Want to run, lift, race and compete? “Hybrid-athlete” Corinna Coffin shows you how.
And there's ONE thing she does that makes a big difference...
In this article, you'll learn...
Pretty much no matter where your athletic interests lie, there’s a way to work running into the mix.
In any case, one thing’s for sure: you’re just as much a runner as any traditional marathoner.
Altra athlete Corinna Coffin proves that you don’t need to take the traditional route to make space for running in your life.
Corinna identifies as a “hybrid athlete,” meaning that she intentionally seeks out new ways to combine different types of movement.
She prefers to explore the crossroads than limit her options.
“I train hard for a little bit of everything,” she explains, “and do what’s fun — which for me means taking on lots of different challenges.”
Corinna pulls from a few different pursuits including:
“You have to shift back and forth from a high heart rate doing things like lifting, sled pulls, and crawling in the dirt to forcing yourself to slow down for accuracy when you’re shooting,” describes Corinna.
“It’s such a unique test of skill.”
All that variety doesn’t keep Corinna from taking herself seriously as an athlete.
She might spread out her efforts across multiple outlets, but she approaches each one with a full tank of gas.
Corinna’s found that she can channel even more energy and enthusiasm into her training because of the wide range of experiences.
She never lets herself get bored, stagnant, or burnt out.
Underneath those diverse interests lies one constant source of joy and stability through it all: running.
“Running was my first love,” Corinna remembers.
“As a little girl I would run with my mom and that was our special bonding time together. It never felt like a chore, more like an adventure. I had no concept of distance back then."
"We’d run trails, through the city, everywhere. I loved it for what it allowed me to see and experience on my own two feet.”
Since then, running has played a part in every other sport she’s touched.
Though running never looks quite the same from season to season, Corinna always finds a reason to keep it on the schedule.
Running is also the glue that holds the pieces together in these sports that involve so many different components.
As she flits between focuses, running keeps Corinna grounded.
She knows that she’ll be able to handle whatever she chooses to pursue next because she’s built up such a reliable base of fitness on her feet.
Running also gives her the chance to explore the places she lives and really get to know the landscape, which adds to her sense of stability as her training changes shape.
But life’s not all training and competing for Corinna.
“I tried to take athletics full time right after college,” she remembers.
“But I felt so much pressure and it took away a lot of the enjoyment. Letting sports become a second-tier focus professionally has given the enjoyment back to me.”
Rather than limit herself to full-time athletics, Corinna works as a sports dietitian at the helm of her own practice, RD Athlete Nutrition.
Food = fuel + nourishment
“I love showing people how to utilize food as both fuel and nourishment, and piece together that relationship in a way that serves them in whatever they want to pursue in life,” she gushes.
“It doesn’t have to be this stressful relationship that affects everything you do.”
Work + play
This career path lets her stay in the athletic environment that she loves without crossing the line she’s discovered for herself.
“Athletics are still a huge part of my life, but this way I can pursue the competitions that best align with me without the pressure to perform at a specific place and time. If I took away all the competition, I would still do the same thing because I love doing it all.”
Corinna’s lack of a singular direction or intention as an athlete might scare off some brands, but not Altra.
They’ve been more than happy to back her no matter where her focus lies at any given time.
“Altra’s supported me the whole time,” Corinna clarifies.
“It says a lot about the brand that they’re willing to be there through everything.”
On her end, it helps that there’s an Altra shoe to fit every type of training on the docket.
Altra works for Corinna as a multidimensional athlete because the brand allows itself to branch off of running too.
Just like Corinna, Altra sees running as the unifying factor that brings so many other disciplines together rather than the be-all and end-all.
The people who wear Altra shoes include:
Altra’s embraced their versatility, and has put plenty of effort into designing shoes for each one of these niches alongside the main running market so that every type of athlete feels welcome.
Corinna’s training schedule may change depending on the goal she’s working toward, but they’re always a well-rounded mix of running, high-intensity intervals, and strength work.
Over the course of a week, Corinna usually packs in the following:
The list seems long, but she’ll often pair strength and endurance workouts together so that the days even out well in the end.
“I’m not spending all day at the gym,” Corinna emphasizes.
She’s walked that road before, and it hasn’t led her anywhere but straight to the sidelines.
“My coach holds me accountable to not overtraining. Gone are the days where I’m just killing myself for days in a row.”
If you’ve been trying to squeeze yourself into the traditional running box for too long, let Corinna be the example you need to give yourself room to breathe.
There’s no reason you can’t weave a love of running into other ways of moving your body that bring you just as much joy.
No one (or at least no one who matters) cares whether you run marathons or shoot at targets in between sprinting reps…so do whatever fills your cup, however running fits into that picture.