Jim Walmsley: Ultra Runner’s Workout Routine & Diet Plan

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

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Jim Walmsley is an American ultra-running legend. From Air Force to running, you can imagine that his mental fortitude is among the highest degrees. We’ll explore who he is, where he is from, and what his diet and workout routine looks like. 

Who is Jim Walmsley?

Jim Walmsley was born in Phoenix, Arizona on April 5, 1990. He grew up in the city and was always an active child, participating in various sports such as football and wrestling. 

It was not until later in life that he discovered his love for running. After graduating from high school, Walmsley joined the Air Force, where he served for four years. It was during his time in the Air Force that he began to take running more seriously and started participating in ultramarathons.

Jim Walmsley’s Workout Routine

To maintain his endurance, physique, and performance Jim Walmsley follows a strict daily routine.

He typically wakes up early in the morning and starts his day with a light breakfast. He then heads out for his morning run, which can last anywhere from two to four hours, depending on his training schedule.

Walmsley follows a training program that focuses on a mix of long runs, speed work, and strength training. 

On Mondays, he does a recovery run, followed by a hill workout on Tuesdays. Wednesdays are usually reserved for a longer run, ranging from 20 to 30 miles. 

Thursdays are for speed work, where he focuses on shorter intervals to build his aerobic capacity. 

Fridays are for another recovery run, followed by strength training on Saturdays, where he works on building his core and leg muscles. Sundays are for long runs, ranging from 25 to 35 miles.

After his morning run, Walmsley returns home to refuel with a protein-rich meal that usually includes chicken, rice, and vegetables. 

He then spends the rest of the day recovering and preparing for his next training session. In the evenings, he likes to wind down by reading, watching movies, or spending time with his friends and family.

In addition to his regular training program, Walmsley also does altitude training to prepare for races in high-altitude environments. He spends time in Flagstaff, Arizona, which is at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, to acclimate his body to the reduced oxygen levels.

Jim Walmsley’s Diet Plan

The diet also plays a critical role in Walmsley’s training regimen. He focuses on eating nutrient-dense foods that provide him with the energy he needs to power through his long runs. 

For breakfast, Walmsley typically eats a light meal of oatmeal, fruit, and coffee. After his morning run, he refuels with a protein-rich meal that usually includes chicken, rice, and vegetables. 

Walmsley also incorporates a lot of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats into his diet, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Walmsley avoids processed foods and sugar, instead opting for whole foods that will give him sustained energy. He also stays hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids.

Walmsley also uses energy gels and bars during his long runs to help maintain his energy levels. These products provide a quick source of carbohydrates and electrolytes to fuel his muscles and help him stay hydrated during his races.

Notable Races won by Jim Walmsley 

Jim Walmsley has won numerous ultramarathons throughout his career, including some of the toughest and most challenging races in the world. Some of his most notable victories include:

  • Western States 100: Walmsley set a course record at the Western States 100 in 2018, finishing the race in just 14 hours, 30 minutes, and 4 seconds.
  • JFK 50 Mile: Walmsley won the JFK 50 Mile in 2016, setting a new course record of 5 hours, 21 minutes, and 28 seconds
  • Lake Sonoma 50 Mile: Walmsley has won the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile three times, in 2016, 2017, and 2018, setting course records each time.
  • Tarawera Ultramarathon: In 2019, Walmsley won the Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand, setting a new course record of 7 hours, 23 minutes, and 32 seconds.
  • HURT 100: Walmsley won the HURT 100 in Hawaii in 2016, setting a new course record of 19 hours, 36 minutes, and 30 seconds.

Charitable Work and Other Activities

Jim Walmsley has raised money for various charities, including the Navajo Water Project, which helps provide clean water to Navajo Nation communities. In addition, he has used his running to raise awareness for mental health issues and suicide prevention.

Walmsley also enjoys spending time outdoors and is an advocate for environmental conservation. He has participated in trail maintenance projects and has spoken out about the importance of protecting our natural resources.


Jim Walmsley is an inspirational ultra runner with a strict daily routine and diet, as well as a focus on altitude training.

He has clearly shown what he does works as he has won many notable races

We can learn a lot from Jim Walmsley but remember that everyone is different and all we need is to start from somewhere and set some goals. If you’re just getting into running you might enjoy our post on picking your first pair of running shoes.

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