At age 32, Malindi Elmore retired from professional running after a very successful track career. The runner competed for Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Pan Am Games. She was a 1,500m specialist who ran one of the fastest times ever by a Canadian woman, at 4:02.64.

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Seven years later, Elmore picked up running for fun and is now dominating the roads, running a 2:32 marathon debut, finishing second at the Canadian 10K championship and winning the Canadian half-marathon championships last month. “Seven years ago I stopped racing. I never dreamed I’d be back at this level,” she says.

So what does this mom-of-two marathon runner eat to stay healthy and fast?

Breakfast

Elmore says, “Wake up time is earlier than I’d like, around 6 a.m.” She eats breakfast around then, which is usually two or three pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jam and two cups of coffee. “I really like coffee.”

Snack

She does either her bigger run or workout between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. “A workout I did this week was 5x1K with three minutes’ rest at about three minutes per kilometre.”

Elmore will follow up that run with a muffin and apple and another cup of coffee. “I have that snack after my workout, around 11.”

Lunch

For lunch, Elmore will have a tuna melt. “Usually tuna and cheese on bread with some yogurt.” She also does a second run in the afternoon around 4 p.m., which is usually about 30 minutes long.

Snack

For afternoon snack she’ll have crackers with hummus and cheese.

Dinner

Dinner at the Elmore house is usually around 6 p.m. and consists of some combination of meat, carbs and vegetables. “It’s usually something like salmon, rice and a salad, or fish tacos, or steak and baked potato and grilled vegetables. We cook a lot–actually, my husband cooks a lot.”

“We also always have dessert, whether it’s chocolate or an ice cream sandwich. I’ll also have wine or beer with dinner, not every night, but if I feel like it.”

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If you had told me this time last year that I would finish 2nd today at the Canadian 10km road race Championships I would have fallen down laughing. I was 8.5 months pregnant and had no plans to return to racing. It was so far off my radar that the concept literally didn’t exist. But over the last year I have been enjoying running again and doing them for different reasons than the past – but still kind of the same. A love of running, being part of an amazing community and seeing what my best now can be. But now I run free too because at the end of my day, what matters most to me is actually not my running. I suffered hard today and barely made it to the line before needing a break. You don’t know how fast you CAN run unless you try even if it really stings by the end 🙂 Thanks @ottawamarathon for a great race!

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Bedtime snack

Before bed, around 9 p.m., Elmore always has a bowl of Cheerios. “I can’t fall asleep when I’m hungry, especially since I’ve been pregnant and nursing. I really need to keep up the calories.”

Elmore recommends runners avoid restricting their diets. “I’ve always eaten more or less the same. I eat as an adult the way I did as a kid, meat and vegetables and dairy and carbs. I don’t restrict and I don’t binge, I’m pretty moderate with everything.”

Up next for the runner is the 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which doubles as the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials. “Everything now is pointed toward the marathon, so if I do a race beforehand it’ll be to support that.”

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