In the world of running we eventually come across amazing unthinkable physical feats. Tony Carino is an amazing physical feat in the sport of running. Tony is 26 and lives in West Deptford. He has a degree in political science and works in Pharmaceutical sales. Tony was 300 pounds at one time in his life when he realized that something had to change. He decided to lose weight and start running. Tony realized that his heaviness and poor shape would eventually cause life threatening stress on his body. Within one-year Tony lost 150 pounds, which increased his ability to run far distances.
Tony has committed himself to the sport of Ultra running, which include 30, 50, and 100 mile races. His running habits have come a long way from zero miles a week to 150 miles a week. Tony’s day starts at 230a.m. with a 15-mile run and after work another 10miles. Friday is his only day off for complete rest. A typical weekend consists of a 30-mile run on Saturday and a 15 miler on Sunday. This type of training is brutal and worth our time as runners to read about. I had the privilege to sit down with Tony at my gym. I noticed that Tony’s life principles were very strong, which reflected a highly disciplined young man. His discipline created extreme goals that shaped his unique running life style.
John: Tony what is your running schedule during the week?
Tony: I am up at 230a.m. Monday-Thursday running 15-20 miles and 10 miles in the evening. I go to bed every night around 8:30p.m. Friday I am off from running, Saturday is 30-35miles and Sunday is usually 15miles. My average week is around 90 to 100 miles for base building, and when I am training for an Ultra it is around 150 miles.
John: What is your thought or philosophy about running?
Tony: First I make it fun and don’t take it too seriously. If I take it too seriously and don’t perform well I am just setting myself up for heartbreak. Running long miles helps me to avoid the mediocrity of just putting in a jog or two a week. I want the thought of achieving long distance miles that transforms me into a serious Ultra distance person.
John: With that many miles of training a week Tony, you could be professional. Do you want to become a professional runner and make it a career?
Tony: No I do not. Becoming professional would make it something I have to do instead of something I want to do.
John: When did your running career start?
Tony: It was my sophmore year in college 2005, I started to take my training seriously and in 2006 I ran my first marathon, which was Philadelphia.
John: Tony can you please share with us some of your best racing times.
Tony: My best marathon times are 2:46 at Atlantic City, 2:59 at Philadelphia, and 3:03 at Boston.
My best times for the 100 miles are Burning River at 24:02, Vermont 100 at 28:38 and Western states at 27:20 that is hours!
John: Tony 100 miles is a long distance to run and 27 hours is a long time to keep running how do you handle that?
Tony: Training is the key, putting in those long miles and hours of running is most important. When running a long distance such as 100 miles your body will eventual shut down other functions such as the digestive system to conserve energy for the run. Eventually I usually puke and start to feel a little better. Soon after, I tend to go on autopilot and let the lessons I learned in training take over.
John: Tell me a little about your training, do you perform specific endurance workouts such as speed work?
Tony: My workouts are all geared toward logging in the miles for an Ultra. I do not have specific days for specific workouts I just go out to run the miles every day. If in the middle of a 20 miler I feel like going fast the speed work will happen at that particular time. I can say to myself after that run I did speed work today. There is no pressure that way and I go into the run not knowing what may happen pace wise.
John: Tony do you think that Ultra training logging in all those miles brings a negative impact or a positive impact on the health of the body. Some people say that too much running can hurt a body.
Tony: I say different strokes for different folks. Old guys are still doing it, which is proof that it is ok to do. People will say to me that it is no good physically, and I do think it is tearing me down, but only to recover stronger. Mentally also it puts it back into me stronger, running is 30% physical and 70% mental and obviously the body is getting stronger. Man I really don’t know I am still young and I just do it and don’t worry about it. I have read studies that suggest that starting ultra-running earlier in life tends to condition the body for the long term.
John: Tony what advice do you give to a new runner?
Tony: I tell them it is not about the mileage it is about the fun, just get out the door and start moving. There is no goal out of reach, just go out and if you get tired turn around and come back. Throw impossibility out the door. When you are training for a race put in the work relative to the distance. The training always starts today!
On behalf of the Road Runners Club of Woodbury I want to thank Tony for his time in sharing his incredible running lifestyle. We all have our own training preference the important thing to do is “do it”!
John K Carlson V.P.