Jim Walmsley | Houston Half Reflections and What’s Next

Jim Walmsley had a pretty awesome week. He was named Ultrarunner of the Year for the third year straight, he celebrated his birthday, then he lined up at the Houston Half Marathon and clicked off just over 13 road miles at 4:52 pace, earning him a qualifier to the Olympic Trials in Atlanta.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a number of road runners transition to trail ultras, but rarely do we see a top ultrarunner step off the trail and onto the road. As we talk about in the interview, Max King, Jim Howard, Ann Trason, and others have enjoyed multi-discipline/surface success, and as Jim mentions in the interview, even being talked about in the same conversation as those runners means he’s doing something right.

Jim Walmsley in the snow
Jim Walmsley

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In this interview, we talk about why and how he targeted Houston for his road half debut and how it fit into his overall ultramarathon training. Twenty miles at sub six pace at 7k feet? Sure, that helps, but how else did he train his mind to run at lactate threshold for an hour? How important was race strategy in an event that allows for very very few mistakes? Did he learn anything about pacing that he’ll take to trail ultras?

Jim walmsley
Coconino Cowboys from left: Eric Senseman, Jared Hazen, Jim Walmsley

We also talk about the internet and issue over whether this sort of transition has been done before. Does Jim listen to the naysayers on LetsRun? Not really. Sounds like he’s busy writing his own training plans that work around his life.

And what’s next? He’s got a 100k in Hong Kong in a few weeks where he’ll line up with Rob Krar, a shootout in Santa Barbara in March, then he’s heading back to Squaw in June to defend his title at Western States. Can he or anyone beat 14:30?

And what in the holy heck is this other project he’s talking about? The long-rumored attempt to take down either Klecker or Fordyce’s 50M record?

Jim Walmsley Episode Notes

Here’s Jim’s site with his schedule.

Here’s the Fast 100 Ultra in Hong Kong in February.

And here’s the site for Santa Barbara 9 Trails in March. Want to win a trip to the race and go home with a ton of HOKA and rabbit gear? Head on over this way.

Past URP interviews with Jim Walmsley 2015 |Post-wrong turn 2016 | Pre-WS 2017

Here’s his UROY bio.

In our discussion about internet conversations, I did my best to summarize a tweet by Joe Gray about specializing in events. Here’s his tweet.

Jim mentioned Ken Cormier…here’s his incredible and fascinating story on LetsRun. (To note, I love the site but dislike most of the vitriol in the forums.)

Here’s the Tahoe Rim Trail FKT we talked about.

Here’s the SweatElite site Jim mentioned. I wasn’t familiar with it.

Here’s Here’s The Self-Coached Runner book Jim mentioned. (Amazon affiliate link.)

Intro/Outo music by David Rosales.

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