for runners of all abilities – from the beginner to those hoping to take him off the podium. After we met (and he officiated a beer mile), I asked if I could profile his training on Strength Running. Thankfully for us, he agreed! I hope you enjoy this – I know I am. Ian Sharman’s Leadville 100 Training This snapshot of training represents his peak training before he raced both the Western States 100 on June 25, 2016 and the Leadville Trail 100 on August 20, 2016. Since Ian raced two 100-mile races about two months apart, I chose to profile his training before both to see his “peak” (highest workload) training weeks. Week of April 18 – April 24, 2016 Monday: 53.8 miles  (double Boston Marathon course with 2:49 for second half) Tuesday – Thursday: OFF Friday: AM: 2.2mi weighted vest hike. PM: 8 miles – 8:56/mile Saturday: 4 miles @ 8:40 pace Sunday: 14.5 miles @ 10:57 pace Total Mileage: 82.7mi Total Elevation Gain: 4,264 feet Week of April 25 –  May 1, 2016 Monday: 2.3mi weighted vest hike Tuesday: AM: 2.3mi weighted vest hike + 6.3 miles @ 8:53 pace (hilly @ 787 feet elevation gain). PM: 10.1 miles with middle 7.5 @ Progression from 6:00 – 5:13/mile (progression on TM) Wednesday: 2.3mi weighted vest hike Thursday: 10.3 miles @ 8:53 pace. Stopped at gym for 1mi treadmill hike @ 20% incline Friday: AM: 6.8mi run/hike @ 10:13 pace – 1200 ft elevation … Continue reading How to Train for the Leadville 100: Inside Ian Sharman’s Training Journal