I have to say my swim, bike, and run training during this off season is proving to be a success.
One of the most challenging swim drills for me is the freestyle kick without a board. It is done with arms held out front in a streamlined position with fingers overlap and one thumb lightly gripping the opposite hand. You lift your chin above the water to breath without turning your head. When I first did this I was not comfortable holding my hands together because of the sinking feeling and lack of air to breathe. By the end of winter swimming, the fear has gone away and I can hold my hands in a streamline position and kick in a 50 meter pool. It's hard to do 4 sets of 50 meter repeats but I'm enjoying the benefits.
During the winter months I did a "club challenge" on improving power on the bike. I did a 2 x 20 minute functional threshold test about 2 months ago and received all kinds of data to indicate my strength on the bike. For the last 2 months I did many workouts on the bike trainer to help increase my aerobic capacity. After 2 months of hard work I took the same test and my coach was very impressed with the results. I had a 33% increase in average output power on the bike. I surprised myself.
I am in my 8th week training for the Cleveland 10K Run and I have noticed my track and long run times are coming down. The short fast track intervals are the hardest to keep pace but I did manage to pull off 10 x 400 averaging 1:15 and 6 x 800 averaging 2:45 recently.
I guess if you put the comfort gained in the water, power gained on the bike, and speed gained on the run I should have enough confidence to race well this coming summer.