Today’s guest is a fellow running coach that is pretty much everywhere, from podcasts to live streaming, and social media.
She is always looking for new ways to help her athletes and her followers get the most out of themselves and their running.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with MK Fleming.
Not Running, Not an Option
MK’s first memories of running were with her dad when she was a child.
Her dad began running, not for fun, but as a part of his rehab after a serious cardiac event.
From an early age, it was impressed upon MK that she only had one body and she better take care of it.
With a family history of heart issues, not running was not an option for MK as she was growing up.
MK ran consistently for the past 35 years without any significant breaks.
It wasn’t until college that she would eventually sign up for her first race.
The word marathon wasn’t in her vocabulary in college.
Marathon training plans were not nearly as prevalent in the ’90s as they are today, so MK had to do the leg work to find a plan.
Running has changed a lot since MK first began racing.
In 1997, there were typically only 2 marathons in the spring and 2 in the fall.
The lack of options meant that there were very few opportunities to have the “perfect” race.
It was just understood in the running community that each individual was faster than their times proved.
Unlike today, runners then weren’t defined by their race times.
Boston was also not nearly as popular as it is today.
Over time the Boston Marathon has become a badge of credibility in the running world.
MK has qualified to run Boston but has never felt the urge to run the race.
She has seen first hand how individuals, including herself, can have their credibility impacted by not running Boston.
Leap Of Faith
MK’s transition to coaching was not a linear path.
She went to the prestigious Wharton college of business and went on to work as an investment banker overseas.
In a short time period, MK got married, had 2 babies less than a year apart, and moved across the country.
These major life changes led MK to be a stay at home mom.
Leaving her running community and having a mountain of student loan debt affected Mary-Katherine negatively.
MK made the decision to turn the focus on what she COULD do.
For MK, and many others, the beauty lies in how you get out of tough spots in life.
MK took the risk to follow her heart and try to make a living as a coach.
Fitness Protection Program
When presented with the opportunity to work as a run coach at Lifetime Fitness MK jumped on it.
Over the course of 18 months, she grew the program to be the most lucrative in the country for the well-known chain.
Her success at Lifetime Fitness would be the push she needed to begin her own coaching business, the Fitness Protection Program.
MK’s vision for the program is to make fitness accessible for anyone who wants it.
Her goal is to keep people engaged and focused all year on their fitness.
MK has made it a rule that she never segregates runners based on time and uses only encouragement as motivation.
No athlete in her program will ever be defined by a finish time.
MK has big plans to grow and expand the Fitness Protection Program.
Not Done Unless You Want To Be
Over the years, MK has accrued valuable wisdom and tips that she uses as a coach.
When it comes to training, doing something different than everyone else can be scary, but each person has unique needs.
MK is a firm believer that doing the minimum to achieve goals will help to increase a person’s longevity in the sport.
Overdoing it and pushing oneself will likely lead to burnout and/or injury.
In her experience, most people have never done a truly easy effort run.
The majority of people have no idea what they’re really capable of and there are always improvements that can be made IF they want to.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Fitness Protection Program
- Morning Mantra With Coach MK (Podcast)
- Coached & Loved
- “Making the American Body”
MK Fleming is a coach, podcast host, and creator of the Fitness Protection Program. Her vision is to make fitness accessible to anyone who wants it. No person is done unless they want to be. Click To Tweet
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