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.
Seven years later Elmore picked up running for fun and is dominating the roads, running a 2:32 marathon debut, finishing second at the Canadian 10K championship and winning the Canadian half-marathon championships on Sunday. “Seven years ago I stopped racing. I never dreamed I’d be back at this level.”
Elmore has got the running bug again and she has no plans to slow down. She plans to put herself in the mix for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for 2020, targeting the marathon. “I’m certainly going to put myself on the line in Toronto [STWM]. My plan is to put myself in a position to get standard and see where that takes me. I didn’t see this coming at all. I didn’t even think this was possible a year ago. I started running for fun and then the marathon went really well along with my 10K and half training. I’m feeling fresh again.”
If Elmore were to make the Olympics it would be her second team, 16 years after her first. “I would be 40 if I were to make the Olympics. That sounds old but I don’t really feel old. I think it’s a cultural expectation more than a physical reality that aging means you slow down.”
The runner says it’s nice to come back to running with a fresh perspective. If she could go back and tell herself anything, she would remind her younger self to not worry so much. “There’s a lot of pressure that can take away from the simple enjoyment of sport and trying to put the race together. I would remind myself to continue to enjoy it and to do my best.”
“I still love the track, so I like to incorporate the two. The track still feels really natural to me–my 1,500m background doesn’t just go away. I love mixing up tempo with the faster stuff.”
The workout: 2K tempo at 3:20 per K, 4x400m at 70 seconds, 2K tempo at 3:20 per K, 4x300m at 51 seconds, 2K tempo at 3:20, 4x200m at 33 seconds.
Least favourite workout
“I was supposed to do 3x5K at half-marathon pace but we scraped that workout because I had a really hard time wrapping my head around that. In the end we changed it to 5K,4K,3K,2K,1K.”