Runner Profile:  Judith Lonnen (nee Lowry)



In the past 3-4 years the name Judith Lowry (now Lonnen – congratulations Judith and Dave!) has always featured prominently in running results, yet the talented lady is not so much associated with running, but more Duathlon and Triathlon.  Despite gearing her training towards Duathlon and Triathlon, Judith always manages to impress on the roads.

Not long after I started the NiRunning website (August 2012), the City of Lisburn AC athlete just missed a podium place at the Laganside 10k, finishing in 5th place, in what was one of the best female fields I have seen during my time in running. Not long after that, Judith produced an outstanding performance at the Northern Ireland road relays in Victoria Park, leading the field into the first changeover; the very next day she (Judith) won the Runher 5k at Stormont.

Since then, Judith has continually impressed and has established herself as one of the provinces top female runners, an excellent achievement considering she doesn’t taper for running races.  The improvement in Judith’s running and the associated personal bests have also enhanced her ability as a triathlete; just last week (Wednesday 17th July 2013) Judith won the ladies race at the prestigious Dalriada Glenarm Triathlon by just under four minutes, having run the fourth quickest run split of the entire 124 person (male and female) field!

Full Name:  Judith Lonnen (nee Lowry)

Current Category:  Female Vet35

Associated Club:  City of Lisburn AC (and Invictus Triathlon Squad)

Personal Bests:  1500m 4:54.32, 3000m – 10:31:92, 5k – 17:57, 5 miles – 29:40, 10k – 36:50, Half Marathon (13.1m) – 1:28:02

What is your favourite Northern Ireland (running) event?  It is really difficult to pick a favourite. I love flat fast courses and hope that Belfast Solstice Run becomes an annual event. I really enjoy the Queens 5k, Lisburn 10k, the road relay championships and it’s hard to beat the atmosphere when competing in a Belfast Marathon relay team.

When did you start running?  I ran a little in school and started again about 5 years ago when I met my husband, who is a running coach and who introduced me to City of Lisburn AC.

Why do you run?  No matter how tired or stressed out I feel, a run always seems to bring me out of it. I also love racing when I feel competitive – it makes all the tough training sessions worthwhile.

You are a successful Duathlete/Triathlete; do you find it hard training for all the disciplines?  How do you structure your training to make sure you benefit from it?  I do find it really difficult to fit everything in and often have to do more than one session per day. Sometimes it feels like an endless cycle of training. Fortunately, I have an amazing cycling coach, Stephen Gallagher (DigDeep Coaching), and running coach, my husband Dave Lonnen (, who work together and structure all my training for me. Every session is very specific to my race goals; there is no room for junk mileage.

How much of your training would involve running? and, would running be your favourite of the three disciplines (running, swimming, cycling)?Running would be about 30% of my training, cycling 50% and the rest would be swimming and strength & conditioning. Running would probably be my favourite but cycling would definitely be coming in as a very close second.

Do you train specifically for running races, or are they part of an overall plan for upcoming Duathlons/Triathlons?  My ‘A’ races each year are always Duathlons or Triathlons, so I would never taper for a running race; I use them as hard training sessions.

What is your next race and what do you want from it?  I am currently training for Lanzarote Half Ironman in October 2013, so I have entered a few triathlons in the upcoming weeks. As far as running races are concerned, I am hoping to race Belfast Half Marathon as I will be running that distance off the bike in October. It’s been a while since I have raced a Half Marathon so I am hoping it will help me know how to pace myself in Lanzarote.

What is your favourite training ‘session’?  I love a 10k training set like 5 x 1 mile with a good warm up and cool down. It is really satisfying to get through such a tough set.


What is your favourite pre-race and post-race meals?  I eat a paleo gluten free diet, which seems to really work for me. Pre–race I focus on high protein and low GI carbs so usually have eggs or full fat yogurt with berries and nuts. After a race I try to get a banana and protein shake into me within about 5 minutes of my cool down and after that a big fry up and as much chocolate as I can find. There is often a glass or two of wine involved as well.

What would you consider to be your greatest achievement in running?  I’m pretty happy with how things have been going as I still feel like a relative new comer to running. Breaking 40mins for 10k was a pretty big benchmark and my times have continued to come down ever since. I am quite proud that I am normally able to achieve the fastest female run split in domestic Triathlons/Duathlons.

What is your running ambition?  I have big plans for next year and want to compete in the European and World Duathlon Championships – if I could continue to bring my 10k times down it would really help my chances of coming home with a medal.

Outside running, cycling and swimming; are there any other sports do you like?  I love all sports that don’t require any hand eye co-ordination. I used to sail and do a lot of water sports when I was younger. I then competed in a few fitness competitions and loved doing weights. These days it is really hard to fit in anything more that the triathlon training but we do head away for a couple of weeks Skiing and snowboarding every Christmas.