Marathon Bloggers: Lorna, 4 weeks to go!

Just one month to go till race day and Lorna’s planning what to carry, what to listen to and – most importantly – what to wear for her first marathon. (She also hated her 16-mile race, check out the face!)

Name: Lorna Mann
Age: 29
Marathon history: First marathon – London 2013
Goal: to finish in one piece!

What I learnt this week.  16 miles hurt me. Every bit of me. Inside and out. After the awesomeness of the Silverstone Half Marathon I thought I was ready for 16 miles but oh, how wrong I was. The Kingston Breakfast Run this weekend was cold, early and relentless on body and mind. The nature of the course (and most likely the time of day and the FREEZING weather) meant I was running solo, and very much aware of it. Without any crowd support it was hard making it around the course (two laps of eight miles… another thing I found soul destroying – laps!), which resulted in tears of pain rather than of happy emotions and a bad, bad mood at the end of the race. But I’m moving on. There’s 20 miles to run next week all completely on my own. Eeep.


Lorna before













So it’s only four weeks until the big day, and like any big day, the prep ramps up from now on. I’ve started thinking about my marathon survival list… Here’s what I need:



Music has always played a huge part in my life – certain tracks define people, moments, places. Ever since I started running I have always listened to music. It helps keep me motivated and provides so much entertainment for those around me when I forget I’m not in the privacy of my own home and start dancing/belting out a track mid run. Knowing how important music is to me on a big run I devised a little plan. I asked 26 of my closest friends to suggest three or four songs for my marathon day playlist so that with each mile I’ll be able to think about someone close to me. They did me proud – the songs are brilliant to run to, I’ve found some new music, and every few tracks I beam from ear to ear remembering some brilliant times with each contributor.


It’s no secret that I love kit. I’ve made that clear from the beginning. Deciding what to wear for marathon day has been tougher than some of the training. I want to stand out, I want to look like myself, but also be comfortable and the kit needs to be functional. I think I’ve got it nailed – limited-edition Nike leggings that will NOT go unnoticed on the day, a customised t-shirt (also Nike) and the trusted New Balance trainers. I wanted to make sure there was a personal touch to my kit though – I’ll never have a first marathon again, I may never run London again, I may never run again (unlikely) so I devised another little plan. I asked the four boys I love the most to contribute something to my kit. One bought me the leggings from the US, another found the perfect running socks that are not boring black. The other two are surprising me with something that I can keep close to keep them in mind on the day. I’ll keep you posted.

Cheerleading squad.

The one thing I’ve learned on race day is no matter how much I cry when I run past crowds they most certainly help! I’ve raced without anyone I know along for the ride and I still felt supported by complete strangers. With London I’m lucky enough to have generous friends who have agreed to be at various points along the course. I know where they’ll be and how to identify them (neon balloons, thanks very much) and they roughly know how slow I run, so they know when I’ll plod past them. Some have planned a pub crawl, one group will be meeting me in the pub at the end of it all, but no matter where they are I’m really touched that they are even considering giving up their time to support me!


Actual running essentials

GU gelsMy pre-marathon races have helped me learn what exactly I need to worry about on race day, and when I need to worry about them. I’ve worked out I need sugar at around every 10k – so plenty of GU Gels are always handy (Lemon Sublime flavour. Yum). I know I need water at my disposal rather than waiting for the water stations – so on goes the hydration backpack. I’ve nailed my kit and have my pre-race meals down to a fine art…


A rock. Someone who’s there through thick and thin

James McGIll-Personal Trainer-The Savoy Hotel, London, United KingdomI bang on about it week in week out, but having a personal trainer has been the best preparation I could have asked for and for the next four weeks I’m afraid that the awesome James McGill at Gymbox Covent Garden will be tried, tested, cried on and pushed to his limits while pushing me to mine. James has continually offered expert advice, taken me through programmes with amazing results and been a phenomenal sounding board thus far, and is showing no signs of breaking… (please don’t break… please don’t break). Consider this a warning James – I’m about to lean on you more than ever!



Weekly training stats: Miles/kms covered: 16 miles.


Tuesday 19 March

Leg day with personal trainer. Hamstring curls, split squats, back extensions, leg presses, kettlebells. Exhausting but one of the best sessions I’ve had in a long time. PT James is awesome.

Wednesday 20 March

Rest. Included 30 mins of stretching in the morning and before bed.

Thursday 21 March

60 mins hot yoga at Yotopia

Friday 22 March

60 mins dynamic yoga at Good Vibes Covent Garden

60 mins upper body training with personal trainer James.

Saturday 23 March

2 hour “Yoga for Runners” workshop at Good Vibes Covent Garden

Sunday 24 March

16 mile Whole Foods Breakfast Run.

Monday 25 March

60 mins dynamic yoga at Good Vibes Covent Garden


Running tracks of the week: Munich, Editors, Pony Up, Kings of Leon.

Read Lorna’s earlier marathon blogs here.



Leave a Reply