50 kilometres in 5 days: ‘I followed a Nike training program and here’s what you need to know’

Plus, Lydia O’Donnell's 5 tips for sticking to a fitness routine during quarantine

By Jess Arrowsmith • 2 years ago • HEALTH & FITNESS

As a trainer myself, I’m typically sitting in the ‘trainer’ seat more so than I am in the ‘being trained’ seat. When it comes to my workouts, they’re typically inspired by programs I follow or workouts I create. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t go easy on myself but when your workouts for a full week are in the hands of Nike Trainer Lydia O’Donnell, it’s a whole different story.

But let’s back up a little here. I recently followed a strict 5-day workout regime by Marathon athlete and Nike running coach Lydia O’Donnell. We had a Zoom call to discuss my goal for the 5 days and decided on ‘Running over 50 kilometres in 5 days’ would be my target to hit.

My initial thoughts? Sure, I can run 10k a day for 5 days – no problem. I’m healthy, fit and work out regularly and so for me personally, running 10K a day wouldn’t be too challenging. Of course, Lydia had much more in store.

These 50Ks weren’t just 50Ks at a steady pace. We took on each day with a different style of running – sprint-ervals, hill sprints, jogs, longer runs – and these were paired with additional workouts from glute-activation bursts to HIIT sessions and even some yoga too.

Safe to say, it wasn’t an easy feat but it was definitely a rewarding one. If there’s one thing I have come to truly appreciate from this experience it would be the power of commitment and disciple of sticking to a routine. While I’m typically fairly good at this, it was a different type of discipline to fit the program created for me into my day, rather than working my workouts into my day as I usually would. The part I love most about this? My daily workouts became a priority and I had to plan when I would get them done according to how long they would take me to complete to ensure I didn’t slack or miss my daily target.

Lydia is a queen of discipline and her hard work has truly paid off. So take it from her and read below her tips and tricks for developing a routine that works and sticking to it – especially when self-motivation is particularly key during isolation and while in quarantine:

Lydia shares: ‘Our mental health needs just as much attention as our physical health, especially in times of change. We should be consistently checking in on ourselves and acknowledging how we are feeling.’

‘Keeping up a regular daily routine and having a purpose each day is a significant part of maintaining a healthy mind and body. The structure will allow you to find the time to dedicate to movement and set personal goals.’

‘The journey to accomplishing these goals can relieve feelings of tension and stress while boosting physical and mental energy and enhancing overall wellbeing.’

Read below for Lydia’s top 5 tips for sticking to a routine:

Be prepared

A training schedule is key to making sure you get the work done. Each week I have a structure of how my training will look each day. If I have a pre-planned training routine it eliminates the decisions I have to make throughout the week and gives me a specific guideline to follow. It will also mean I am doing the right things on the right days, and not completely exhausting myself.

Keep track

Track your workouts and runs as it is a good way to map progress. For running, I use the Nike Run Club App (NRC App) which allows you to log your runs, it counts your weekly kilometres, and shows your progress over time. This really helps with motivation to continue moving.

Stay connected

You may not be able to run with friends, but you can still keep up to date with each other’s activity! With my friends,  we use the NRC App to set up challenges between us. It’s fun and keeps us on track to hit our weekly goals. It is also a great way to stay accountable to one another as well as feeling a sense of community, understanding that we are all in this together.

Variety is key

Variety in training is the key to becoming a better athlete. Testing ourselves over different runs is an important way to get fitter, faster and stronger. I also find it helps me to stay motivated throughout the week. You can find a huge range of Audio Guided Runs (including speed runs, Headspace runs and long runs) on the NRC app. These guided runs give you an opportunity to be educated and entertained when you’re on the move. They can be used to change up your training each day and to keep you upping the Kms!

Give yourself peace of mind

With the additional stress we may be facing at the moment, it is important that we aren’t always pushing ourselves to our limits. Allowing ourselves time to disconnect and focus on our mental health is a way to stay motivated to train. I have found myself doing more yoga on the Nike Training Club app. It helps me slow down, check in on my mental health and make sure I am doing ok. 

If you’d like to see my daily vlog series outlining each day of the program Lydia designed for me, check them out below:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5



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