2016. Keeping it Local.

whoa… two posts in two weeks. hopefully this will become a 2016 trend.

I posted back in October on what I was planning on for 2016 and the goals i was setting… as with everything else in 2015 that has changed. I was planning on running North Face 50 in december but in early november (also an old, killer emo band I love!) I tweaked my right lower leg. It started as a twinge in my calf and then I got an all-to-familiar ache so I shut it down. I didn’t want to take any chances. So North Face didn’t happen and I am still just now easing back into running. there’s just some weirdness in my calf and ART has been helping. I’d say I’m about 95% right now.

So with very little running in November and December there is no way the SOB 100k (western states golden ticket race) is going to happen and it’s kind of been a blessing in disguise. I’ve always and an aversion to training Thanksgiving-Christmas or more so training for a race. I’ll always like getting out the door and working out… it just makes me feel good. The nagging lower leg thing only bothered me running so I rode quite a bit and started hitting the strength work hard… another thing I really enjoy doing. So for the first time in a long time I feel like I’ve really had an offseason and embraced the winter season. Living here 100% contributed to that. Instead of trying to figure out how i was going to get some kind of run or ride in with all the snow and super cold mornings I just embraced it and every time I see snow in the forecast I get stoked. I really love it.


So with all of that Maggie and I planned our season of fun and racing. We decided we want to take advantage of all the killer races our new home (colorado) has to offer. The possibilities here are really endless. Within in a 1-5 hour drive we have some of the best trail races in the country. So for 2016 we are going to keep all of our big races in Colorado. Maggie found out last week that she got into the┬áLeadville 100. She wants head back there for some redemption and also being more fit and acclimated to the altitude… and honestly crewing, pacing, and supporting her during Leadville and the lead up to it is my number one goal. I definitely have racing goals of my own but more than anything I want to see her run to her potential there. She was in 2nd place in 2013 until around mile 85. She lost her stomach around mile 70 and we hiked it in from there. She still ended getting the big buckle and finished 10th. Totally unreal.


As for me, I have 5 races that I’m going to target and am still very interested in events that combine mountain biking and trail running. The races I’m going after are:

  • 5/21 – Fear the Dear Half Marathon (killer race on my (new) home turf)
    • Goal: Win and go after course record
  • 6/4 – Dirty 30 50k
    • Goal: race hard against some fast dudes (historically a pretty competitive race)
  • 7/9-10 – Leadville Silver King – combo of 50 mile mtb, and 50 mile run
    • Win combined mtb & run competition
  • 8/13-14 – Steamboat Stinger – combo of 50 mile mtb, and trail marathon
    • Redemption (no flats and better training leading up) and win combined mtb and run competition
  • 9/16 – Run Rabbit Run 100
    • Goal: get to the start line healthy, experience what it’s like to run 100 miles, and just finish

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 4.45.22 PM

If all goes to plan it will be a fun summer of racing. I think staying on the bike and balancing my riding and running will put me in a good place to get the start line of RRR100 healthy… which is priority number one. I will for sure be jumping into more local races for prep. There are so many rad races really close to home that it will help be get ready for my goal races.

It’s crazy to think that my first goal race is still just under 5 months away. That’s a first for me. I’ve always raced early and often so waiting until late May for my first goal race is new… and a good thing. It lets me really embrace the “prep” part of the season. I’m doing that by tackling a super hard and challenging strength program. Last summer I followed the Mountain Athlete (Strong Swift Durable) Peak Bagger program. It was mostly a body weight program and a ton of gnarly step up work outs. That program was one of reason I was so fit this past fall.


Back at it after being knock down with a gnarly cold. BM session 6. @theadrenalinproject @mountain_athlete

A video posted by James Walsh (@jmwalsh2) on

With the success I had with that program I am taking on an even gnarlier one. If you follow me on instagram I’ve posting some daily videos from the new Big Mountain program I am tackling. The videos are just for fun for me. The Big Mountain program is 10 weeks/50 workouts (5 days a week) and is the most challenging strength program I’ve ever taken on. It incorporates a lot of the stuff in the Peak Bagger program plus a lot of olympic lifting, which I love. I like their plans because i feel they are very sport specific, super challenging, and always include mobility work. It’s not all throwing weight around. This plan is my focus right now and I’m just mixing riding and running around it. I’ll be finished the first week of March and then plan on switching gears a bit a tackling more miles on the bike and trails.

Here’s a cool video about what Mountain Athlete is all about. This video is mostly about skiers but they have plans for all mountain sports (ultrarunning and mountain biking).

  1 comment for “2016. Keeping it Local.

  1. January 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Another neat post James. Been reading your work for years. Good luck with your running / MTB stuff this year. Ross.

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