A Guide to Marathon Awesomeness

Something I made for Ben's birthday to help him in his next marathon.

Note this is not actually "The" Ian Sharman. 


By Ian Sharman

Hi I’m Ian Sharman, but you can call be Sir Awesomealot. You may remember me from such classics as “Sir Awesomeness slays the Racoon”, “Ian Sharmanates the Luton 3” and my less known classic “When in Rome…”

I’m here today to show you how to achieve Marathon greatness by staying focused and avoiding the common mistakes made by your peers. Let me tell you, I’ve seen some dicks in my time.

I will then will give you a mile by mile guide of how to run a sub 2.50 marathon, and I should know, I have run over 27 of them, often in a silly costume.

I shall conclude by mocking your efforts whatever the outcome.

Firstly, here are some common pit-falls that have beset some of your Serpie Colleagues.

Bampfishing – Not being able to compete in the marathon because of a faulty boiler at home. Ensure all of your plumbing is insured and serviced within 2 months of marathon day.

Taylording – Banging on and on about how you are going win, magnified by power of 10 stalking only to be overtaken by a girl on race day.  Avoid power of 10, it’s gay.

Copasing (Level 1) – Setting out too fast and blowing up. One minute you look as if you are miles ahead and the next you are being trodden on my the competition.

Copasing (Level 2) – Going the wrong way. This is almost impossible in a busy city road marathon but it has been known to happen 3 times in the UK in the past few years. To the same guy. What are the odds?

Copasing (Meltdown) – A combination of Level 1 and Level 2 Copasing result in a meltdown where you have to get escorted from the course on a stretcher. The photos of this disaster will be uploaded onto Facebook and make you look like an idiot forever.

Theoing – Shoes generally come in two varieties; Left and Right. The way to tell is to place them side by side on the ground. They should curve toward each other. If they curve in the same direction then you have made a mistake. Remember to take one of each to the race, preferable both being the same brand.

Wilcoxing – Generally running like a twat. Avoid

Paynusing – Running around with a headband because you have girl’s hair.

Westawaying – Slightly stupider than a Theoing, turning up to the event without any shoes to run in.

Braleying – Demanding your own private portloo in someone’s house. This just eats into your time and you have to remember their address to send them an apology.

Hooing – Deciding after 20 miles that you can’t be arsed anymore and getting a cab. Call Argent Taxi’s on 01789 294436 

Centibelling – Wear comfy shoes to avoid the agony of de feat. Don’t start off too fast, it will be better in the long run, don’t create a scene in the Shakespeare marathon or you may be bard.

The Marathon*

OK, obviously I don’t mean “The” Marathon, that one is way too hard for you.  Perhaps if you run this marathon well you may be able to tackle “The” Marathon. Maybe.

OK, you are at the start line. It looks busy doesn’t it? These people around you are the enemy. They are to be destroyed at all costs. Psyche out your opposition early on by;

  • Doing some really weird stretches that no one has ever seen before
  • Putting your Garmin around your ankle
  • Going up to people and saying “well obviously you know who I am, what is your name?”
  • Gregorian Chanting

First few miles – You should take these easy, remember the test is whether you can hold a conversation. Try this – run alongside another runner and say “yes I am well trained for this event, I intend to take this easy and jog 2.45 averaging 6.20 minute miles with my heart rate averaging 120 beats per minute and my cadence staying at 90 so to prove my awesomeness”. If you can say all that without struggling then you have got the correct pace. Also they will get bored and run off too fast and will blow up. More meat for later…

Mile 5 – You should be soaking up the occasion. The crowd will be full of useful wisdom such as “keep going”. I can’t imagine being able to run without being reminded of that every 36 seconds. Also if you are wearing your Serpie top you will no doubt come across many people shouting “Do you know James Adams?” Ignore these people, they are idiots.

Mile 7.2 – Congratulations, you have just run 3 parks. Only 19 miles to go. Sounds easy when you put it like that doesn’t it? No? Bugger. Now you’ve got it stuck in your head and can’t get it out can you? Shit, 19 miles is a long way. OK, try some simple visualisation techniques to get you out of this slump.

Mile 8 – Imagine you have just jogged back to the Seymour Centre. You float down the corridors and enter a room that smells of cheese. Let the smell of cheese carry you on.

Mile 9 – You enter a room full of naked men. One of them is drying his nuts in the hair dryer. Another is flossing his vigorously with a towel.

Mile 10 – You are now in the shower. You are cleansing yourself of all the pain that running has caused. Feel uplifted by the lemony smell of your body getting massaged by the water. Don’t look at the guy who is breaking all the rules by bending down and touching his toes in the shower. Try not to think about it too much. Seriously stop it.

Mile 13.1 – Half way there. Whooo Whoah, livin on a prayer. SING IT

Mile 16 – This is when it starts to get hard now. Your body has switched from carb burning to fat burning , or to put it more scientifically it has gone from burning Jelly Babies to burning Kebabs. Bet you wished you’d followed the Adams diet now.

Mile 19 – Only three parks to go. Repeat all that visualisation from earlier.

Mile 23 – You can relax in the knowledge that if I was running this marathon I would have finished by now.

Mile 25 – Seems to take longer to some doesn’t it? Don’t worry. By now I would have completed 2 interviews, had a recovery drink and emailed my result and race report to the Serpies website. I would also have updated facebook to say that I ran in an awesome time without really trying very hard.

Mile 26 – In the olden days you would have reached the finish line by now, but because of some fat lazy King of England in 1908 an extra 385 yards were added to the distance so he did not have to get off his fat arse to cheer the winners of the race. By the time you have thought of all this though you will have run those 385 yards and finished the race.

26.2 – The most important thing to remember here is that you should completely ruin your finisher’s photo by faffing with your Garmin. DO NOT look ahead, smile, wave your arms in the air in victory as this may add 1.3 seconds to your watch time.


So there you have it. How to run an awesome marathon. Hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed being awesome. Remember if everything falls apart then you can always become one of those “it’s the taking part that counts” people.

Smash It Guide to Triathlon Nutrition

I made this as a birthday present for a friend and occasional Triathlete a while ago.

Smash It Nutrition Guide

Smash It (TM) the revolutionary new fuel source from that is going to set Heart Rates racing - Like OH MY GOD! Based on some dodgy science, words that mean nothing and then a cavalier use of percentages this superfuel will increase your ability to Smash It by 57%. Guaranteed!![1].

Pointless Comparison Table



Leading Brand Detergent

Easy to Stomach


Not Advised

Essential Minerals



Part of your 5 a day?



Available in most supermarkets?



Dual use – Is a source of nutrition AND can wash your clothes



Harnesses the unique power of the potato?


Don’t Know

Something Else that is ultimately Pointless?




Don't end up like this dick. Choose SMASH IT!

In the beginning..

Based in nature we searched high and low for the worlds fittest hardest and downright coolest animal. We considered the Lion and Tiger, appraised the antelope and probed into the penguin. We tested the Rhino, looked up a Horse, the Giraffe was gay and obviously we didn’t forget the Elephant. But out of the animal testing zoo one animal stood alone.

The Elephant could only look on, wheezing through it’s big long snorkel nose as watched his competitor smashing it through the water with the grace of a dolphin. The Dolphin (who was really shit on the bike) looked in awe as his black and white furry rival peddled with supreme cadence to destroy the otters. The Lion nearly choked on his penguin when the invincible leader asked for the speed to be increased as he smashed it up on the treadmill. And who was this mysterious beast? Why it was the Badger of course. And what is a Badgers favourite food? Well, EVERYBODY KNOWS that….


I was seriously faltering in the marathon stage. I was so smashed at T2 that I forgot to switch my Garmin from “Bike” to “Run” and my carefully programmed heart rate zones were all over the place, like my own drunken dancing I can vaguely remember from the days when I use to go out with people. One mouthful of Smash It’s creamy white goodness and I was off like a rocket, smashing it through the last 10 miles and Smashed a new PB! (12.43, Swim 1.27, T1 1.16, Bike 7.22, T2 2.32, Run 3.55, AHR 134, HRMax 178)

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr Smash It!

I was once a slow fat long distance runner with a succession of crap times and a nauseating need to be the centre of attention. I introduced Smash It into my training programme (after of course I introduced a training programme) and never looked back. I completed my first Ironman as was ranked 17th in my category of Male, 25-34 from the London Borough of Ealing with Athsma). Results like that speak for themselves, now I don’t care about the need for attention, I am AWESOME. GO SMASH IT!!!

Got up at 4. Had Smash It at 4.30. Was at the start by 5. Read my blog for the continuation of this epic story”.


At £249.99 for 87g this piece of kit is officially worth it’s weight in diamond. We would never think to introduce a product unless it gave you the opportunity to spend the huge amounts of money other people usually use for Christmas gifts. The Aerobowl is specifically designed for high speed mashed potato eating. It’s shape accellerates the air around it, creating a vacuum just beneath the bowl and pulling you forward further. And you can eat Smash It from it. For an extra £89.95 you can buy the heating funnel attachment, place it on the front of the bowl and after just 300k of cycling the top of your Smash It mashed potato will be toasted and crispy, just like a shepherds pie.

Coming soon – The Magic Placebo Head Band. A headband that improves your brain thinkability by 88%.

Well obviously it works. Just look at this graph.


As you know, triathlon was invented in 1983 as a way to get girls into sport. It worked a treat. At Ironman Bolton there were at least 1000 pairs of well shaven smooth legs and pert bottoms lining up at the start. It was a wonderful sight.

Our scienticians have proved that if you wrap the same thing up in pink, add some folic acid and patronise them about their “busy” lives and “unique” nutritional needs then Girls will buy 2.7 times as much of anything. We acted on this research to develop “SMASH IT GIRL”, the lastest Smash It product specifically formulated for your unique nutritional needs and busy lifestyles.

Another innovation in the Smash It range is Smash It On The Go - where we sell much smaller quantities of the same thing for not much discount, allowing the good people at Smash It to develop yet more things for you to buy.

A Girl
Now, I know what you are all thinking. It’s every girl’s worst nightmare. “What if you are coming out of a lift and you bump into the man of your dreams he asked to borrow a pen and in haste you reach into your bag and the contents spill everywhere, including your Smash It On The Go sachets? I think a man would be intimidated by the revelation that I use high performance Triathlon Nutrition. He’d probably run away and end up getting off with that fat Sophie from procurement who spent weeks on end banging on and on about a race for life 5k she walked in 57 minutes. Bitch”.

Don’t panic! Step out of Zone 5b and back into 3. We had a genius idea that will solve this problem. We made them look just like tampons! Problem solved. No men ever get intimidated by those things.


“I am a Girl which means I’m never going to understand all this complimacated science stuff, but the little sachets are SOOOO CUTE.” – A Girl



SO what are you waiting for? Get off your arse and go out and SMASH IT!!!![3]


[1] Please contact your club triathlon rep for details of the guarantee

[2] Those damn bureaucrats in Brussels are adamant that the potato is not a fruit or vegetable. This is clearly bollocks and we are going to sue them as soon as we have won the various lawsuits filed against us.

[3] Please consult your training spreadsheet before leaving the house.

Global Positioning

It was a cold winter this year. You almost felt sorry for those poor people stood outside doorways in pubs shivering as they got their fix. They were killing themselves in more ways than one now since they were forced to smoke outside. However I saw the exact same thing outside the Seymour Centre every Wednesday night. However these Serpies were not smoking, they had their arms raised like they were asking teacher if they can go to the toilet. But they didn't need the toilet, they were in fact asking for permission to run. Permission from some orbiting satelite to tell them they could start. Icicles would form around their frozen faces as the "signal" bar crawled up to 100% and then suddenly "Beeeeep" and these ice sculptures would splutter into life.

WTF happened on mile 7??????

I bought one of the first GPS devices back in the days where I thought the key to running happiness was to have every inch of it graphable. It was fairly poor by todays standards. It would often lose signal and would switch itself off after 5 minutes if there was no contact with the Starship Enterprise which meant I had to look at it constantly. In doing so I would run into people and for the first 10 runnings of the "Tower Bridge" run I completely missed this amazing bridge in London that has towers on it. It got better though, future models would hold signal better so that you only had to look at them when it beeps at you, declaring that you have run another mile and causing a funny reflex where you involutarily elbow the person on your left in the face.

The best bit was not the running though, it was the things you could do on a computer with your run afterwards. Plug your watch into your PC and all of a sudden your run becomes interesting. Pounding the trails or roads is boring and futile at the best of times but now your effort has a purpose, you can draw charts and graphs and analyse data. Brilliant. You can also be part of the scintilating conversations at the end of a run where you spew out numbers a the end to each other. "Yeah, mine was 7.32, 7.35, 7.21, 7.45 bugger, 7.32, 7.31". Splendid.

One day as I stared at a funny slug like object on my screen that resembled the path of my run and questioned why mile 7 seemed slower even thought the HR and elevation suggested it should be quicker I wondered whether I had missed the point of this sport. I remembered the days where I'd just go out and run because it feels nice. Now I can't seem to leave the house without something tracking my ever step, as if I need proof that I went outside. I had to ask myself "do I run for fun or do I run as a means to collect data?" If it's the latter then surely there are better ways? I could just stand outside and pretend to be a family fortunes researcher. I asked 100 people "what should I do with my life instead collecting pointless data?"

The watch went into the drawer and I decided to run whenever I liked and not when some beeping device told me too. It was risky, I mean how could I prove that I even went for a run? If I was audited how could I ever have the evidence that I didn't just sit on my backside watching TV? My own testimony would not stand up in court like a good pace graph would. I was treading dangerously.

However on relieving myself of the slavery of the wrist computer I felt like I has been released from prison (those things look remarkably similar to ASBO tags). My arm felt so much lighter having ditched the voluntary electronic tagging device. No longer did I have to let some virtual man beat me around some route, beeping with derision should I fall behind. I could just run as far and as fast as I felt like and could even look at things along the way. My mind could wander onto things so much more important than whether my heart-rate was staying within 80% while I ascended a 6% incline at 7.10 minute miles on mile 7 of my 15 mile circuit. Oh look, a squirrel.I felt more alive when I ditched the running laptop

I have not worn a watch in a run or race since. I can occasionally guess the miles in a race by the deafening crescendo of beeping from those all around me and the jerking of elbows swinging up to the left. I can run when I want, stop when I want and no longer get wound up if a 5 foot detour threatens the shape of a graph in a few hours time. I was in a race in summer where I had no idea how long I had been running, how far or even what country I was in. It was a magical feeling that I will remember forever and not one that I will re-live by looking at a bunch of numbers. I'd hate to think what I might have missed in the Alps or the deserts or the English countryside because I was too busy staring at liquid crystals. I don't need my computer to tell me whether I've had a good run or not, I decide that for myself.

I don't think I'll ever go back to that kind of captivity. I'm enjoying the running too much. I do love to ask users of such devices "what's the time". It's hilarious how they frantically press buttons on there watch only to tell me that they don't know, but that I have just raised their cholestrohol level.

And I giggled (perhaps harshly) at a friend who trying to avoid the situation in the first paragraph had his £300 device stolen from his garden wall while leaving it to gain signal.

"But can't you track where he is? I thought that was the point of those things".

"Only if he plugs it into his computer and uploads the stats"

"Well then, you just have to sit back and wait. With that kind of speedy running he is sure to upload it. The graph will be awesome".