Tips for Beginners

August 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety

I was recently interviewed.  Here are my responses to the questions.  I hope you will find a kernel of information that might be helpful for you.  Beginners rock!

Coach Lora Erickson

What is a tip you share with all beginning runners?

The advice I like to give to beginners is don’t run too much too soon.  A seasoned runner can handle a lot more miles and beginners need to build up their miles over a period of time or they will end up injured.  If they are not sure how to do this it would be best to follow a program or hire a coach.  They also need to use a good pair of running shoes from a specialty store and allow time for a proper warm-up/cool-down & stretching.  They should also supplement their running with regular core & strength training.

A lot of people have heard about a walk-and-jog method when they start running. Can you explain what that is and why it’s beneficial?

Yes, I think a walk-run is a great approach to getting started.  It allows the body to adapt to the jarring of running.  Often walk-run programs require short run bouts sandwiched between walking breaks.  I do recommend those starting with this approach eventually build up to continuous running.

How can you improve your speed or endurance?

The best way to improve your speed is to incorporate pace and speed workouts into your training.  If you keep doing what you have always done, your results will remain the same.  If you want something different, you need to do something different.  There are various types of workouts (fartlek, tempo, interval, hill repeats, etc…) but they are often done wrong by beginners.  I highly suggest working with a coach and getting specific guidance to improve your speed properly to reduce your risk of injury especially if you plan to start race; 5K, 10K, triathlon, half marathon and especially the marathon distance.  Endurance can be built with increasing long run time.  A general rule of thumb is 10% a week.

What are the most important factors in having good running form?

There are many factors that contribute to good running form; one of which is utilizing a proper lean from the ankle.  Many runners concern themselves with foot strike, but often manipulating the lean can fix heel strike issues.  There are many other important elements to proper form but this is usually one that makes the most difference.

What can people do to improve their form, or why is it important to have good form?

Having good form can reduce or eliminate injuries as well as improve overall running economy.  The best way to improve your form is have a certified coach evaluate your form and give you direct feedback and specific drills that will help you.  Over the 18 years that I have coached I have discovered that no two people are exactly alike and usually flexibility issues and muscular imbalance need to be identified and addressed.  I am a big believer in a custom approach to form fixes.  I also offer a popular Running Form Class that highlights common problems that when they are fixed allow the runner to meet his or her true potential.  You can learn more by visiting
What are the most common running injuries?

Overuse injury is commonly found in distance running ie. tendonitis.  Simply many runners run through pain that they should not or do too much too soon.  Understanding the value of “rest” will lead to more success for any runner.

What are 3 or 4 ways to avoid the common running injuries?

Start slow and allow the body to adapt.  Vary the terrain you are running on.  I often see people with leg problems because they are always running on a crowned or cambered road.  Running on a slant repetitively can cause problems.  Also, don’t be afraid to cross-train.  Utilizing other sports in your training can make you a well-rounded athlete and allows you to challenge yourself and muscles in other ways.  Cross-training also makes running a “treat” since you may not do it everyday and allows you the mental break often needed to prevent burn-out.    Swimming builds the strength in the arms and cycling helps strengthen the legs yet is not as hard on the joints.  This is why I enjoy triathlon training so much.


Amazing Karate Chick

Need some inspiration.  This chick is amazing.  She has great flexibility, strength and control.  Amazing! Enjoy.

Coach Lora Erickson


My Son Made This Commercial

My son made this little video for me. He couldn’t find a swimmer or cyclist but I think it turned out great! Thanks Scott!
aka Coach Lora Erickson “Blonde Runner”

The Cover of Runner’s World – I need your vote

Coach Lora Erickson Blonde Runner runfun

Help get me on the cover of Runner’s World. I need your vote! You can vote once per day.

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Coached Fall Triathlon Training Program

train for a triathlon fall programTriathlon training is a blast!  Do you want to learn how to train properly?  If so, take my Fall Triathlon Training Program.  Beginners welcome.  This 5-week training program will begin the first week of October.  All aspects of triathlon training will be covered (swim technique, cycling skills, transitions, running form & nutrition).  For more details message  Please provide your phone number so I can call and give you more details about the program.  Thanks.

Coach Lora Erickson

USATF certified running coach & nationally ranked triathlete

Learn more about the coach

Keep Calm Run On

imagesCoach Lora Erickson

Small Group Swim Lessons

Coach Lora Erickson Triathlon Swimming

I will be offering my next small group swim session on Wed. August 27th.  This class will be for adults and will cover triathlon specific swim skills.  If you would like to get feedback on your stroke and learn how to swim faster and more effectively, this is a great class for you.  Also, if you are a beginner that struggles to breath correctly this is a good class for you.  If you are a more advanced swimmer I would suggest getting an Underwater Video Analysis done in addition to a small group swim class.  There are limited numbers in the classes so pre-payment is required to hold a spot.  All fees are non-refundable.  Contact Coach Lora Erickson at to reserve your spot.


“I swam so much better in this race than I did in the Women of Steel tri last year. I owe it all to the tips you taught me in that one hour swim class! Thank you Lora!” #blonderunner#masteroftriathlon#swimminggenius  Angie N.

Read More Testimonials

Learn more about Underwater Analysis

Want to learn how to train properly for a triathlon?

Openwater swim skill classes are also available.  Contact Coach Lora to learn more.  Wetsuit rental also available.

 wetsuit rent openwater swimming openwater swim coaching 0504_02434

Birthday Wish Workout

July 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Fitness, Product Reviews, Weight Loss


Today is my birthday!  Yes, July 30th is finally here!  I’ve been waiting all year for it to come and it’s FINALLY here!  I am 42 years old!  Today it is my wish that you would join me for a BIRTHDAY WISH WORKOUT.
You can find it on Instagram here
Join in the fun!  Please post pictures of you in action and tag #happybirthdaycoachlora @theblonderunner so I can see all the fun!  Please share it with a friend.  Let’s do this!!

42 things I am going to do on my 42nd birthday. July 30, 2014


(in no particular order – well maybe the icecream one)

1 – Eat ice-cream for breakfast – because I love ice cream and it’s my Birthday!

2 – Workout  - because it’s my fav.  Join in the fun with my Birthday Wish workout on Instagram!  To be posted July 30 in the morning when I decide to get up.  Hey, it’s my birthday.  I might sleep in until like 7 a.m. or something.

3 – get a massage (oh yeah!)

4 – Do karate with my son – because it’s fun.  Bring it!

5 – go running (yeah, I know I already mentioned exercise – but I love to exercise so it gets two spots)

6 – kiss my kids 42 times (it’s the gift that keeps on giving – I am sure they will LOVE this one)

7 – write down 42 things I like about myself (this might take all day)

8 – Laugh 42 times (this one will be a cinch, easy-peasy).  No, not all at once silly – people will think I’ve lost my mind.

9 – Eat vegetables – because I am worth taking care of.  Oh, yeah!  Bring on the salad.  I LOVE salads!

10 – Kick up my feet and read a magazine from front to back – or maybe just look at the pictures.

11 – Go shopping – because I LOVE to shop!  Maybe I will buy another bottle of nail polish for my collection.

12 – Share an inspirational quote with my dog and cat.  Hey – they are like my kids too.

13 – Open some presents.  Ok, re-wrap the presents I opened early and open them again (sorry, I just can’t wait).

14 – Buy myself more presents.  (J/K).  Maybe surf the web and imagine myself opening those presents.  Yeah know; the new car, fancy jewelry and two million dollar house.  That is going to take a lot of wrapping paper!

15 – Do some secret service to someone (I can’t tell you more or it won’t be a secret – “”wink””)

16 – Build a snowman with Elsa. Humm, not seeing any snow in these dog days of summer.  Maybe I’ll sing the Frozen song with my daughter at the top of our lungs.

17- Dance wildly to a song with all my children.   (They will love this one as we have done it before!)  Good times!  Good times!

18 – Take a nap – well, I might only have time for a power nap, but I’ll take it. I will be exhausted from all the festivities so far. I will need to rest up for the evening festivities.

19- Yawn!  Because I just took a nap.  You can yawn too if you are getting bored reading this, but you must read on.  You can do it!

20 – 25 Teach somebody something about health.  This will easily take 5 slots. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to teach others about health, fitness,& nutrition – you name it, I love it!

26 – Post some inspirational thought and change someone life forever.  Okay, maybe it won’t change someone’s life, but maybe, just maybe it will lighten their load for a day or spread some joy.

27 – Ring a cowbell – because it’s darn fun and reminds me of racing.  (no, I am not half cow – although you might think that by how I ate my ice-cream for breakfast)

28 – Make up a joke.  You might be surprised at my hidden skills in this arena.  My knock, knock jokes are pretty amazing; kinda like my children’s knock, knock jokes.

29 – Sing a song for reals.  Yes, I love to sing (not that I am good at it).  Move over Katy Perry, make some room for the Blonde Runner vocals sung in the amazing acoustics of the shower.  I am jammin’ to the Birthday song.

30 – Take a shower.  I would like to keep the friends that I have and it’s really the only place I feel comfortable singing.

31 – I can’t believe I am only on # 31.  Dang I am old.  I think I will give myself 42 spankings for getting so old.

32 – Get a suntan – okay, just kidding I already have a tan!  Have you seen my faint but REAL tan line I documented on Instagram?  Check it out  Isn’t it great?!

33 – Do nothing.  Because I never get to do nothing.  This might get boring so I will have to max it out at 3 minutes.

34 – Go outside and stare at the garden.  Yes, I like to stare at my garden.  My neighbors think I am crazy.  But I love my garden.  I would marry it if I could.

35 – Stop and smell the roses.  This is assuming I am moving, but remember I was staring at the garden so I guess I will have to walk over to the roses, stop, and then small them.  Yes, I love my flowers too.  I am not a plant racist.

36 – Go to dinner!  I love to eat out.  I like the challenge of finding healthy things to eat.  But I might get whatever I want because it’s my birthday.  (Good thing I run).

37 – Hug my kids 42 times because they didn’t get enough with the kisses.  I know they will just LOVE this.  It might turn into a wrestling match.

38 – Have a water fight or nerf gun war with my family (shhh, don’t tell them, I’m going to take them by surprise).  Clearly they have no chance.  Bring it!

39 – Walk the dog.  Because if I don’t he will poo and pee in the house and that is not a birthday present I want.

40 – Watch a movie at home (because I LOVE to watch movies at home with my family)

41 – Write in my journal and record things I am greatful for.  I want to remember this day.  You only get a birthday once a year! (They really ought to bump it up to two times a year so I can live to be 200 years old).

42- Make someone laugh.  If you even so much as chuckled at any of these I can check this one off.  Thank you!  (wink, wink)

Happy Birthday to me!  I am glad I was born!  Thanks for pushing me out Mom.

Poem: The Monument

When ever I am having a tough day I like to read this poem.  It puts things into perspective for me.  It helps me pick myself up and march on through life.  Hope it will lift you up too.  Enjoy.

Coach Lora Erickson


Before He sent his children to earth

Gave each of them

A very carefully selected package

Of problems,


He promised, smiling,

Are yours alone, No one

Else may have the blessings

These problems will bring you.

And only you

Have the special talents and abilities

That will be needed

To make these problems

Your servants.

Now go down to your birth

And to your forgetfulness, Know that

I love you beyond measure.

These problems that I give you

Are a symbol of that love.

These monuments you make of your life

With the help of your problems

Will be a symbol of your

Love for me.

Your Father.

Reference: Charlie’s Monument by Blaine M. Yorgason

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