Mission and History

Hi there. I’m Lana Burl. My husband Chris and I have been racing triathlon since 2010, when a few college friends coaxed us to New York for “some fun.” We did love it…and we still do. 

Triathlon opened the doors to better health, travel to some amazing places, increased self-awareness (dare we say…enlightenment?!) and best of all, meeting incredible and fun people who share a passion for adventure and challenge.

We felt that while the endurance community in East Tennessee was strong, it sometimes wanted for more connection and a deeper sense of community. We always dreamed of a place for “triathletes to hang out.” As my own coaching career progressed, the vision of that clubhouse evolved and grew into the concept of a facility that we’ve created. The acquisition of the Knoxville Performance Lab was a key component to serving the endurance community of Knoxville and areas beyond.

It’s a space for both athletes and coaches to access the best tools to develop athletic performance; the testing, assessments, and analytics to truly improve an athlete’s capacity and results. Our hope is the LBE Lab will become just that: A center for learning and excellence, and also a fun place for awesome, legit badasses to meet and connect with one another.

We hope to see you soon and often!

“Do a triathlon,” they said. “You’ll love it,” they said. Dang it. They were right.

– Lana

Meet Assistant Coach, Melinda Ferrell

If I could do it all, I would! I’m an Endurance and Adventure athlete who is always looking for the next challenge. I’m a 5x Ironman finisher, multiple 70.3s including a trip to World Championships in Australia, Cat 4 cyclist, 12+ time marathoner including three of the 6-Star races (Boston, Chicago, & New York), and a 50k finisher. 

As a coach, I’ve helped new athletes progress to many “firsts” like progressing from 5k to their first marathon. I’m also adept with time-crunched athletes, balancing career and family commitments with long course and long distance dreams. I love to get hands-on, coaching ultra marathoners and supporting them with pacing and crewing.  I coached groups and individuals at Clinch Valley Crossfit, able to blend my endurance knowledge with strength focuses, to provide practical opportunities like run clinics in addition to daily classes.

I enjoy working with adventurous athletes that love to explore new challenges, like taking on new distances or disciplines. I also understand the challenge of integrating endurance training with a full-time non-traditional work schedule.


  • USAT L1 Coach (long course focus)
  • L1 Crossfit Coach

Meet Assistant Coach, Sierra Sims

I’m super excited to meet other athletes who want to push through their physical and mental barriers. 

I grew up in Farragut, TN playing softball, tennis, swimming, and rowing. My interest in physiology started after going to PT for 3 years after 3 consecutive stress fractures in my lower back from overuse and poor nutritional health. I studied bone health in female runners, mountain bikers, and road cyclists for my master’s thesis. Additionally, I studied how the physiological profiles of and key characteristics develop and change in an aging athlete.

I raced triathlons (road and trail) before focusing on mountain biking, road and gravel cycling. As an athlete I’ve been exposed to a variety of of training approaches, learned that one mold does not fit all, and I successfully ascended to an elite level.

Currently, I am Cat 2 (Road) and Cat 1 (endurance mountain biking). My racing highlights include completing Unbound 200, the Everesting Challenge, USA Crits, Pro Road National Championships, Collegiate MTB National Championships, and a Cyclocross National Championship. In 2021, I won my XC AG at USA MTB National Championships (at altitude!), earning spot to race in Europe on the USA Cycling MTB Development Team in 2022.


  • M.S. in Exercise Physiology (University of Tennessee)
  • B.Ed. in Kinesiology (University of Tennessee)
  • Currently working on USA Cycling Level 3 Coach Certification

Meet Assistant Coach, Kat Uchman

Hi! I hope to meet you soon, and look forward to learning a little bit about you and your goals. As for me:

I’m an Indiana native who officially transplanted into East Tennessee in 2020. I started running competitively at the age of 7, and discovered competitive cycling during college at Indiana University. I participated in the Little 500 (if you aren’t familiar…click the link!), got bitten by the triathlon bug in 2010, and never looked back.

My favorite thing to do is ANYTHING outdoors with my husband and son, and my ultimate goal is to inspire others to believe in themselves and keep their eyes focused on what’s ahead. (Random fact: I think the most under-appreciated piece of equipment in any gym is the rower.)


  • BS in Kinesiology and Fitness from Indiana University
  • CPT Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM)
  • Certifications from FMS, Trigger Point, ViPR, indoRow, Shockwave, BOSU, TRX, and Orangetheory University
  • Currently working on USAT Level 1 Coach Certification

Meet Associate Coach, Janine Pleasant

It’s great to meet you! Whatever your goals are, I look forward to helping you achieve them as part of the LB Endurance Lab team.

I competed in my first triathlon in 1998 and have completed two full Ironman triathlons. I’ve also participated in over 100 shorter competitions.

In 2016, I was named the first head coach of the NCAA Division I ETSU Women’s Triathlon Team – a position I held for 5 years before retiring. I embraced the opportunity to build the program as an emerging NCAA sport, and led the team to top-three finishes at all four USA Triathlon Women’s Collegiate National Championships, including a runner-up showing in 2017.

I also coached team member Lane McDonald (from South Bend, IN) to USA Triathlon Collegiate Triathlete of the Year honors in 2018, while she also qualified for her 2018 USA Triathlon Elite Card.

Before my swimming and triathlon coaching career, I worked in corporate Information Technology for over 20 years (a different kind of badassery).


  • USAT Level 2 Coach
  • AAAI/ISMA Phase II Master Personal Fitness Trainer

Meet Head Coach, Lana Burl

The stories are true… I did my first triathlon in 2010 and was hooked! I even DNF’d my second triathlon, but the fire was already lit…

Since that first pool sprint, I’ve done lots of multisport events from super sprint to full distance triathlons, along with duathlons, SwimRun, aqua bikes, relays, single sport events, and well, all the fun things. I’m honored to have represented Team USA twice at the ITU World Championships and enjoyed multiple brand ambassador and competitive team roles.

I’ve overcome a paralyzing fear of open water to conquer marathon and ultramarathon distance swims, turning a liability into coaching acumen, helping others find peace, ease and yes, speed, in all kinds of water. Even the really cold stuff!

Since coaching my first athlete in 2016, it’s been a pleasure to help athletes at all levels achieve amazing goals and dreams, including first distances, podiums, personal bests, national and world championship appearances. 

I’m still an engineer at heart (BS Chemical Engineering) and will forever be fascinated by the human machine (MS Nutrition). I don’t miss the long long days of manufacturing, construction and consulting that used to be my work life, but I value the people and experiences that shaped me.


  • Coach: USA Triathlon Level 1, USA Cycling Level 3, USA Swimming
  • USMS Level 2 Coach, USMS Adult Learn to Swim (ALTS)


It takes a village, right? The top reason we love endurance sport is all the cool fun people we meet and hang out with!


The Lab plans to offer a growing selection of our favorite nutrition products and gear for endurance athletes onsite.

Club Discounts

Includes Rocky Top Multisport Club, Knoxville Open Water Swimmers and Knox Velo

  • Training plans, services and lessons (ask for discount!)
  • FREE Sprint Tri Training Plan
  • Open invite to join any group workout

Downloadable Forms