Avoid Burn-Out with Cross-Training and/or Triathlon Training

By Coach Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Running was something that I was exposed to as a young child. We had a fun little track program in Elementary school and I found myself running on that dirt track behind the school on my own. I loved the feeling of running and I seemed to do well at it which fueled my desire to get better. During my middle school years in Colorado we did not have a track program so I played basketball and softball and excelled at both but my true underlying talent was running.  I joined the cross-country team in high school and worked hard to become one of Colorado’s top distance runners earning a scholarship to college.  There was a lot of pressure to perform as I experienced in high school and overall I did well but over the years I was getting burnt out. By the end of my last college running season I was pretty done, but had the lingering goal of doing a marathon so I pushed through another summer of training and through an IT Band flare up to compete in my first Marathon in St. George Utah where I qualified for Boston and won $100 from Powerbar.  I had no intentions to qualify but happened to. As that point I was so burnt out and my IT band wasn’t happy with me so I didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.  Fast forward to many years and kids later I found a book at a second hand store on triathlon training. I first learned about triathlons in high school when I read about it in the paper (Read my Taste An Orange Story) and that very day I set a goal to do a triathlon one day. That day was now here. After losing a baby (Learn More About Race For Grief – Samantha  ) and three-high risk pregnancies I was determined to get super fit after having my third boy and what better way to do that then start training for a triathlon! I enlisted the support of my running friend that was also an amazing swimmer and we started swimming together. I bought an inexpensive road bike and trained myself. I watched a few triathlons in person and then sign-up to do one myself. I did very well at my first event and really loved the variety in training. If I didn’t feel like running I could swim or cycle. I love that variety and flexibility. I have been privileged enough to earn All-World Athlete status and compete in two Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I have done three full Ironman events and many half competing all over the world.  I have fallen in love with triathlon training and have since incorporated in trail running, hiking, martial arts, indoor bouldering, playing volleyball with my daughter and mountain biking. The amazing thing is that I have not experienced the burn out like I did in college. Variety was the key for me. I still love running but I like to change it up. I also think this is great for my athletes. Most injuries in running are from overuse or doing too much of one thing.

My athletes seem to be healthier when we do a variety of activities in training and they usually perform better too and don’t get burnt out.  I highly encourage you change up your training here or there to keep it exciting. Here are other ideas of things I have done:  snowshoeing, try a new gym classes, cross-country skiing, elliptical, indoor cycling, yoga, swimming, indoor surfing etc. Please note:  While it’s fun to add new things; it is still important to include key workouts to maintain sport specific fitness.

Happy Training,

Coach Lora


Coach Lora Erickson is a competitive runner and nationally ranked triathlete with over 30 years of athletic experience. She is the owner of Blonde Runner Health LLC in Bountiful, Utah where she currently resides. For more information on coaching (online and in person coaching available) and community classes available, contact Coach Lora aka “Blonde Runner” directly at theblonderunner@gmail.com or visit BlondeRunner.com


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Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete and certified running and triathlon coach recently competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Africa in 2018. Lora was born and raised in Colorado and was to run for the University and Utah & Utah State University where she obtained a degree in Community Health Education with duel minors in Chemistry and Nutrition. Coach Lora has a true passion for health promotion and loves to share her experiences. Learn more: About Coach Lora Erickson