5 Questions with Dave Mackey and Magdalena Boulet
Two top trail runners discuss how they balance training and racing with full-time jobs and family
From left: Photo by Myles Smith/Michigan Bluff Photography; Photo by Scott Markewitz.
We’re looking forward to hanging out with HOKA athletes Dave Mackey and Magdalena Boulet later this month at our second annual Trail Runner Photo Camp in the red-rock country outside of Moab, Utah.
We recently caught up with Magdalena and Dave on how they find balance in their busy lives.
Photo by Myles Smythe/Michigan Bluff Photography
- Age: 40
- Hometown: Oakland, California
- Occupation: VP of Innovation, Research and Development at GU Energy Labs
Former Olympic marathoner, Magdalena Boulet, with an impressive marathon PR of 2:26:22, has been running competitively since 1997. “At first I just went out for the team because my friend was on the team,” says Boulet. “Then I found out that if I ran well enough, it could pay for college. Even after college, I wasn't really focused on making a career out of running, I just wanted to keep training and competing.”
Since then, Boulet has competed in distances from 8K to 50 miles. Earlier this year, she won the Way Too Cool 50K, and also boasted a 2:33:13 finish at the Boston Marathon. She also has an 8-year-old son and works full time as VP of Innovation, Research and Development at GU Energy Labs.
1. You’ve raced a variety of distances. Have you always been interested in trying different distances?
I think I just enjoy racing, and I also enjoy trying new things. That's what keeps training interesting to me.
There are plenty of women out there who could excel at multiple distances, but they don't try them. Either they enjoy what they're doing, or prefer to stay within their comfort zone. I'm also an extremely competitive person, so I don't really care what distance or surface I'm running, I'm going to give it my best shot no matter what.
A lot of people train full time so that they can make a living off of running. I wanted to make a living off of running so that I could keep training full time.
2. What's your training schedule like?
My typical training week these days with a full-time job consists of 80-100 miles per week mostly on single runs. I do treadmill hill repeats once a week (I call this workout a Jack Daniels Special), I do one long run a week of 20-30 miles depending on what I am gearing up for and I do one threshold workout or “three-headed monster” workout where I combine threshold, 5K and mile effort all into one workout. The rest of the days, I run easy miles on my favorite trails with friends. When my body tells me that I need a rest day, I take it. Occasionally I jump into a swimming pool and on the ElliptiGO.
3. Have you struggled with injuries and, if so, how have you dealt with them?
I've probably been injured just as often as I've been totally healthy over the last 15 years. I've had a few stress fractures, and a lot of trouble with my feet; I've battled a plantar problem for most of the last 10 years. But, I've been lucky in that most of the injuries I've had have been minor enough that I can keep training to some extent, or not be out of training for too long (except the stress fractures, of course). My husband has gotten pretty good at foot massage and that has helped a great deal.
4. You've worked with coach Jack Daniels in the past. How has having a coach has benefited your running?
Jack has been my coach and mentor for over 13 years now. He is a wealth of knowledge and experience and my consistency and longevity in the sports is a result of my coaching relationship with him. I often wonder how different my running career would have been if our paths never crossed. Scary to even think about it.
5. How do you maintain balance between running and family life?
It helps that my husband was also a professional runner, and he understands just how much training and racing means to me. We make a lot of races into family trips. We were in Boston the whole week before the race because my son was on spring break, and he got to see a lot of historical sites that he'll learn about in school. But mostly, it just means making time to get the training in before work or during my lunch break. GU Energy Labs is extremely supportive of my passion for running and competing, as it deeply defines the understanding and connection for the athletic community I work with.
Read on for our Q&A with Dave Mackey ...