Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Peek Into the Life of a Racer—James Carney

Recently, I had a chance to interview one of the Team New Balance runners—James Carney. James grew up just south of Pittsburgh, PA, but he now lives and trains in Boulder, CO. James is a 2008 US 20K Champion and a 2008 US Half Marathon Champion. His 5K PR is 13:37; his 10K PR is 27:43 and his Half PR is 1:02:21. Read on to learn a little more about James.

RD: How long have you been running?
James: I have been running now for about 17 years.

RD: What got you into running?
James: I grew up as a wrestler. I used running to condition for wrestling and I turned out to be a better runner than wrestler.

RD: What do you enjoy most about running?
James: I enjoy the solitude of it and pushing myself to the absolute limit.

RD: Your occupation is listed as “Athlete.” What's a typical day like for you as a professional athlete?
James: I train twice a day everyday except Sundays. I usually wake up and grab a quick bite of 200-300 calories and hydrate myself and then take an hour and go for about a 9 mile run followed by drills and strides. After that session, I usually head to the gym for strength training for approximately 45 min then get something for lunch followed by a nap. I get up and have about 2 hours of free time to catch up on errands and emails before knocking out another 9-mile run. If I have a track workout or long run things change a little.

RD: I see your event distances are the 5000m, 10000m and the Half Marathon. Which is your favorite? Why? Is there a distance you’d like to compete in, but haven’t yet?
James: I like the half-marathon distance because its about the maximum distance you can muscle without fuel becoming a problem. Maybe someday I'll jump in a steeple chase.

RD: Of the many running icons past and present, who do you consider role models and/or inspiration for your own running?
James: I have a lot of inspirations including Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Peter Elliot, Dick Beardsley, Bronislow Malinowski, and Rob Decastella. Today I draw motivation from guys like Ryan Hall, Chris Solinsky, and Matt Tegankamp.

RD: How important is food to your training? What are your favorite training foods?
James: I eat whatever I want and have no regimented diet. I do like Digiornos Pizza as my night-before-the-race meal. As a pre-race meal, I like Cliff bars, Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes. For a post-race meal, I like fish-n-chips and a Bass.

RD: Are you a lone runner or do you run with some buddies? What do you like about each?
James: I am by myself for most of my runs. Lately, I have been jumping in a lot of workouts with Brent Vaughn.

RD: What’s your biggest running accomplishment?
James: Winning a couple National Title on the roads was big for my career and taught me how to win races.

RD: Do you have a favorite running shoe? Why?
James: Most of my training I do is in the New Balance 905. Its a great neutral lightweight trainer.

RD: If you were speaking to a group of non-runners or runner wannabes and trying to encourage them to run, what would you say?
James: First and foremost, enjoy the ride. Be patient, consistent, and run with controlled aggression. Running is a microcosm of life. What you put in is what you get out. If you work and work at running, you with reap the harvest and get a lot out of your efforts.

Check out this video clip of James stretching before a 20-miler. I kind of like his approach. LOL!


Emz said...

loved this.

great post.

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Emz!

Johann said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I am always so awed by speedsters like James. What awesome times. It will be interesting to see if he picks up the marathon when he gets older.

Dena said...

That video's great.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Dena! It is pretty funny. Seems to work for him! Eevrybody else is probably worn out before they even start! LOL!!

Keri said...

Saw you in this month's edition of Runner's World!

Molly said...

another great profile, love how he says to just enjoy the ride.

btw, my energy bar recipe is finally up!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Keri! You saw it! Cool! My 15 minutes of fame. LOL!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Molly! Awesome! I'm headed to check it out now! Can't wait to give it a try!!

Boris T said...

Great post, good read.

Chris K said...

DiGigiorno pizza as a night-before-race meal? I was NOT expecting that.