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ReBuild: A Return to Running Program for Experienced Runners

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Please download the PDF in our Bonus Materials! or Click HERE

Everything is easy when you are fit. You get to ask yourself which workouts you WANT to do, you can run with anyone you want to, join any run club whose schedules works with yours, you can work with any coach you want; you don't know how good you have it until your training is derailed by life or injury for a long period and you are then faced with rebuilding your fitness...alone. The times you need support and a coach the most are the times you are least able to find either, a gap we hope to close in the Fitness Protection Program.

In this podcast, we discuss the origin of ReBuild, our Return to Running Program for Experienced Runners, and explain how it is working for a far broader audience than we ever expected. You will hear from multiple participants in the program, followed by sobs from Coach MK and Coach Sarah. HUGE thank you to everyone who sent in testimonials!


Coach MK and Coach Sarah just so happened to have seen the same movie with their husbands over the weekend, and they had wildly different takes! (If you plan on seeing Ready Or Not in theaters, you should probably wait and listen to this part after you watch, because we spoiled the hell out of it! Skip to the 16:00 mark to miss the spoilers!) But on one thing they do agree: we can think of times when we were so desperate, we would have considered a deal with the devil if it would have gotten us where we wanted to go.

When we are ReBuilding, everything can be frustrating. We ALL want to do the work - that was never the problem - but when the work isn't working, what's left?

The Genesis of ReBuild

Coach Sarah tried Couch to 5K after she gave birth to her daughter, and it was both totally unstimulating (non-beginner runners don’t belong in beginner programs) and WAY TOO HARD at the same time - she needed way more conditioning, way more revival than simple run-walk intervals could offer her.

Coach MK has had to ReBuild herself, twice: the first time in 2013 (Irish Twins + a move to altitude) and again in 2018 following 18 months of basically convalescence. That first ReBuilding season led her to become the coach she was looking for, the second season inspired her to create the communities she wanted to join. Spoiler alert: it's not really about the running. 

In ReBuild, we are serving a population that does not have great options. The community we build is solid, yes - you will not be the advanced person among the beginners, you will be with people who, like you, are trying to rebuild a body that once did things in a way that now seem remote. The true value of this program is in its specificity and intentionality: rebuilding is often a puzzle, and we provide ALL of the pieces to ReBuild you, stronger, for the long run.  

Note: Clients frequently conflate 'rehab' and 'remedial' work. Nothing in ReBuild is, or should be considered, punitive. In fact, it looks a lot like the work we do when we are strong. Click the link below to see Coach MK’s 2x2 on Strava


  • Anyone who thinks Maintain might be too much right now

  • Anyone who is coming back from a 6+ month period of no running (not just healing but reconditioning)

  • Anyone who wants to maximize consistency during a tumultuous period of life

Along the way we hear from several of our ReBuild runners:

Erin - a runner with severe asthma and Crohns, told by doctors that she couldn’t run because it would be too hard on her body (but she’s now run several half-marathons and a half-Ironman

Becky - a runner with a hectic life who is currently hovering between Maintain and ReBuild while she manages things and adults like a boss

Katie - a runner who has relentlessly pursued help in treating her significant postpartum injuries and is FINALLY returning to a consistent and ENJOYABLE level of running

Megan - a runner who loves ReBuild because the work is doable for her, and her consistent success (turning those TrainingPeaks boxes green!) motivates her to keep choosing to run every day

Ann - a runner who knows that moving forward is ALWAYS winning, whether running or walking, and who loves the feeling of WANTING to do more and having so many options ahead of her.

Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $29 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her most popular training plan, Tenacious AF!

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