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.
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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?
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.
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 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.