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Why Coach MK is Jealous of Your Peloton!

#AskAway with Coach MK and Coach Sarah: 1/26/20

Coach MK and Coach Sarah livestream question and answer sessions each week on the Fitness Protection Program Facebook Page, The Fitness Protection Program YouTube Channel, and Twitch, simultaneously. Join us! They are a lot of fun, super informative, and anyone may ask follow-up questions during the live broadcast!

This week, Coach MK and Coach Sarah tackle questions about knees, tapers, reverse tapers, and race recommendations for folx who don't want to have to think about course closures (amongst other things!)

0:00 Before starting in on questions, though, MK chats with Kade Schuldt, Fitness Protection's third sponsored athlete of 2020! He supported Coach MK through a difficult transition and I am honored to support him through his. Now, I want to be clear: I’m not directly comparing our transitions. They aren’t the same AT ALL. This is the basis of empathy though: looking for similarities, saying, “I don’t know what it’s like to live with gender dysmorphia, but I sure know what it’s like to live in a body I hate, a body I wish I could change.” We chat a little with Kade and his kitty Blitz before heading over to New Jersey to talk with with Coach Jess of Enlighten Well LLC then finally hit all of the questions in #AskAway!

12:04 Coach Jess and Coach MK unpack a few stories that appeared in the news this week: Taylor Swift's 15-year struggle with disordered eating, Jessica Simpson's memoir detailing years 20 years of diet pills and over-exercising, and Billie Eilish's toxic relationship with her own body, which she spoke about publicly this week. These stories gave me pause because they underscored the importance of what we are doing here at Fitness Protection, unpacking how Diet Culture/societal pressures whatever you want to call it, absolutely impact our mental health. And physical wellness, physical fitness is useless without mental health. To download your free copy of our introduction to the anti-diet mindset (which means, "Eating and working out with ANY OTHER REASON than 'making your body smaller'"), head to We aren’t anti-anything per se, we’re just making sure our actions are focused on our mental health and celebrating our bodies rather than eating and running with the sole goal of reducing its size.

Then, we dive right into it!

Runner Interrupted #WEEKLYWINS!

27:14 Every day is certainly a good day to tell the people you love all about it. And to recognize the love in yourself. I love that I am naturally optimistic. Without that trait, I’m not sure I would have survived the last 20 years, and definitely not the last 5 months

28:52 We love snowmen around here, but my "thing" has always been baking. For birthdays, I make the cake and my husband decorates. We just did our first 3-D cake for William's (my youngest) birthday. He requested one of our cats and made sure to tell us he had to have angry eyes (the cat is kind of a jerk). The inside is a marble rainbow cake. It's in the chest freezer right now, William doesn't want to cut into it!

29:46 I have an odd assortment of festive head gear, think unicorn horn, tiny elf hat, cat ears, etc. If I'm feeling blah, I will put something on and it definitely cheers me up and adds a little fun to my day. Since I work from home, no one sees how ridiculous I look.


31:07 Where to start? I'm back in Rebuild after 3 months off with rest and PT for a sore hamstring. I 'graduated' PT and the hamstring is starting to get a tiny bit tight again, so I am going to go back and ask about dry needling which my PT suggested if it still persists. But every-once-in-a-while knee pain (going up stairs, getting up from seated - I am a preschool teacher so I am up and down CONSTANTLY) has become more of a consistent thing. I have to be very careful when doing the squats in the program to avoid pain in my kneecaps. My PT has remarked that I shouldn't ever run 2 days in a row, "too much pounding on your knees". Should I go to my PT for the knee issue? Find a new PT that understands running better? (She said she would give that advice about not running back-to-back to ANY runner, not just me, a 50-year old). I don't know if this is even a question. But I'm feeling very down about my running prospects right now.

Note: make sure to listen to our podcast with physical therapist Alex Lanton for more on how to move forward when things with your current PT aren't working.


37:07 Hi coaches!!! I’m 2 weeks past my first marathon and nothing is on my race calendar until my Pike’s Peak Ascent in August. I’m not planning to add anything else, although might YOLO an in-town April half marathon. I need a break from planned running for a while, but will still try for a long-ish run every week or two, a few short runs each week, and still planning to do exercise most days, but I just got a Peloton bike so I’ll be doing a little more cycling and strength and a lot less running. I’m planning to use a marathon ramp for Pike’s Peak training again, but was thinking I’d not worry too much about resuming strict Maintain plans until probably April, if that’s okay. Was tentatively thinking I’d try Rebuild lane 2 for March, Maintain for April and May, with the 10 week ramp starting in June. I guess just wanting some reassurance that I can take a “break” in February and that my plan for getting back into things sounds okay! Thanks for getting through my first full marathon with so much support!!

41:50 Did a yoga class for the first time in forever yesterday. The good news: all the strength work I’ve been doing in Maintain is amazing for my balance and core strength. The bad news: my hip flexors are tighter than they’ve ever been in my life. I can’t even get my knee to 90 degrees in a standing position, and my hamstrings are super flexible which makes for a pretty big imbalance. Admittedly, I am not foam rolling as regularly as I should be (I do it on the weekends but rarely weekdays). My running is holistically the best it’s ever been in terms of form, endurance and no injuries. But should I be worried about my super tight hip flexors in regards to my non-running health? Anything you recommend adding in as a manageable addition to my weekday runs to help?

44:13 If I’m training for the flat 3 Days at the Fair course, will I benefit from running hilly routes?

46:18 What do we need to do to get faster? I’m not talking crazy faster, but just enough to be more efficient?

49:03 What are some non-gel fuel options you recommend? I’m going to practice with some real food choices. Do you have an electrolyte replacement you recommend other than nuun?

53:43 Ragnar is this Friday/Saturday. My runs are 4, 4 and 2 miles between 4pm and noon. Still questionable how much, if any, will be race effort. Thinking an easy run tomorrow, Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, then rest Thursday and Friday am. Since those miles will be over 20 hours, how would recovery/rest look?

56:42 Can you recommend some fall marathons that are friendly to back-of-the-packers?


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Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she trains her runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free.

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