Do THIS to Train Like Altra Hybrid-Athlete Corinna Coffin

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...

  • What it means to be a hybrid-athlete
  • Corinna’s training strategies
  • Her partnership with Altra, and...
  • The key to connecting the dots across multiple sports.

At its core, running is one of the most versatile activities out there.

Pretty much no matter where your athletic interests lie, there’s a way to work running into the mix. 

  • Maybe you’re not interested in races, but the day’s just not the same without your morning miles. 
  • Maybe you focus on strength sports and use running to build up a supportive cardio base. 
  • Or for all you triathletes and obstacle course racers out there, running makes up just one branch of a bigger tree. 

In any case, one thing’s for sure: you’re just as much a runner as any traditional marathoner. 

Corinna Coffin is a hybrid athlete based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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 Coffin isn't a single-sport athlete. She trains and competes in a mix of sports including: Running, rucking, obstacle course racing, CrossFit, Hyrox and Tactical Games.

Corinna pulls from a few different pursuits including:

  • Running
  • Rucking
  • Obstacle Course Racing (OCR)
  • Crossfit
  • Hyrox (Timed 8 rounds of 1Km runs + functional fitness exercises)
  • And new to the lineup this year for Corinna are the Tactical Games, a combination of shooting and fitness tests. 

“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. 

Running is the glue that holds the pieces together for hybrid-athlete Corinna Coffin.

Running: The common denominator

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. 

“Running has always been the common denominator. I couldn’t do any of the rest of it without running as the foundation.”

—Corinna Coffin - @the_rd_athlete , https://www.instagram.com/the_rd_athlete/

Though running never looks quite the same from season to season, Corinna always finds a reason to keep it on the schedule. 

Why? Running...

  • Balances out all the strength training.
  • Helps her up the intensity of motion.
  • Gives her the endurance to withstand such a barrage of tough tests. 

Running is also the glue that holds the pieces together in these sports that involve so many different components. 

  • Tough Mudder OCR competitors race from one obstacle to the next,
  • Hyrox and Crossfit competitions include sprinting challenges intertwined with strength tasks
  • The Go Ruck Games demand plenty of endurance as competitors carry heavily-weighted packs over long distances and steep climbs. 

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. 

Trying to compete and perform at a high-level and build strength and endurance...without injury or burn out...requires balance.

Finding balance as a hybrid athlete

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. 

She aims to help athletes make peace with the food that fuels them through hard training and all the equally important life moments in between.

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 Coffin is part of the Altra Elite Athlete Team. Her specialty: Obstacle Course Racing, but running is a big part of her training and success.

Altra through 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. 

  • Hybrid shoe: She practically lives in the Solstice XT2, their hybrid shoe that carries her through the intense gym workouts and strength sessions that make up the bulk of her training. 
  • Road shoe. The Torin is her go-to road shoe.
  • Trail shoes. Both the Timp and Lone Peak do the trick on trails. 
  • Tactical shoes: When she needs something with a bit more sturdiness and protection, like during tactical work, she laces up the Lone Peak Hiker: a high-top version of the original fan-favorite. 

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:

  • Walkers
  • Hikers
  • Lifters
  • Scramblers
  • Jet-setters
  • Runners
  • And pretty much any activity you can think of

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 Coffin spends up to two hours a day training. And it pays off. She's finished in top spots at the Spartan Games and Spartan World Championships. She's also racked up wins as a Tough Mudder X Champion and CrossFit Games competitor.

A week in the life of a hybrid athlete

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:

  • Two long runs at easy Zone 2 pace for ~90 minutes
  • Two HIIT sessions 
  • One rucking session with a 35 pound ruckpack for ~60-75 minutes
  • Three gym days working on strength, stability, isometric holds, and crossfit-style conditioning 
  • One active recovery day with easy swimming, biking, rowing, or walking and mobility work
  • And of course, one full rest day

The list seems long, but she’ll often pair strength and endurance workouts together so that the days even out well in the end. 

  • Even with all that, Corinna’s not spending more than two hours a day on training. 
  • She makes sure to prioritize quality over quantity.
  • And she doesn’t use her wide range of interests as an excuse to overextend herself. 

“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.” 

Corinna Coffin recently added Tactical Games competitions to her list of hybrid sports.

Dare to branch out

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. 

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Lucie Hanes
Ambassador
Eagle, CO

Ultrarunner, rock climber, occasional artist, fond of good wordplay. Small human on big adventures with big goals and big feelings.

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