Canadian marathon record-holder Malindi Elmore is a mom, runner and coach at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Her breakout race came in January at the Houston Marathon, where she shattered her own personal best and Rachel Cliff’s Canadian record of 2:26, running a 2:24:50 to finish third overall.
Like everyone else, Elmore’s days look a little different right now, but here’s a glimpse into how she fits in training with work and being a mom. This is what her Monday through Thursday schedule looks like (Friday to Sunday she fits in more work time when her husband is off to watch the kids).
5:30 a.m. – Wakeup call from youngest son
Elmore says most days start between 5 and 5:30 a.m. with a wakeup call from her youngest son, Oliver. “Our toddler doesn’t like sleeping. He’s usually up and looking to get my husband out of bed as well. We move downstairs and make coffee.”
7 a.m. – Family breakfast
The family moves downstairs and has their day going by the time Charlie, their five-year-old son, gets up at around 7. They eat breakfast together before Elmore’s husband, Graham, moves upstairs to the office for the day. Then it’s time to make the kids’ beds, brush their teeth and get ready for school, which happens in the basement. “Basically school involves a couple hours a day of reading and writing. Charlie’s in kindergarten so it’s not too structured.”
10 a.m. – Snack time and hike
Elmore jokes that, like everyone else, her day is punctuated by a lot of snacks. “I give the kids something to eat before we go for a hike. I try and make the hike last around an hour and then we come back for lunch.”
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I feel like …It’s a good time to be a runner. Taking so much inspiration from gritty and spectacular performances this past weekend as I work towards my own goals in a few weeks. It has been inspiring to see women who have consistently and persistently been refining their craft for 20+ years run massive Personal Bests/Records (@sarahall3); as well as women who came into the sport as age groupers-turned-master-wonders (@lyndsaytessier and @kristaduchene) all shine in Doha/Berlin over the weekend. These women prove once again there is no magic recipe for success aside from hard work, love of sport and great team / family efforts. #marathontraining #marathon
11:30 a.m. – Lunchtime and run
Lunchtime is just before noon, after which Oliver goes down for a nap. He sleeps for about two hours, so this is when Elmore fits in her run. She says her training has some structure right now, but the volume has been significantly reduced.
“I’m no longer doing double runs and I’m running at about 70 per cent of my normal training volume,” she says. “So that means I’m doing about 70-mile weeks.” Tuesdays and Thursdays are her workout days, and beyond that, she aims for 70- to 80-minute off-day runs and one long run on the weekend.
She says her favourite workouts right now are 1K repeats and short intervals on the track, which let her work a different system. This is where Elmore’s days as a 1,500m runner become evident. “Last week I did last week I did 30x200m, for example, and this week I’m doing 20x300m. I like the track stuff, it’s fun and it’s something I don’t get to do as often during peak marathon training.”
2 p.m. – Back from run
Elmore gets back from her workout around 2 p.m., which is when Oliver should be waking up from his nap. Then it’s snack time again.
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Version 3.0 (track, triathlon, marathon): So much for the 10,000 hour rule – this race was 25 years in the making! Millions of steps and thousands of races; from the highs of highs to lows of lows; from crushing injuries and insidious doubts; from jubilation of races won and clutch performances at the peak of my speedy years to grinding out swim sets and 6 hour bike rides; from resigning twice from competitive sport to falling in love again with my roots…and so much more in between. But some things remain the same: love what you do and do what you love. And sometimes, things have a magical way of working out. And in the moment of racing, captured above, I knew I was exactly where I belonged. Photo credit @fredis_b
3 p.m. – Play in the backyard
After snack, the kids will play outside while Elmore putters around the backyard. Around 4 p.m., her husband finishes work and goes for his own run.
4:30 p.m. – A little more school
While Elmore’s husband is running, she’ll do a little more school work with the kids before dinner.
6:30 p.m. – Dinnertime
Elmore’s husband makes dinner. After dinner it’s time for a walk or some TV.
8:00 p.m. – Kids’ bedtime
Elmore says the kids have their third snack of the day before heading to bed around 8. Once the kids have gone to sleep, she’s got some time to catch up on email, read or watch TV. Then it’s lights out for her and her husband, before doing it again the next day.