Badwater Tony Portera to me is the "real deal." While I fantasize
doing big runs, Tony is out there making it happen. You'll
hear him say he's not anybody special, but I beg to differ.
He's fun to talk to, has a great story about his journey into
running, has great things to say about running ultramarathons,
someone I see as a wonderful ambassador of the ultra community,
he's super encouraging, and even offers some advice to
help improve on the next ultra. This is Part 1.
- White Plains New York
- Husband and father of two.
- Lawyer in commercial real estate
- Dabbler of ultra running and has ran and continues to run
prestigious events such like the Badwater 135, Jackpot 100, and
- He has participated in the Badwater 135 six times. 2015 will be
- Tony got into ultras by stumbling on it and deciding to try
- Started out soccer in high school, college, and after in law
school with local club teams.
- After graduating from law school, life happened, and at one
point weighed 210 pounds. Out of shape, drinking a lot of beer, and
watching football and other sports.
- Got together with some guys who convinced him to do a local 4
miler or 5k. He said “Running is stupid!”
- He did more of these types of runs and was eventually persuaded
to do a marathon. He said “This is stupid. If running 4 miles is
stupid, this is even dumber!”
- His first marathon was the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon. Completed
it in over 4 hours and told himself he’d never do another one
again. But 25 marathons later, he kept trying to convince himself
to stop running.
- His biggest mistake, was after reading Dean Karnazes’ book
Ultramarathon Man where he learned about ultra marathons. He was
blown away and said “If 4 miles is stupid, and running a marathon
is even more stupid. Then ultra runners gotta be idiots!” And Tony
convinced himself to do a 60k.
Loving the Sport & Better Health
- In ultras marathon, Tony loved that he was able to show up to
the start late, finished up on the same day, and head back to your
car without a hassle. This plus getting in better shape made it
- Eventually dropped 50-60 lbs lighter from his former weight in
- He enjoys the runs and loves the community, but still sometimes
tells himself that “He’ll never do it again.”
- He uses these events as a way to learn more about himself. To
find out what he can and can’t do.
- "You’ll never run the same race twice. You’ll experience
different things and thoughts each time.”
- Work on nutrition on a regular basis.
- Prepare nutritionally, mentally, put in the work in training
runs. Roughly 80-90 miles a week including the speed training and
Typical Training Week (To build miles and
speed. Doing about 74 miles of training).
Monday a.m. - 25 miles.
Tuesday - 8 miles.
Wednesday - 10 mile tempo, 3 mile warm up. 4
miles at 6:55 pace.
Thursday - 8 miles easy recovery.
Friday - 12 miles interval: 3 mile warm up. 2
miles at 7:10 pace. recover 1 mile, six 400 mile repeats, and
Saturday - Off.
Sunday - 12 miles.
Long run may increase over time. This is a week typically to Tony
and should not be used as a template for everybody else. Everybody
On Getting Coached:
Tony is currently working with Zach Bitter on training and
nutrition and has also worked with Ray Zahab. Recommends getting a
coach for endurance events.
Film: Running on the Sun
- Tony loves to help see folks enter into the ultra community for
the first time.
- The Vermont 50 mile race was his first 50.
- Loves seeing people go out there.
- Thinks 50 miles is a great distance to get done in one day and
it is very challenging
- Believer in drawing from others, especially folks who have
experienced what you are trying to do.
- Fueling and hydration advice:
Drinking to thirst.
Keep trying different things. Learn something is always a
"People may go out there and try and have a negative impression in
their mind, but there are so many positives to take whether
perceived negative or not. It’s often times the 2nd or 3rd try that
you start to understand what you’re doing and love it more." ~
Ray Zahab, founder of Impossible To Possible (aka I2P) tells
Tony “Ultra running is 90% mental. The other 10% is all in your
"Our best moments are found when we are at our weakest.”
Catch Tony Portera If You Can:
Visit www.vinnietortorich.com to
learn about Vinnie Tortorich’s NSNG Lifestyle.
Visit www.glutenfreeanna.com for great healthy
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