Running on the road to glory

By Louise Heraghty, Friday, 6th May 2016 | 0 comments

For any first time participant of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, the fear of the unknown can certainly be one of the toughest parts of preparation. You can find yourseld worrying about whether you have done enough training to make sure you can comfortably cover a distance of 10 kilometres.

However for Team Vhi & The Herald member Lucy Dillon, this hurdle has already been overcome and her progress with just over three weeks to go has been superb.

Lucy along with her friend completed a 10k run in Dundalk recently and were delighted to have been able to jog almost all of it “we jogged about 9k in total just breaking it up by walking whenever we felt the need to. It was a lovely run along the coast and we finished in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes”.

It’s a fantastic time for a first 10k and although the 24 year old is not hugely concerned with what time she gets on June 6th “it would be nice to knock another 10 minutes off” she said.

Commiting to the team and to taking part in the race has really given Lucy a boost and she is training consistently. Now that she has started a new job it means she is in more of a routine and is home early every evening. Lucy has started going to the gym on her lunchbreak and has been given a resitance training plan by the instructor Rory. “He took me through some upper body exercises using weights which I will combine with leg work like squats, lunges, calf raises and leg presses.” Lucy who lost 1 stone 10lbs on Operation Transformation wants to lose another 2 stone and really wants to tone up and increase her fitness.

The addition of resistance training exercises using weights or even just body weight will really complement training for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. This will increase leg strength, help reduce body fat and will help improve speed. If you are nervous about using weights just ask an instructor to give you a programme or sign up for a class like kettlebells,circuits or TRX.

Lucy had been running with a group in Navan every Tuesday night and they finished the last session last week with a 6km run on the track. Thankfully she has no injuries or illness worries at this time and the plan for the last three weeks before June 6th is to keep up the running and gym work but there is no need to increase distance too much as Lucy now knows she can cover the 10km fairly comfortably.

Another confidence booster for the Meath woman was reaching a personal best in her local Park Run. Lucy’s time was 31 minutes although she was in a queue at the end of the race to scan her barcode so her finish time was actually under 30 minutes – The Park Run is a volunteer organised weekly 5km open to everyone in parks all over the country so timing may not always be as accurate but it is an amazing facility and free to all (more information on

In terms of diet and lifestyle Lucy says she is back on track and has returned to the Operation Transformation food plan. She had joined a weight loss group and even though the likes of Weight Watchers and Slimming World have proven successful for many, the OT plan is the one that suits Lucy. “I’m all or nothing when it comes to diet so if I think I can have treats or ‘sins’ I would be inclined to go overboard. It’s all about keeping it simple now and preparing my food”. She is within the 14 stone bracket and would love to drop another 2 stone this year.

Given her progress with the running to date and with the new weights plan I really feel Lucy can succesfully achieve her goals. Her new work hours are also beniffiting greatly as one of the most important parts of healthy living is getting enough sleep and adequate recovery.  

There is no stopping her on the road to the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon glory!