Marathon Bloggers: Lorna, 10 weeks to go!

First time marathoner Lorna had a tough training week but her new-found running family got her through. YAY runners! She also reached a wicked running milestone. YAY Lorna! Oh sod it, YAY everyone!


Name: Lorna Mann

Age: 29

Marathon history: First marathon – London 2013

Goal: to finish in one piece!


Lorna Berlin+10k-2What I learnt this week: I need to take my rest days seriously and listen to my body (and my trainer). I was tired this week and had a nagging little foot injury that would only have deteriorated if I didn’t rest it. Annoying as it is, I had to take things easy.

I also realised that my diet is just as important as my training. I haven’t eaten as well as I should have (tired, stressed, cold) and that’s definitely had a negative effect on my energy levels. Next week it’s all about clean eating, high energy levels and getting back on track!

It’s been a bit of a hard training week this week  but before I get into that I just wanted to share my running highlight. I reached a new milestone by clocking 101 runs in one calendar year! I’m rather proud of that. I celebrated by buying new trainers. Nike Flyknit Lunar+1 – total trainer porn.

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Now. Back to it. Given that my energy levels weren’t as sky high as usual this week, I had a lot more time to reflect. And by reflect I mean talk about training to anyone that stood still long enough to listen to me.

I’m definitely of the opinion that ‘it’s good to talk’. I talk constantly, especially when it comes to chatting about how training’s going. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m equally happy to listen to other’s training tales, take advice and generally share in the supportive world that is running. Note the word supportive there.

In the five months that I’ve been training for the marathon, some amazing support networks have sprung up around me. And when times get tough (as they did this week) I’m reminded just how important this support is to both me and my training.

When you break it down, running is a solo activity that can be pretty isolating. It’s also something that you have to throw yourself into fully and leave some parts of your current lifestyle behind. This means that even your closest of friends can find it hard to appreciate and comprehend. It’s taken some time and getting used to, however I have come to identify some key groups who have helped support me when the running has got tough:


  • Oh, hello James!

    Oh, hello James!

    My trainer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I have the best personal trainer anyone can ask for. Having a personal trainer is one of the best training tools you’ll have as a runner. James has not only guided me patiently and thoroughly through a training and nutrition plan, he’s also listened to many a rant, offered sound advice and told me to man up and chill out at appropriate times. I have, and will continue to (sorry James!) lean on him during the good times and the bad when training.


  • My Gym. The staff at Gymbox Covent Garden are phenomenally supportive – they’ve taken an active interest in my training and they’ve been so encouraging along the way – they make me smile every time I walk through the door.
  • RURC Running club. I discovered these ladies by accident and would recommend all female runners join their Facebook page – they are a genuinely passionate group of women who embrace other female runners from around the world as family.
  • Boutique Sport’s After Dark Running Club. I was petrified of joining a running club – I’m slow, I get distracted, I HATE letting people down but I bit the bullet and joined in the fun in December. I’m so grateful – I met the awesome Victoria at Boutique Sport (who I consider my fitness sister) and generally feel supported every time I run with the group – roll on March when the fun starts again!
  • Nike Training Clubs. I’ve not looked back since discovering the NTC app and free NTC classes. The Train to Run class in London’s Regents Park, led by the awesome Gil Cramer, has been so important in my training to date. Training as a group helps you realise you are not alone in your running concerns, everyone has good and bad days, and the group are there to help you through them in order to make you a better runner. If you can book a place I thoroughly recommend you try the classes out!
  • Lunges & Lycra. Not wanting to embarrass Emma and Charlotte but they have been receptive to every email, every tweet, every question I’ve ever asked. They’ve built a really solid community with this site, and I definitely feel like one of the family. (Awww, we’re blushing. Mwah! L&L)
  • Twitter. I may have mentioned I like to talk and I’m permanently attached to Twitter too. The amount of knowledge shared, encouragement shouted and general love experienced on Twitter by the running community is overwhelming – followers (@shoebird) I am forever in your debt!


Now don’t get me wrong – I have some amazingly supportive friends outside the fitness world that I haven’t mentioned but this week I wanted to share my experience of dropping into the running and fitness community as a beginner and being fully embraced as an ‘athlete’ within seconds of joining.

I’ve found that there is so much support, so much expert advice and so many, quite frankly petrifying, tales of experience out there that have been shared so openly with me – all I had to do is ask. I’m not only beginning to learn more as a runner because of that, I’m also a much stronger person too. To put it simply, I’d be lost without my fitness family on this journey.


Weekly training stats: Miles/kms covered: 10.3km/6.4 miles (as I said, it was a TOUGH week)

Tuesday 5 Feb

60 mins leg training with Personal Trainer James McGill/Gymbox Covent Garden. This my friends was a D I S A S T E R session. Bruised foot meant split squats were a no go, tired hamstrings meant hamstring curls were ridiculous. But hey, I had a good chat with James!

Wednesday 6 Feb

60 mins hot yoga at Yotopia Covent Garden.

Thursday 7 Feb

60 mins upper body training with Personal Trainer James McGill/Gymbox Covent Garden

Friday 8 Feb

10k run pounding the snowy streets of Berlin. This was particularly difficult but felt happy to have achieved it

Saturday 9 Feb

Rest day

Sunday 10 Feb

3k sprint session on the treadmill.

Monday 11 Feb

Rest day. Completed the NTC stretch programmes for 30 mins.


Running track of the week: I need to share two this week – both are on constant repeat when training:  Lights On, Katy B Feat Ms Dynamite  and High For This, The Weeknd


Follow Lorna’s journey and read her earlier marathon training blogs here

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