Lydia O’Donnell, one of the fit faces behind Nike+ Run Club, chats to Britomart about her current training goals, what’s on her plate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and more.

Lydia O’Donnell

What do you do?
Marathon Runner – Athlete.

You have almost 11k people following you on Instagram, but who do you look to for inspiration?
I look up to a lot of my friends. I have a group of amazing friends who are not only physically so strong and fit, but are also so determined to succeed in all areas of their lives. I find surrounding yourself with people who are on the same mission as you can make what you do a lot more achievable. To be inspired daily by the friends around you is much more significant to me than those I follow on Instagram. Social Media is just a tool for me to share my love of running in hope to inspire others to get out running too.

Where are your favourite NZ running spots?
The Waitakere Ranges have the most amazing trails to run in. I would run out there every day if I could. Trail running is my sort of ‘theme park’. The Hillary Trail runs for 80km up the coast, so you have plenty of rides to choose from. My favourite would be from Bethells Beach up to Muriwai. The climb is huge but so good for building strength.

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What are you training for at the moment?

My long term goal at the moment is working towards the Commonwealth Games 2018. To get there I will be putting a plan in place to compete at a few Half Marathons this year and go for a qualifying Marathon in 2017. Short term we have National Half Marathon Champs in June, where I will be aiming to retain my National Title.

You’ve talked in the past about keeping to a strict diet, what does a typical day’s menu look like?
I am currently going through a few dietary changes as with my marathon training ramping up I had been under-fueling my body for the amount of training I was doing. It is amazing how the body functions when it is constantly under pressure. My nutritionist is working with me to increase my carbohydrate intake but I focus on all low-GI carbs.

My Daily Menu

• Breakfast: protein and oats with Greek yoghurt OR two eggs on wholemeal toast
• Lunch: Wholemeal wrap with protein, such as chicken and salad
• Dinner: Protein, ideally red meat, with vegetables and salad. I eat a lot of kumara or brown rice!

If you were to have a cheat day…what would be your go-to?
Little and Friday donuts – hands down

What’s always in your gym bag?
Headphones, boxing wraps and my phone! I am always in need of good music when I am training. I am currently addicted to boxing, as it compliments my running so well. And I definitely need my phone as who doesn’t love a good sweaty selfie!


Tell us any of your favourite health and wellness apps.

Nike+ Run Club app and Nike+ Training Club app. Both are great tools for my training as I use the NRC app as my training diary to keep track of my progress and to detail out my running each week. NTC offers a wide range of workouts, which is great when I am lacking motivation at the gym and need guidance, especially on running specific drills or stretching sessions. Try out the Motion To Burn 20-minute workout from NTC, it targets the glutes and hamstrings which is perfect for runners. I will be taking part in the NTC live workout on June 18th at Britomart Health Week!

You studied geology at uni, any ambitions to follow that path in the future?
I am so passionate about science and very interested in continuing to learn about the earth. Whether this is a hobby or a career who knows!

Ok, last thing, how do we get abs like yours..?
Haha, I wouldn’t compare yourself to anybody. Your body is your body, and everybody is different. Figure out what works for you, maintain a healthy lifestyle and commit to your training. Concentrate on the physical and mental benefits of running, the aesthetics will come naturally.

Instagram: @lydiaodo 
Website: lydiaodonnell.com
Banner Image: Matt Crawford Photography

Health Week

Join Lydia and the Nike Training+ Club crew outside Nike Britomart on Saturday 18 June for a 60-minute circuit as part of Britomart’s Health Week brought to you by The Yummy Fruit Company. Incorporating high intensity interval training, cardio and Pilates, the one-hour session is free and open for anyone to attend with registration. Register here to secure your spot, spaces are limited.

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