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Jim Walmsley opens up about injury ahead of Western States 100

The defending WSER champion has been dealing with knee issues over the past few months, but he says he's ready to race this weekend

Photo by: Hoka One One

If you follow American ultrarunner Jim Walmsley on Strava and wondered why he’s been so quiet lately, he posted on Instagram on Tuesday to talk about an injury that has been nagging him for the past few months. Walmsley wrote that he has been dealing with knee and IT band issues, but he added that he has been pain-free for the past couple of weeks. His recovery couldn’t have come at a better time, as he is set to race the Western States 100 (WSER) in California on Saturday. Walmsley is the two-time defending WSER champion and course record holder, and he will be looking to make it three wins in a row this weekend. 

As Walmsley wrote on Instagram, his knee and IT band issues began about three months ago. “It was at a point I saw as a crucial time to take it seriously and take some time to address it,” he said. He made big changes to his training schedule, taking five days off of running each week for the better part of a month. Walmsley said the injury came as a surprise, noting that his training load had been steady and his workouts had been going well for the previous month. 

RELATED: Jim Walmsley runs 6:09:26 for 100K, misses world record by just 12 seconds

After his “reset with running,” Walmsley said he had eight weeks to go until WSER. While he might have felt better, he didn’t push himself too much, and he spent the next while taking care in his workouts and visiting his physiotherapist regularly. He added that he spent a lot of time riding his bike to make up for his lack of run training in this period. 

Walmsley races at Hoka One One’s Project Carbon X 2, where he ran 6:14:26, just 12 seconds off the 100K world record. Photo: Hoka One One

“This block has been so much more work than usual,” he wrote. “I went through ups and downs with emotions, not knowing if I’d be able to line up healthy.” With just a few days to go until WSER, Walmsley’s careful training and build to race day worked out, and he said he feels better and healthier than he has at any point in the past three months.

“I feel like I’m gaining momentum at the right time,” he wrote, “and I couldn’t be more excited to be back at Western States ready to rock.”

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