The swim was a routine 20 minute K, nice and easy, concentrating on a smooth stroke. Pushed hard for a few lengths and relaxed for some others. I've decided that I need to start working on core strength a bit more so I upped my normal pool core workout from 15 to 30 minutes. I can feel it in my hip flexors as I write this evening.
Since I'm now officially off-season, off-program, and on-fun, I decided to try something different. Deep water running! I want to work on my running skills, but I don't want to really do any actual running for another week or so. Naturally, I didn't use the sissy floatation belt. At the end of 10 minutes of churning, I was done. This was surprisingly hard.
I'm reading a really good book called The triathletes guide to Mental Training, by Jim Taylor and Terri Schneider. Their idea is that just like we train our bodies to be stronger, faster, and tougher than nails, we can train our minds to deal with fear, build confidence, and race with more intensity and focus. This is not some new age bullshit chanting to yourself or wishing things better. There is a ton of practical step by step advice about removing the mental barriers between your present self, and the athlete you'd like to be. I got it from the library almost by accident and will buy it if I see it. I wish I'd read this before my Chinook horror show.
One section that was interesting relates to my discussion question about pain. They point out different meanings of the word pain. By pointing out that people suffering from cancer, for example, are suffering from intense, unremitting, life altering pain, and that what we are undergoing is more like optional discomfort. We can choose to stop at any time, and after a short recovery are back to normal. This is assuming that we haven't actually injured ourselves to the point where pain is a valuable signal telling us to stop. They have some techniques to deal with the discomfort.
All in all, a good read. Any other good books on triathlon or overall fitness you'd recommend?