Q&A with Lydia O’Donnell


Half-marathon champion Lydia O’Donnell reveals the secrets to her success on the track.

Gym bag necessities
Running shoes are a must-have. I’m a marketing coordinator for Nike and I usually run in our Flyknit Lunar 3 shoes but I also carry a pair of training shoes like the TR6, which are perfect for the gym and high-intensity workouts. I always have a bottle of water, my phone for a few selfies, deodorant and a sweat towel. I also carry a dri-fit knit because I tend to get cold after a long run.

Favourite shoe
I’m currently wearing the Nike Blazers but I’m a big Nike Jordan fan. It really depends on the outfit. I usually pick out the shoes first then work my way up. I have between 60 and 70 pairs of trainers! I own two pairs of heels but one of them is more like a wedge heel crossed with a trainer.


Fitness icons
I inspire to run like Mo Farah. He’s the Olympic and World Champion over 5,000 and 10,000 metres. I also really admire Mary Cain, who runs professionally in America. She’s only 18 years old but she’s ridiculously fit. Both Mo and Mary run with a specially selected group called the Oregon Project. It’s a dream of mine to join them one day.

Best running spot
There are some stunning tracks in the Waitakere Ranges that are perfect for long distance. One of my favourites is the track from Titirangi to Muriwai, which is about 70 kilometres long. I only run a section of it at a time. During winter it gets really muddy, which adds to the fun. I once got lost for a couple of hours, which wasn’t all that bad since the scenery is so beautiful.

Beauty must-have
You see a lot of runners with worn and dry skin from the sun, so I make a point to always wear a moisturiser with a high SPF. I get a deep tissue massage quiet often – but it’s far from relaxing, I usually leave in tears.

Top tune
I find the breakfast show on George FM really entertaining and it’s a great distraction, it’s like running with a friend.

Must-follow  on Instagram
I love seeing what my friends are up to. Millie Elder-Holmes and Kirsty Godso post great photos. I follow a few hot women for motivation and the Nike Instagram account is always inspiring.