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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rest and Recovery

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work at something worth doing." - Theodore Roosevelt

Last year my season started in February and my last race was in mid November.  By the end of my season I can say that I was actually sick of riding my bike.  It was time for a much needed break.
I wanted to do something besides constant training.

For years I followed the routine of three weeks of hard training with an easy week. I also used the month of December as a recovery month. I would cut my normal workouts in half and enjoy the holidays.

Time off for any athlete is as important as workouts.   I give myself one day of rest every week.
It is easy to get burned out if you are constantly pushing. It is a recipe for injury and mental burnout.

When I was doing marathons I went right from running the Boston Marathon in April to triathlon season.  My recent coach also did not really give me much time off.  It seemed like I was always pushing. I remember training was starting to be a grind and I was getting mentally burned out.

So I took a real break starting in mid November. I didn't stop working out, but just decide to do what I felt like doing.  I had decided to sign up for the Winter Triathlon National Championship in St. Paul.

To get ready I started roller skiing and using my Nordic track.  I added a little bit of weight training and a little biking.  I took a roller ski lesson so that I could practice without falling.

When we got snow I started skiing outside and took another lesson. I have no problem skiing on the level or going uphill, but downhill has been a problem. I took another lesson and we worked on hills.

I made huge improvement. I did the big hill on the course at Lapham Peak State Park and did a course with some rolling hills at Nine Mile Forest this week in Northern Wisconsin.

The most important part is that it has all been so much fun. Workouts just felt like I was having fun. It feels so good to get outside in winter. Last weekend when I skied it was sunny and 53 F.  What a great day. It did not feel like a workout.

My competitive season started a few weeks ago on January 15th. I did the Sampson Stop 5K road race here in Milwaukee. It is part of my running club championship series, so I kind of had to race.
My time was not great since I have not been running much, but it was fun to be out running.

My Winter Triathlon race is this Sunday in St. Paul.  I am maybe a little under trained but plan on having a good time.  The race is a 5 K run, a 17 K fat tire bike  and a 7K ski. I signed up for the race because the top 18 make Team USA. Last year there were only three women in my age group. One of them won the entire woman's race.  I thought I might have a chance at the podium so I signed up and it gave me a goal during my recovery. Having this goal challenged me to improve my skiing.

I' ve never ridden a fat tire bike or a bike on the snow. The bike shop where I am renting tells me it is fun and I will love it.

Sounds like it is going to be an amazing part of my rest and recovery. So when the race is over it is time to get back to doing my swim, bike and run workouts. Tri season is just around the corner. I feel rested and ready for the season to come. See you at the finish line.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship and at the Aqua bike National Championship in 2016. She represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.

 In 2014 she represented the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon as a senior Olympian.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 208 members in 38 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway and Sweden. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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