The Only Thing That Matters.

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

#AskAway 5/17/20

Coach MK livestreams 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, we take questions about long runs, foam rolling, and the value of walking. Time on your feet, unplugging and taking care of yourself, is all that matters right now.


My hook is that "we are never talking about the running." And at my level, recreational running, we aren't. We are talking about identity amidst the pressures of Diet Culture and Hustle Culture, trying to claim space for ourselves in a sport that is also a hobby that is also a common attempt to rewrite a personal narrative.

Most recreational runners I work with were not competitive athletes. Many don't think they look like runners despite logging 30+ miles each week. Most took up running later in life, after breakups or divorces or kids or transitions that can only be run through. My client base ranges from 19-86 with a mean of 51.

I tell you that to tell you this: right now, more than ever, we need to listen to our bodies and acknowledge our self-care needs without judging our activities. If you got what you needed, then YES it was enough.

trail runner rv on mountaintop in Arizona Fitness Protection Program Running Life Podcast


Runner Interrupted

  • Carrie Senigen is graduating!! Associates in engineering technology.

  • Jennifer Wolf has discovered that she really likes working from home.


  • Patricia Luna is happy to be seeing some improvements in both her pace and how she feels on the run.

  • Robin Monique finished her very first avocado toast. Huge with because she never thought she could go for 60 minutes.

  • Jessica McMeyes has been focusing on keeping her heart rate down during her runs. She is loving the fact that she feels good and not sick exhausted after her runs.

  • Kristen Levithan is rocking the guided diy approach she is truly customizing the program and making it work for her where she is in her fitness and life.


  • Christine Lancaster ran a virtual 5k and felt great at a faster than average pace

  • Renee Hahn ran a virtual 19.1

  • Stephanie Horman ran her fastest mile since joining fitness protection

  • Any Scerbowicz had her first continuous run in months and got a full mile of running in.

  • Amanda Blockinger Bailey did a great job listening to her body during her long run and honored what is was telling her rather than pushing through and risking injury


  • Happy Birthday Susan. Susan is running 51 miles for her 51st birthday. She is also using her run to raise money for a reproductive health organization called all options.

  • Francine Scheller ran her 50 mile run and finished in under 12 hours.

  • Jo Ambrosi nailed her 10k race! She came in under her goal time and made negative splits.

  • Nicole Wood YOLOed the NYRR Brooklyn half marathon and felt good enough to take a smiling picture at the end.

  • Carissa Hatlig completed a 4 hour run it was hard and she felt like quitting but she stuck with it and finished her run.

  • Sarah Seeburg completes a 5k with her kiddos, and they admitted to having fun



  • Just starting back after an entire year away from running. In the last few months, I’ve become very dependent on Pilates, and love it. Right now, I’m doing online classes, 4 days a week. Doing your work in the morning, then pilates in the evening. Can I continue this schedule? I’m going easy in ReBuild, which means very very slow. Working on getting used to time on my feet.

  • Starting to notice there are some pretty high heart rate caps for an old lady like me. I certainly don’t mind them because it allows me to run longer, but should I cap myself lower? I’m now 67. After a few weeks of this, I can run about 5 minutes without stopping to walk. That’s much better than what I was doing before!

  • I'm trying to catch up by listening to ask the coach, and I just found the videos on the ReBuild facebook page! Yay! That answers a bunch of my questions. But, I listened to one a few minutes ago from March about a coach leaving. Did I screw up by emailing her the other day about problems? She was very helpful!

  • Can you show me examples of the Tuesday strength: B stair calf raises, toe fall band walks, and B calf jumps. Are we doing the strength workouts twice through, or just once?


  • I’d like to have the option to add runs on Thursday and Sunday in addition to the regularly scheduled runs. Should I use a lower heart rate cap on those days i.e 120 or 130 to make sure I’m not overdoing with 7 days per week?

  • Hello Coach! Today's question is "Numb Toes". When I used to live in the tropics my toes would go numb when I ran. I moved to a wider toe box shoe and as I got into better shape and started running more miles in the problem mostly stopped. Living in the UK, I haven't seen this problem since, but recently I have started noticing it again. I am running in a new iteration of the shoe which may have a tighter toe, I also think it may be due to to heat as we have had a few warm days. But, I really wonder, could it be due to extra weight that has been gained in lockdown, or a change in diet, like maybe too much or not enough salt, or could it be to less training as I am basically living on 30 minute slow runs? Thoughts? Thanks as always. Kristy

  • My question is about the rest day. I’m doing 75-95% of the Maintain plan as written every week, only modifying to shorten a run occasionally if I’m not feeling up to it. In these COVID Times I’m finding I need to move everyday. What is generally okay to do on the Sunday rest day? I’m not looking to add a run, but want to check in about long walks, easy bike rides, that sort of thing. Thanks!

  • You have emphasized the importance of the combination of the Friday Stride Sandwich followed by Saturday long run. Why is this pairing important?

  • In following Susan's terrific multi-day even this weekend she talks about putting her legs up the wall. Could you elaborate on how/why this is helpful?

  • I’m new to the group. I just ran a virtual half. If I continue with the Maintain training schedule, can I really run a half marathon by the end of August/September just by following that schedule?


  • Are the daily prompts the best place to ask questions as we go?

  • I follow the Training Peaks running schedule, right? But I don’t run on Sundays, so I swapped the Sunday run with another day. Am I going to be totally off from everyone in Maintain? I’m following the FB posts & what I’m doing isn’t always matching. Thanks!

  • How do I adjust for increases in workout time on feet if I haven’t kept up with what was on the schedule the past two weeks?

  • What are penguin kicks?

  • Right now I’m not spending much time running because my heart rate is so high (above 140). As I continue to follow the program, will I be able to run more because my heart rate will go down a bit?

  • Did my first avocado run this Saturday morning, no accelerators (easy effort by any definition - average heart rate was 105, peaked at 130). By the evening, my knees hurt quite a bit, especially with stairs. What gives?

  • Hi Coach MK, If life gets in the way, and we can only get in four runs for the week, should we be prioritizing certain ones (drop an easy30 or cake walk, because they're easy, or a dog run because there is 2, or an avocado toast because they're not sexy?) What if we can only get three runs in?

  • What are the important factors to keep in mind when buying a pair of running shoes?

  • What should I do if my running partner has a very different heart rate than I do? Mine is always faster than hers. How can we train together?

  • My feet keep cramping while I run/walk. What can I do about it?

  • Hello Coach. I'm attempting to rebuild as I recover from injuries. Right now i'm walking with very little shuffling during mid run if i feel up to it. My question is if I feel a little twinge of injury coming back whats the best thing to do? I have a little knee pain and tendon pain in the left foot. If I feel it while out I always slow down immediately, but if my tendon is sore the next day should I skip or go anyway and keep it very very easy walking? or something else? I've also gained a substantial amount of weight during time off and quarantine. Not helping. So there's that too. thanks!!!

  • During the warm up/cool down, my slowest jog still has a heart rate that hovers between 150-160. (As slow as I can go without starting to look like those crazy speed walkers whose feet never leave the ground), but I could definitely maintain that jog for a long time, maintain a conversation etc. It doesn't feel like a struggle. Should I be walking instead to stay HR<140?

  • Should we be doing any specific stretches after runs? I had very tight calves after my first easy30 this week, but not after the dog run. Am I landing with the wrong part of my foot, or is my body is just getting used to running?

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Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC. Click HERE to download her most popular training plan, Tenacious AF, free!

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