OUR RUNNERS' TESTIMONIALS
We're honored to have trained the following elite runners (as well as assisting many other professional runners), with some later joining our coaching team:
- Ellie Greenwood (Ultrarunning Magazine's Ultrarunner of the Decade, who later joined our coaching team)
- Magda Boulet (2015 Ultra Runner of the Year, USA Olympic Marathoner, who later joined our coaching team)
- Liza Howard (USA team member, 2x winner of Leadville Trail 100 and Rocky Raccoon 100, who later joined our coaching team)
- Patrick Reagan (CR and 3x winner of Javelina 100, CR at Brazos Bend 100, multiple-time USA team member)
- Beth Pascall (2021 Western States 100 Winner, Record holder at Lakeland 100, The Spine, Hoka Highland Fling and other events)
- Tyler Green (2021 2nd place at Western States 100, multiple mountain FKTs, including the Wonderland Trail)
- Damian Hall (GB team member for World Trail Championships, numerous FKTs and top 5 at UTMB
- Paddy O'Leary (2:20 marathoner, podiums and top 10s at many competitive trail ultras)
- Tom Owens (2019 UTMB 4th place and numerous mountain ultra and shorter wins)
- Ronnie Delzer (2017 USATF 100 Mile Trail Champion, previous Guinness World Record holder for 12hr treadmill run)
- Chris Wehan (Many wins, including Rio Del Lago 100 2013, 2:35 marathoner)
- Henrik Westerlin (Danish record holder for 100-mile trail run in 14:42 and Danish team member)
- Landie Greyling (Winner of the Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon, Ultra Trail Cape Town 100k and Salomon SkyRun 100k)
- Sondre Amdahl (Top 10 at UTMB and Transgrancanaria)
Here's what some of our clients have to say about us. Also, check out podcasts our coaches have been on to hear more from them (scroll to the bottom of the Media page for links).
"Ian played a key role in preparing me for the Trail World Championships in 2016. He taught me how to train smarter and more consistently, but at the same time keeping training varied and original. Drawing from his wealth of ultrarunning experience, Ian taught me how to race; how to react to problems early, how to pace myself and how to problem solve during a race. He also did an incredible job tailoring my training program around my less than conventional work schedule. Thanks to Ian I'm faster, more confident and more motivated than ever before."
- Beth Pascall, UK (2021 WS100 Champion)
"When I started working with Addie, I was a former road runner who had overtrained myself into the ground. I had a slew of autoimmune related health issues and attempted multiple times over a decade to get myself back into serious training, without success. Addie's individualized and science-based approach to training enabled me to not only get back into it, but to complete and win a local race series, the Gnar Slam, that I had failed to even complete on 3 prior attempts, even setting two master's course records along the way. I did not think it was possible to ever feel good about running again, but Addie believed in and supported me, offering mental skills training in addition to run training. Furthermore, she is just an all around kind and awesome person. I feel lucky to have had Addie helping me along this journey."
- Tara Carter, Colorado
"When looking for a running coach, I wanted someone who did more than simply send me plans through an online coaching platform. I needed someone who encouraged me, celebrated my victories (big or small), and listened to my concerns & worries. Hillary does all of that and more! She is such a beautiful mix of talent, compassion, dedication, and “girl power”! Hillary also coaches my wife. Even though we may not race the same distances anymore, Hillary knows exactly how to keep it a family affair no matter if it be training, crewing, pacing, racing….she gets it. I am so incredibly lucky to have her on my side guiding me throughout all of my adventures in life!"
- Jaime McDonald, North Carolina
"It has truly been one of the most rewarding adventures of my life having Matt as my coach. In my mid 40’s, married with two kids and a full time job, I’ve relied on Matt’s personalized advice to take my running to a whole new level. Under Matt’s wing, I’ve achieved PR’s in every distance from marathon to 100M. I’ve found myself running competitively and finishing in the top 10 or on the podium at races, something that was just a dream a few years ago. While striving for big goals on the trails, Matt always helps me to adapt training with ease when real life priorities take over, as so often happens. He understands and emphasizes balance, and his consistent, expert approach to all aspects of training gives me confidence when race day arrives."
- Will Swenson , Massachusetts
"Sean is a fantastic coach, full of enthusiasm for running, racing, and coaching. In one year, he coached me to a 16-minute road marathon PR and to the finish of my first trail 50K. The next year, he prepared me perfectly for my first 40-mile trail race finish. A trail 50-miler is next, and he’s coaching me toward that goal as well. In between these races, he has also helped me improve my 5k, 10k, and half marathon times. Having personalized coaching and a training plan fine-tuned for me has made all the difference! Thanks to Sean, I continue to make steady improvements and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead."
- Gina Guss, Oregon
"Ellie possesses every quality that you would like to see in a great coach: subject matter, organizational skills and an awesome personality. She is incredibly knowledgeable about running and training. As a novice runner I have tons of questions. Ellie’s answers are always directly addressing my question in an understandable precise way, supplemented with directions to further info/readings, and mixed with stories from personal experiences. In the 7 months I have been training with Ellie she has never missed or rescheduled a call, I am getting my plans for weeks in advance, and she is super flexible with scheduling changes. If I were as organized as Ellie I would have so much more time for running. In my interactions with Ellie I enjoy that she is passionate about running, infectiously positive and motivational, but at the same time not shy with providing constructive criticism and enforcing the discipline and diligence to successfully achieve my running goals."
- Dani Hochfellner, New York
“Liza was instrumental in helping me complete my first 50 mile run. I finished strong, happy and healthy. The training plan I received was thorough and Liza is always quick in responding to all my questions ranging from nutrition to pacing and even the mental hardships of an ultra. My endurance not only increased after Liza’s instruction, but my speed has improved significantly too as I saw my marathon time decreased by over an HOUR from last year. Liza’s knowledge, experience and passion for ultras has definitely given me an edge out there.”
- Tim Smith, Texas
"Addie is a great listener to, and observer of, the individual athlete. She never tries to fit my needs or interests into a pre-determined structure or program, but is constantly adjusting each session’s goals and objectives to my specific situation. Her holistic and adaptive approach to coaching has been a game-changer for me."
- Michael Ho, South Carolina
"Ian played an instrumental role in the preparation for my first 100 miler at the Western States Endurance Run and I could not have shown up more prepared and ready challenge myself. I am grateful for Ian's guidance and creativity in western specific workouts that made me feel confidant in my chances to win. I enjoyed the journey and would highly recommend working with Ian to reach your goals."
- Magda Boulet, California (2015 Ultra Runner of the Year and also one of our coaches)
"Since I began working with coach Hillary, I have become a much stronger, more confident and overall better athlete. This has shown in my performance improvement in trail race distances from the half marathon to the 100 miler. She has also introduced me to a new sport (cycling) and incorporates strength training into my training to be a stronger and healthier athlete. Additionally, she has taken the time to really understand me as a person, not just an athlete, by regularly checking in with me about running related things and on my personal life. I consider myself so lucky to work with someone as smart and talented as coach Hillary."
- Elise Mordos, New York
"Hiring Ian was one of the smartest things I have ever done running wise. I was finally able to finish Angeles Crest 100 and get the DNF monkey off my back. As a back-of-the-packer I was worried if I would ever be fast enough to finish this race. The training schedule Ian put together was spot on. He makes you work hard but also makes sure you reward yourself with proper rest and recovery. Thanks to Ian, I stood on the that start line feeling stronger than I ever have, and physically and mentally prepared to tackle the long miles and challenges that lay ahead. I will be definitely be working with Ian again as soon as I figure out what my next challenge is!"
- Junko Takeya, California
"Magda is an encouraging, smart, and creative coach. I feel humbled and gracious to have her guidance. When I first started working with Magda I was feeling pretty stagnant in my running and struggling to reach goals. She was extremely patient and never lost hope even when I faltered. Her knowledge of both the roads and trails was a perfect fit. Magda has a plethora of knowledge in training and nutrition. She’s the reason I made it to my second Olympic trials in the marathon and won my first national title at the USATF 50K trail champs. I should add that those races were very close together, again showing how fit she got me for both the roads and the trails! Lastly I just want to add she is an extremely lovely person. Her spirit will alone boost your running."
- Caitlin Smith, California
"In the short time I have been lucky to work with Ellie I have found her invaluable to work with! My training plan is pushing me towards my goals, I look forward to each week and it fits my busy life. I am running stronger and faster than I have before, maintaining consistency and staying strong. She is positive and supportive, all the while challenging you! When I have had a race, she has helped me execute a plan towards my overall goal. If I have questions or things that come up that week, she's readily available and I am very excited about the upcoming year!"
- Meredith Forbes, Minnesota
"I was so pleased to connect with coach Laye after listening to a podcast on Science of Ultra. Thanks for taking me on Matt because during training I always felt I was getting the latest scientific training techniques and you were always there watching over me. As a busy Pharmacist, Matt coached me to completing my first 100km at Ultra Trail Australia in a decent time. A few months later I then went on to PR in a sub 90minute half marathon which I didn’t think I could achieve. Thanks Matt I truly enjoyed the training and advice you prescribed.”
- Rob Bele, Australia
"Ellie has been a brilliant coach for me. She has taken me from almost nothing to a 100km mountain ultra. During a difficult time, she pushed me just enough, but was always encouraging and sympathetic. I could not have done it without her expert guidance and support. With a crazy work and family schedule, she has managed to expertly adapt and flex my training programme to work towards realistic, but exciting goals. I could not have done it without her expert guidance and support. Ellie has always taken the time to talk things through or respond to my questions, helping me to both choose the best races for me and prepare well for them. My only regret is that I didn't do this years ago! Thank you, Ellie."
- Kate Cooke, France
"I am a (very) slow, (very) recreational runner and the thought of working with a running coach seemed kind of ridiculous to me given my ability level. However, I took the leap and I could not be more grateful! I have the incredible privilege of working with Hillary Allen! When I work with Hillary, she makes me feel so capable and she treats me like an athlete! Yes, she is a rockstar and elite athlete and this may sound intimidating, but in this capacity she is a coach (and cheerleader) who values my goals and limitations and who does so with kindness and patience! She has worked with my busy schedule, is responsive to my questions and time constraints and has helped me literally shave minutes off my time. This is such well spent time and money! Hillary is helping me reach my goals and it’s so exciting!"
- Lisa R, Oregon
"I’m truly blessed to have the opportunity to be coached by a world-class athlete like Ellie Greenwood. In the six short months we have been working together, Ellie has literally transformed my training and conditioning and ensured I’ve stayed healthy. I love Ellie's personalized approach, that’s she’s available for questions when needed, and her focus on ensuring I’m healthy and able to be competitive. My training plan has included the right balance of harder speed and hill workouts, shorter recovery runs, long runs, and rest time plus a mix of pre and post run stretches and exercises to keep things in check. And while I’m always pushing for longer and harder runs (please, please let me run longer) she’s also able to keep my aspirations in check and focused on my goals. But the best part is having this incredible friendly, cheerful, colourful, and richly-experienced runner on my team."
- Scott Baldwin, BC, Canada
"Training with Matt’s guidance was such an amazing learning experience. Upon hiring a coach my intention was to become faster and more competitive. I enjoyed results and Matt helped me achieve them. He provided training schedules that were tailored not only to my goals, but also my life outside of running. Matt gave me the space to listen to my body and make the necessary adjustments. He was also great about asking questions, listening to my answers and guiding me through times when I needed some extra down time. This helped me to better understand myself as a runner and what I appreciated about running. Matt is a dedicated coach that brings a wealth of experience as a competitive runner with extensive knowledge of nutrition and exercise physiology. Whether you are new to running and need a mentor or a competitive runner wanting to compete at a higher level, Matt will expertly guide you towards your goals."
- Travis Weller, California
"It have been an incredible one and a half years experience with [Liza]. I think Liza had a tougher time with me as I live in Singapore. There's 15 hours time difference but she never fails to Skype me at my convenience. I really appreciate her dedication. There is an additional challenge in that my working days and hours are extremely dynamic and she manage to make the training plan works regardless. My stamina improved tremendously under her coaching. Marathon Des Sables was my first Multi Stage race. She resolves most of my uncertainty and nerves with ease. During the race, I was very calm and collected due to her guidance. Not to mention, constant cheers messages during the race helps a lot. I managed to complete the MDS injury free and in one piece, an ordeal that I once thought was impossible for me. If you are stepping into uncharted waters (or desert) such as MDS for the first time, getting a coach is a must. Liza is one of the best out there to guide you not only with experience and knowledge, but also constant emotional support. Her blog is also a delight filled with witty humors. Rock on Liza!"
- Thet Zaw Oo, Singapore
"When I contacted Magda about coaching me, I was coming back from my worst injury ever (a broken ankle and long healing process). I was essentially starting from scratch, but Magda was exceptional in her ability to gradually ease me back into a routine and help me regain my fitness and confidence. Before I knew it, I was registering for races again and feeling like myself—on the days it felt hard, she never let me give up. Magda is second-to-none not only when it comes to inspiration, but also in her deep knowledge about training, racing, and nutrition. What more could you want in a running coach? She’s the entire package."
- Erin Strout, Arizona
"Ellie has coached me now for over a year, through plenty of highs and the inevitable lows. I feel stronger not only as a runner but as a sportsman and a person. A good running coach is about more than the knowledge they possess of their sport, although this is vital and Ellie comes with tremendous credentials in this area. It is about instilling confidence in their runners, keeping their spirits high when they bump up against an unexpected setback, recognising that life often intervenes with the best-laid-plans, and helping them chart the right course to their goals while never passing judgement on how mad those might be! Ellie is such an effective coach, as well as a total pleasure to work with, because she combine all these elements so well. It feels like less of a coaching relationship and more a partnership."
- Chris McCarthy, UK
"Ellie Greenwood is your perfect coach - her personable, yet professional style should drive anyone to perform better and have more fun while doing so. Her training plans are well tailored and challenging and she takes the time to frequently adapting them to one's schedules. Ellie's advice on anything related to running is concise and reflects her passion for the sport. She is extremely responsive despite her own busy schedule as ultrarunning poster girl. Ellie has coached me for the past 12 month with my goal of running my first 50–miler in under 8.5 hours. I achieved this goal injury free and I am as fired up about ultrarunning as I have ever been."
- Claude Zellweger, California
“I used to think that unless you’re an elite athlete, aiming to win the Olympics, there’s no point in getting a running coach because coaches are all about hard work and no fun. Well, I was wrong! Ellie proved to be the perfect match for me as a coach and now I have a hard time seeing myself tackle new challenges without her guidance. With her fun and relaxed approach to running she’s got me doing some pretty intense workouts that I would have never even attempted on my own. I’ve recently completed my biggest challenge to date, a six-day stage race in the Rockies, and not only that I lined up at the start line feeling ready for the challenge but I also had an incredibly strong race and I finished happy and injury free! Because of Ellie’s coaching I’ve become a stronger, faster and wiser runner and I haven’t stopped having fun for a second.”
- Miruna Toma, BC, Canada
"After not achieving my goal of running sub 24 hours at Rocky Raccoon 100 in 2014, I knew I needed a fresh training plan and better guidance. I figured who better to go to than the person that owns the record at Rocky Raccoon 100, Ian Sharman. Ian has taken my running to new heights and helped me become a smarter, more efficient, and all-around better runner. I was living in Lyon, France for work when I began working with Ian and he was more than happy to work around my work and travel schedule. He provides great work outs that are personalized to fit you, excellent race day planning, and is willing to listen to you to make any changes that you want to make to your training plan. With Ian's coaching I was able to achieve my goal of sub 24 hours at Rocky Raccoon 100 2015, by finishing in 22 hours and 14 mins."
- Ryan Williams, Texas
"My running and racing have improved immensely under Ellie's coaching. She pushes me to work harder than I would have thought possible, but she also focuses on keeping the training fun so I don't risk injury or burnout. Ellie has helped me train for races that were well outside of my previous running experience, preparing me well enough that I got to shift my race goals from 'can I finish?' to 'how fast?'"
- Mallory Richard, Manitoba, Canada
"From the beginning of coaching, Ellie has set herself apart as a wonderful coach and seasoned runner. Ellie also has the highest regard, care and desire to help advance my running. She pushes me to my limit and is always sensitive to “life” issues that always unexpectedly creep up. Running has always been fun while training with Ellie and when there are those infrequent “lows” she is able to share a good perspective with me that always re-ignites my love for running.
- Jackie Walsh, Hong Kong
"Ian Sharman – brother, you are the bomb as a coach and person. When we started working together about 4-5 months ago I had set a huge goal to run and finish the Georgia Death Race - 75 ish miles and 42,000 feet of elevation change. To that point I had never done anything except one 50 miler that would be considered flat compared to the GDR. You evaluated where I was and gave me a plan to get me through that goal. It was very difficult and we hit some speed bumps along the way but you were always there to listen and help. You prescribed specific sessions for that specific challenge and it worked! It was one of the most difficult things that I have done - especially at 51 years old - but I did it and finished and qualified for Western States! It is all due to your coaching, mentoring and training. You are the best in the business. You have inspired me to push to new limits and have shown me the way. Your coaching was spot on and I know where the weaknesses are and how to fix them for the next adventure. Thank you, I could not have done this without you!"
- Rob Tucker, Florida
"For seven years, I was a somewhat frustrated and injury-prone back-of-the-pack runner. Then, I started working with Sean. In the first eight months, I set personal best times at the marathon, 50 mile, 100k, and 12-hour races, and a personal course record at the Peachtree 10km, all at age 53. I finally qualified for the Boston Marathon and Western States 100 Mile Run, and gained the confidence to run my first 100-miler which I just finished, still running strong after 90 miles. I get occasional age-group awards and even won a 12-hour race. I have been injury-free and most importantly, I’m having fun!"
- Russ Johnson, Georgia
"I owe my career as a runner to Coach Magdalena Boulet. Magda transformed me from an injury prone collegiate runner to a national champion. Magda developed a custom plan to help me overcome my weaknesses and build my strengths as an athlete - she worked relentlessly to help me get the best out of myself. With her background in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, Magda has a wealth of knowledge that makes her a world class coach. And while her approach to training is based on science, it’s truly her creativity and ability to problem solve that makes her so wonderful to work with. Magda is the most positive person that I know, and her energy is contagious. She has given me the tools physically and mentally to reach my potential. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Magda. Under Magda’s tutelage, my love for running grew and I achieved performances that were beyond my dreams as a young runner."
- Chelsea Sodaro, California
"If you have ever thought, "Should I hire an online coach?", the answer is "yes'". Especially if the coach is Ian Sharman. After just a few months of coaching, I began setting PRs at all distances, on trail and on road. I attribute these improvements to Ian's ability as a coach. I began working with Ian as I was moving from hilly Atlanta to flat Chicago. I questioned my ability to train for hilly trail races in an urban environment, but Ian's experience training for ultras while living in London has been invaluable. The wide variety of workouts push me physically and mentally, but with plenty of easy running in the mix I have become faster and stronger without injury (which I have been plagued with in the past). Ian is very easy to talk to, responds amazingly quick to my email questions, and adjusts my schedule for travel or last minute additions to the race calendar. We have developed a coaching relationship as good as any local coach can offer. I strongly recommend using Ian long-term as the coaching has only gotten better over time as he has gotten to know me and my running. Although he has given me the knowledge to do this on my own, I can't imagine a scenario when I would stop using Ian as a coach. Now, onwards to that 100 mile buckle. Thanks Ian!"
- Amanda Tichacek, Illinois
"I had not been formally coached in many years so when I started looking for a coach to take my running to the next level I was worried I would be reluctant to give any coach my full trust. I initially reached out to Hillary after feeling like I got to know her through her book. Hillary was quick to return my message, and it was apparent from our first conversation that she deserved my complete trust. She has been very diligent in getting to know me as an athlete and a person. Her coaching style is very positive and encouraging. I am very proud of our accomplishments together so far, and I look forward to many more seasons of working together."
- Sophie McDonald, North Carolina
"I started working with Ian for coaching advice in the months leading up to Comrades 2014. As an experienced ultra runner I knew that I had the basics in my training dialed but I was keen to refine my workouts and preparation in order to ensure I was 100% prepared for such a competitive race. No doubt it was the advice that Ian gave me on key workouts, training volume and specificity as well as how to run races in the lead up to Comrades that helped me reach the peak condition required for my win in South Africa."
- Ellie Greenwood, BC, Canada (2014 Champion at Comrades and the 100k World Championship, also one of our coaches)
"When I got into Western States I knew I wanted to make the most of beating the odds to get in. I finished a prior 100 mile race but didn’t train in a focused way because I did it on my own. So I sought out a coach who had the ultrarunning credentials and course knowledge to maximize the chances for a sub-24 silver buckle. There are other coaches out there including some with elite resumes but I liked that Ian’s primary business is coaching. Further I thought Ian had appreciation for people without the ability to dedicate every free hour to running given his prior background as an economist. Ian proved to be great choice as he designed a doable training schedule within the confines of a busy schedule and living in New York City. Everyone who aspires to push their running to another level should consider a coach to give their training plan more thoughtful design and an unbiased sounding board. Doing so with an experienced and world class runner like Ian is an even better choice for peak performance. The ultimate measure of success is achieving goals. My goal was a silver buckle finish which I earned with a 23:59:18. I’ve continued to work with Ian after Western States to capitalize on my fitness level and do some faster racing. In fact, I lowered my marathon PR by 12 minutes from 10 years ago to a 2:59:30 months after finishing in Auburn. I’m looking forward to more miles of training with him and his team."
- Ivan Zinn, New York City
"Ellie coached me from my first ultra to a successful Comrades Marathon where I finished strong and achieved fourth place in my age-group. Ellie inspired me to work hard and to push my limits. At the same time, her customized training plan with regular updates, respected my developing abilities. With Ellie's encouragement I built strength and endurance, remained injury-free, and felt great throughout At the Comrades start, I felt confident, knowing that I had trained as well as I possibly could. Ellie's guidance on pacing and race tactics was also key to making the race an amazing experience. I am looking forward to ongoing coaching with Ellie and I'm excited by the prospect of working on some new goals. Ellie makes me feel that almost anything is possible."
- Angela Huxham, BC, Canada
"I have worked with Ian for one and half years, and my running has improved a lot as a result of our cooperation. Ian has a lot of knowledge about ultra running, and it has been very helpful for me to discuss training, race nutrition, race strategy and long term planning of races and recovery. Ian is very friendly and easy to talk to. The training plans that he makes for me are very good and I feel that they are customized for my needs and my life situation. I can highly recommend Ian as a coach!"
- Sondre Amdahl, Norway (2014 UTMB 7th place and Transgrancanaria 6th place)
"It was a pleasure to work with Ian. His knowledge and experience, not just with Western States, but with ultra running in general gave me tremendous confidence in my plan and allowed me to follow it without question. The flexibility he had in working around my “real” life to get me in shape for the race was great. I was hopeful that my training for the climbing was going to be enough, but once I was on the course I was blown away by how well I was prepared for the climbing given I have no hills to train on. My recovery post race has been nothing short of miraculous. I came through training for the course and didn’t once think of it as a chore or something I dreaded doing and even post race I find myself continuing to run and follow much of the plan that Ian put in place for me leading up to the race. I am already planning my next racing goal and wouldn’t think of going for it without having Ian as a coach. I have a renewed sense of hope that my PR’s are only going to get better even as I get older."
- Larry Roberts, Indiana
"Ian is easily one of the sharpest and most skilled ultra runners on the scene today. His boundless knowledge, perceptive analysis, and in-the-trenches experience were instrumental in my completion of Ultra Trail Mt Fuji, Verbier X-Alpine, the Paris/Prague/Riga Marathons, the Transalpine-Run, and the Jungle Marathon. It was an incredibly busy and successful year, and I achieved even greater heights through Ian’s techniques."
- Michael Pawloski, Germany
"When I found myself trying to complete a race series that concluded with a 100-miler, 50-miler, and 100k in a ten-week span, I knew I needed help. Not only was I concerned with finishing the races, but I wanted to do so uninjured. Ian developed a training schedule that not only considered my goal races, but also took into account other life events. He understood that life sometimes gets in the way of running and would work with me to adjust my schedule when needed. He included speedwork in my workouts, but in a way that it was actually enjoyable for someone like me who usually avoids it.
Ian's enthusiasm is contagious and he truly does care about his clients. He'd always check in with me before a race to provide encouragement and would often follow up to see how things went. His down-to-earth personality made it easy to ask him questions and his responses were always timely and insightful."
- Cherry Grassi, Virginia
"After over a year of frustrating injuries, I was ready to throw in the towel on ultra-running. I decided to hire a coach as a final attempt at sticking with the sport, and now I wish that I had hired Ian years ago! After only a few months of working with him, I am now running injury free, as well as faster and stronger than ever before. I never dreamed that I would run a Boston Qualifier with over 15 minutes to spare and set a solid CR at a local 50k trail race... as training runs! I can't wait to test my new legs out at upcoming "goal" races. The sky is the limit with Ian's coaching!"
- Lisa Hughey, California (2014 Miwok 100k Champion and 131 miles in her first 24hr race)
"I have trained myself to run and race for the past 10 years with decent results. However in 2013 I found my running/racing was starting to get stale, in 2014 I found that I was slowing down, losing my love for running and it was feeling like work. This January I decided I needed a change and hired Ellie as my coach. Since then, I am getting my speed back, I can't wait to get up in the morning to run and Ellie keeps the training fun and adapts the training to my lifestyle. The most notable is Ellie prepared me for the World 24 Hour Championships where I PB'd my 100 mile by an hour and five minutes, PB'd the 24 Hour by almost four kms, with a total distance of 192.5kms placing me 2nd female in Canada and I love our sport again."
- Dennene Huntley, Canada
"Sharman Ultra Coaching helped me attain the significant milestone in my athletic career, running the Tahoe Rim Trail 100. Ian's approach was entirely professional making my goal feel equally important as a first time participant to that of the elite athletes he also coaches. Ian gave me a simply daily plan that was structured to fit within the confines of my busy life but demanding enough to ensure success. Our phone conversations colored in detail for race strategy, mental training, and countless other intangibles that were crucial to ultimately meeting my goal. These elements, combined with Ian and Ellie's remarkable talent and accomplishments, create a remarkable organization for helping anyone achieve their running goals."
- Jeff Brown, California
"I have been working with Ian for over two years now and cannot recommend the services more highly having taken me from a regular half marathoner to completing my first 50 miler. There are a variety of factors that set it apart from other coaching services in my experience: punctionality and consistency of programme updates, variety of training sessions, helpful advice around goal setting, technical advice, attention to detail, race experience and in particular heavily tailored and flexible training plans. Furthermore whilst books and magazines may cover many of the above, I do not believe they would have provided me with the level of consistency, improvements or (more importantly) enjoyment that I have experienced. Many thanks for all of the hard work!"
- Dominic Smallwood, UK
"I am a different runner than I was 6 months ago! It is shocking and feels amazing :) Ian has an intelligent, methodical and intuitive approach to coaching. I now have purpose to every single run. Ian's coaching has made me feel that the sky is the limit!"
- Adam Gothelf, California
“Liza has been coaching me for about 4 months. In that time I have completed my first and second hundred milers. When we started working together, Liza was able to assess where I was and put together a program that capitalized on my current fitness level and focused my efforts toward my next event. The plan Liza provided was balanced and allowed for recovery and kept me challenged. After completing my first 100 Liza adapted my training plan to allow for recovery with an eye toward the next race 7 weeks away. Due to this I was able to successfully finish my second 100 coming in under 22 hours. I feel confident that the experience Liza brings to the table will allow her to be successful with any client training for any goal.”
- Jake Freed, US (Bear 100 mile and Javelina 100 mile finisher)
"Under Ian's guidance my running has improved beyond recognition and I have achieved goals I never previously thought possible. His structured but reactive approach has improved not only my simple running ability but also my mental focus and race strategy. I am proud to have achieved all my running goals in the last year or so including finishes in races such as Thames 184 and Apocalypse 100 where the finish rate was less than 25%. Ian's detailed guidance and very specific training plans played a big part in this."
- Nick Reed, UK
"As a somewhat experienced and fast road and short mountain trail runner I was struggling with longer distances, often bonking hard in more difficult 40/50km trail races. I was looking for a coach who would safely integrate more milage and longer runs in my training while also trying to maintain my speed. After 6 months working with Ian and thanks to his tailor-made and well structured training plans my endurance has increased a lot. Also Ian is very responsive to changing the training plan according to my life, work or travel schedule and is always answering any questions very quickly. Ian has a lot of experience in Ultra running so just discussing pacing, race strategy, nutrition and season planning has been very beneficial to me. I certainly can highly recommend Ian and look forward next year with him as my coach!"
- Alex Sass, Switzerland
"When I signed up for the Tahoe 200, I knew I needed a mentor with a serious knowledge of ultrarunning. Ian Sharman is that mentor. We worked together from Boston through Tahoe with a custom training plan and lots of Q&A every step of the way to the starting line. My mental approach of how to race has significantly changed thanks to Ian and I feel I am now a smarter and happier runner because of him. You are in very good hands under his professional guidance and should consider yourself lucky if you are able to call him your coach!"
- Stephen England, New York (Tahoe 200 finisher)
"Ian is as down to earth as they come - and it is with thanks to Ian and his balanced training plan and direct support - I have completed faster road races, trail runs and most recently the 180 km Olympian race in Greece. I am without a doubt in the best shape I have ever been – and when it comes to my mental strength I got a lot to thank Ian for. I cannot wait to cross more finish lines with Ian as my coach - as I know he will always push me that bit further to get me there.”
- Anja Hav Thomsen, Dubai
"I have had the pleasure of being coached by Magda for over a decade. She completely transformed the way I thought about training and racing, improving my performances while reinvigorating my passion for the sport at the same time. She has an incredible ability to use her years of training and coaching experience to guide the training process while being aware of what resonates and works for me as an individual. I could not imagine working with anyone else."
- Chris Chavez, California
"I was looking for someone with great Ultra credentials but could also coach any distance and multi days should my focus ever change. I also needed someone who knows both European and US scenes so Ian was an excellent fit. He's a lot of fun and adaptable and I'm really benefitting from his vast experience."
- Charmaine Horsfall, UK
"Apart from new personal bests at every distance from 10K to 50K, working with Ian the past year has helped me develop a toolbox of workouts, each with a specific purpose. From regular talks I have gotten to bounce ideas that have let me test my limits, resulting in an overall increase in running-intuition and closer to a mileage/intensity sweetspot-feeling. I can warmly recomend working with Ian."
- Kristoffer Virta, Sweden
"Not only is Ian an extremely accomplished runner he is also an amazing coach! I started working with him as I was beginning training for my second 50 miler. In just a few months I noticed huge improvements in both my hill-climbing and endurance. For the first time I showed up at a starting line uninjured as well as feeling well trained and prepared for the course! I had a great race - his training and race day tips proved to be invaluable. Ian is very accommodating whenever I need to change my schedule and always quick to respond to any questions. I look forward to continuing working with him as he helps me achieve my running goals."
- Jessi Goldstein, California
"When I first contacted Ian regarding coaching, I had set myself the challenging goal of becoming the 1st ever Brit to finish in the Top 10 of the Marathon des Sables. Ian created a quality structured MdS-specific training plan for me that still had the flexibility to fit with my life of having a busy job and a family with 2 very young kids. Ian was very professional in his approach and it was great benefiting from his experience of racing at the top level. With his help I hit my target finishing 10th at the 2013 MdS! Thanks!"
- Danny Kendall, UK
"Being primarily a middle distance runner, though I had run some marathons many years ago, I realized I needed competent advice and coaching if I was going to succeed in my first ultra marathon. Ian came highly recommended from one of the runners who had inspired me to extend myself and try this. He has been everything I not only expected but hoped for. He managed to tailor a plan to transition me from miler to ultra runner, adjusting it as he learned my strengths and weaknesses, and just as importantly helped me through the ups and downs of training and changed my mindset to adapt to the different world of ultra running. The results at my race were even better than I expected but Ian kept telling me I could do that."
- George Sanders, Pennsylvania (age 66!)
"Hillary Allen is equal parts inspiration and brass tacks. She combines these traits and skills to create a responsive and empowering coaching technique. Specifically, since it is a strong motivator for me, I have appreciated the way in which HIllary has supported strategies to continue incorporating novelty and adventure into my training. This resulted in highlighting the importance of scheduling events that bring personal excitement and motivation. For me this has included organized races as part of my training strategy and schedule.
Hillary also seems to clearly understand the importance of awareness related to the many negative blackholes that can interfere with training. When I had to pull back at one point during my training due to extended exertion, I felt fully supported in re-centering around my recovery-realistic goals. This support allowed me to build back to a sustainable running practice. The immediate situation was supported by Hillary via recommendations and referrals to improve my nutrition, body mechanics, cross training etc. This was balanced with encouragement to keep my eye on the long term goal of fitness sustainability. This phase cemented my perception that I could share everything openly with Hillary - from the existential discussions about motivation and success, to the nitty-gritty of body ailments and the plethora of logistics inherent in the sport.
Hillary truly possesses the traits of an authentically stellar coach. For anyone who would benefit from a guide, teacher, listener, model of 'practicing what you coach' you need to look no further."
- Tim M, Illinois
"Ian is a fantastic coach! I originally contacted Ian because I was looking for a coach to help me train for the TDS race. I knew that I needed professional guidance to tackle a 75 mile race in the Alps. On paper Ian seemed like a great fit, and he was even better than I had imagined. Ian is able to strike that perfect balance between pushing really hard, but not too hard. I am such a better runner than I was just 8 months ago--in climbing, in descending, in my endurance and in my base speed--and that is due to his coaching. I was able to achieve my goal and finish the TDS, a race which only 60% of women completed, and I know that he is the main reason for this. Ian is also available at seemingly all hours by email and is real treasure trove of general information about ultrarunning. I have been so happy with his coaching that, even though the TDS is over, I'm still keeping him as coach - I just can't imagine training without his guidance now!"
- Olivia Rissland, Massachusetts
"I had never used a coach before I contacted Sharman Ultra, my main goal was to get the most out of my weekly training hours. The program has been flexible and it has been easy to get it to fit in a hectic work/family life. It has also been very motivating getting new types of training sessions. My program was build up towards both long trail ultras and marathons, I have improved my running in both distances and setting a PB in the marathon distance. Ian has a the knowledge, the personality and everything it takes to be a great coach and I would recommend using him to anyone."
- Kristian Walbom, Norway
"Prior to hiring Ian, I was leery of getting an online running coach, but I took a leap of faith. I wanted a customized plan and personal feedback to enable me to reach my running goals; Ian's coaching significantly exceeded my expectations. In the 10 months Ian has been my coach, I have set PRs at every distance I've run, from 5k to 50 miles. Ian has been incredibly accommodating to my hectic life and modifying my training plan as necessary. He's patient, knowledgeable, encouraging, and very easy to talk to. I could not ask for anything more from a coach and I recommend him to anyone interested in exploring their personal running potential."
- Katrina Mumaw, Nevada
“I had never worked with a coach prior to meeting Ian. However since I was planning on running my first 50 mile ultra race I thought I should seek some professional help. Ian has been just that, very professional but still easy to talk to. Not only has he helped me train for the ultra distance but got me to go 2:49 in a road marathon! I will be using Ian’s services in the future as I continue to try and achieve my running goals.”
- Giles Healey, California
“When I asked Ian if he'd coach me 6 months ago, I expected he could help me with both speed and distance. With a half marathon PR and a nearly 30 minute improvement in my marathon time (easily hitting my BQ target) he's proven that. What I didn't expect, and was delighted to receive, was a high degree of responsiveness and support from someone competing at his level. I'm looking forward to cracking the 100 mile distance next with his guidance :)”
- Rich Prest, Australia
"Let the stats of just a couple of races I did be the evidence of the positive effect Ian’s coaching have had on my running…marathon PB 2h46m, 24hr event in India, 200.1K and longest distance on Indian soil, Western States 100 20h46m. I trained and raced more than ever at the age 36-37. I beat my marathon PB on the way to completing my first 24hr event and 100 miler, something I doubt I could have achieved successfully without the detailed and always quick and timely input from Ian. Building on my strengths, weaknesses and my daily work/travel schedule, Ian made sure I met my challenging training targets and raced well without injuring myself. Now, knowing how to apply specificity in training, knowing the impact of emphasis on quality over quantity and knowing how to plan races wisely I feel confident that I will benefit from this coaching investment in the years to come with continued enjoyable training sessions and numerous great racing experiences!"
- Henrik Westerlin, India/Denmark
"I realized today that I am running 'easy' at a pace that was inconceivable months ago thanks to speed work. Like 2 to 4 minutes faster per mile! Insane, but awesome. Thanks to Ian for pushing me. I dare any of you to sign up and see what happens."
- Lisa Hatley-Nasr, Oregon
"I’m a mid-packer without as much time to train as I might like given life’s other demands. But with Ian’s guidance and the steady progress his training plans brought me, I not only made it to the starting line of my first 100 miler feeling well prepared, but the finish line in good shape, and enjoyed the entire adventure tremendously. I was a bit hesitant about signing up with a world class runner as a coach because my unpredictable schedule can interfere with training plans, but Ian regularly made adjustments to my training schedule whenever needed. I never would have finished my ultra without his help. He’s not only a world class runner, he’s a world class coach! Thanks, Ian."
- Rob Dell Angelo, California
"Ian is very attentive and his coaching was customized to my goals and upcoming races. Everything came very detailed and Ian was always available to communicate with me, even during races if I needed him. Bottom line, he took my ability to a whole new level."
- Todd Shipman, California
"I started working with Ian after I had been running for 15 years. At the point I met Ian I was overcoming injury and suffering from symptoms of over training. My times at all distances had dropped, and I was feeling exhausted. Within a few months of being coached by Ian I was racing 10k's and half marathons and feeling great. My focus race was a trail 50 miler. I came in well under my goal time. Most important, I was injury free. While Ian has all the expertise of an elite athlete, he can also relate to mere mortals and the daily challenges they have in their lives. Ian helped me achieve my goal while maintaining my sanity in a busy life of work and family."
- Janet Rosenthal, Oregon
"I have seen amazing progress in my ultra performances in the 7 months working with Ian: From middle of the pack results to a 10 hour 20 minute PB at the 95 mile West Highland Way race in Scotland, and a 1st place (131 miles) in my first 24 hour trail event. Can't wait for the year ahead! Many thanks, Ian."
- John Duncan, Scotland
"Sean coached me starting from 15-mile weeks to being able to complete 110 miles in 24 hours in just 8 short weeks. Sean’s coaching style is very effective. First he is a very accomplished runner who has clearly dedicated his life to fitness and running, which allows Sean to relate to runners. Sean has a low pressure coaching style where he works with you to tailor custom workouts for the individual and the race. He demonstrated this to me by coaching me on three very different running events. Overall, Sean is a motivational coach who is down to earth and I would highly recommend Sean based on my experience and I look forward to having Sean help me the next time I get over my head."
- Rob Kapfer, New York
"Coach Sharman's support was essential to a solid 2015 season, including wins at the Peak 50 in Vermont and Beaverhead 100k in Idaho and podiums at the Georgia Death Race and Wasatch 100 (20:42). Ian's workouts helped my legs prepare for the pounding of a 100-miler while keeping things fresh and fun on a daily basis. His guidance in our conversations was just as essential, and I went into my goal race feeling confident and ready to run with the wisdom and patience that he displays regularly in his own high finishes. Thanks for a great season, Ian!"
- Travis Macy, Colorado
"It was a no brainer to chose the current Grand Slam record holder as my coach when I decided to take on the Grand Slam myself in 2015. Ian took me from running four 100 milers total, to running four 100 milers over an 11 week period. Ian used many different techniques to help this flat lander get the vertical running and hiking required to take on the mountainous terrain of Western States, Vermont, Leadville and the Wasatch Front. Crossing the finish line at Wasatch and becoming a Grand Slammer was absolutely euphoric! I have no doubt that the training plan given leading up to Western States as well as the guidance between the races was one of the main reasons I was fortunate enough to complete the journey."
- Darren Christiansen, Texas
"Running is my thing and some would say it's my obsession... I took up the sport in 2001 after giving up smoking and built up to marathon distance with no real plan or training programme. After years of trying to get a sub 4hr marathon I took the plunge and took on Sharman Ultra to coach me. Within four months I had smashed out a 3:46 marathon and started ultra marathon training. Thanks to Ian's help over the past three years I've now completed 7 x 100 milers including the WSER100 and the U.K. Grand Slam of hundreds. Throughout the process I have gained such great knowledge and tips whilst maintaining focus and staying injury free and would recommend that everyone considers the benefits of taking on a professional coach."
- Paul Reader, UK
"When I decided I wanted to run ultra marathon's I knew I needed a coach. After hearing several podcasts Ian had done I felt like he would be the best fit for me. Ian offers an extremely professional coaching service, and a wealth of ultra running knowledge to tap into. He will give you a workload that you can handle, but will also challenge you, and set you up to achieve your goals. With Ian's help I was able to run two 50K and one 50 mile ultra's in 2015, and place in the top three in all of them."
- Gabe Leatherwood, Texas
"Ian was my coach for almost 2 years. I am not an elite runners by definition. I am a busy husband and father of three (crazy hours at work with lots of night shifts). I try very hard to squeeze my runs during my busy life. I live in flat part of Canada. During those two years, I had my peace of mind because I felt he is taking care of my fitness, injury prevention and endurance. He constantly updated and changed my schedule based on my reports. I really felt that my schedule was base on ONE to ONE coaching. He trained me for very tough races including three 100 milers (Bighorn 100, UTMB and UTMF). I have completed all of them very strong and I am so thankful for that. Thanks Ian for all your support and help."
- Mir Shafiee, Canada
"Ellie has been my coach for eight months and in that time my running performances have improved beyond what I would have thought possible a year ago. Within just six weeks of being coached by Ellie, my half marathon time improved by three and a half minutes and I have continued to improve ever since. Ellie always manages to get me race ready despite my less than ideal race schedule (try having a road half marathon, a 50K, a VK, and a 12K trail race all within 8 weeks) all while ensuring I have fun along the way. Ellie is a true asset to any runner looking to improve. I can't imagine being coached by anyone else!"
- Kim Collier, Alberta, Canada
"After years of over training, under training and perennial injury I realized I needed help. When I started working with Ellie, I was struggling with painful plantar fasciitis. Excellent coaching and advice helped me train over the next 6 months for 50K and 50M races. Before each race, I was well trained, confident and approaching the race with a well thought out race plan. I recently took over 30 minutes off my 50M time at TNF California. The training plan was easy to follow and worked seamlessly into my work schedule. I am also now running completely pain free. Ellie also adapted my training for someone living in flatland with goals of racing mountains."
- Upton Bowden, Michigan