Introducing The Pink Mist Set!

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Back in July 2012 we introduced ‘Red Mist’ sessions on the blog. Consisting of around 4km of sustained fast swimming, these challenging endurance sets are perfect for anyone racing 3km or over in their swimming events, especially those training for Ironman triathlon, 5km or 10km open water races or full marathon swims.

If you've tried these sets you'll know how much they test you both physically and mentally but master them and your swim fitness can take some huge strides forwards.

See the original Red Mist blog post here:

If you're subscribed to the SS Coaching System you can find a library of 75 (!) different Red Mist Sessions to choose from here:

Introducing Pink Mist

Pink and Misty!

If you're quite new to swimming you might not quite feel ready for a full Red Mist session, and that's absolutely fine. However you can still gain a lot from this style of session, which is why we've created the 'Pink Mist' set, which is a slightly reduced Red Mist set.

A Pink Mist session follows exactly the same theme as a Red Mist session but rather than swimming 4km you 'only' swim around 3km at the same pace.

To create a Pink Mist session you simply shorten a Red Mist session by around 25%. So the classic 10x 400m set becomes 10x 300m :

4x 300m at CSS pace + 6 sec /100m
3x 300m at CSS pace + 5 sec /100m
2x 300m at CSS pace + 4 sec /100m
1x 300m at CSS pace + 3 sec /100m
[this is the complete session - no warmup or cool-down required]

CSS pace is simply your threshold pace, which is the speed at which you'd swim 1500m (more information here: Of course you are swimming a little further than 1500m here so the pace is slightly lower - more like a strong 'tempo' pace.

Take around 20 to 30 seconds rest between each 300m swim or if you’re using a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro to pace you through, take 1 beep rest. This is just enough time to get a quick sip of drink before rolling into the next 300m.

Why not give this session a crack the next time you swim. The first time through you might swim at a slightly conservative pace just to get a feel of things and then increase the pace next time around. The first 300m should feel very easy but the relentless effort will gradually wear you down and by the end it will require a lot of mental effort to sustain the effort. Such is the challenge that you may feel like throwing your toys out of the pram and quitting half way through. That's the Red Mist descending - shrug it off, keep your focus and swim on through.

Sometimes we hear from swimmers telling us they're building up to trying this type of session in 3 to 6 months time. Quite likely this is just delaying things and procrastination on their part - just get in there and try it, it's really not that scary and you'll be really pleased with yourself that you did!

Given you swim these sessions at sub-threshold pace, you’ll be surprised how you can maintain your focus on maintaining your form throughout. Don't assume your technique will go out of the window during such a set - it won't!

Swim Smooth!


jolaca01 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jolaca01 said...

Hi, as I was getting a bit lazy to swim today the original red mist session, after receiving your email decided to give pink mist a try right away. My CSS pace is more or less 1:36min/100m and this is how it went:

My question is if I've pushed a little too much or if it's OK to do so. Thanks for your great site and swim smooth app. BTW, I'm subscribed since day one! ;-))

Anonymous said...

You guys should've named it "yellow mist". Just saying.

Unknown said...

Hi Jolaca,

Red & pink mist speed should be at just above CSS pace (so a little slower, more like 'tempo' pace) as the set suggests. Just eyeballing your data, it looks like your stroke rate is pretty low…have you seen this fault fixer in the app? I think it would really help you out and increase your stroke rate to more efficient levels. Hope that helps.

jolaca01 said...

Hi Annie, I've always defined myself as an overglider because of my low average stroke rate, however I've never managed to identify a deadspot in my swimming, even after recording myself on video ¿?, anyway I'll visit or (revisit) that fault fixer: BTW, there are so many things on the app site that I really don't know what I saw and what I didn't. ;-)

Unknown said...

Hi Jolaca,

Great, give that a go and also check out the Swim Type Process for Overlgiders, you'll get that CSS pace down even more I'm sure!

Unknown said...

I am doing Dart 10K in September and was told by my swim coach to do long sets of this sort. Very pleased to see it here.
Did my first set of this type over the weekend. Hard but i enjoyed it, first time i have done 3 K in a pool. Real confidence boost.

Also think my stroke rate is too low, but every time i try to speed up i loose form and get very tired. Will look at the link above. Thanks for posting this. Graham

Unknown said...

Hi Graham,

Great to see your coach is following our methodology too! Have you seen our 5 & 10k Swim Training plan here?

Helen said...

Would the pink mist be a good set to do training for Sprint triathlons, or should I be doing different CSS sets for that?

Adam Young said...

Hi Helen,

It really depends! If you are trying to become the best swimmer you can be overall and you have time in your training week then yes go for pink-mist once a week. It's a great session to work on your aerobic endurance which will benefit you over sprint distances such as 400m.

Hope that helps!


Helen said...

Ok thanks, I'll give it a swim and bike need to make up for my dreadful running! My races are usually 750m, so am sure it will help. My CSS is 28secs/25m, so +6secs seems really slow? Or is that the point, and by the end I'll be wishing it was slower?!

jolaca01 said...

Hi Helen, your pace is 28s/25m and that equals 1:52min/100m. So, for 6 second slower they mean seconds/100m, in your case at 1:58min/100m or 29.50s/25m. Hope this helps!!

Helen said...

oh I see, thanks that makes a lot more sense! I thought +6secs onto 25m was slow! I'll give it a go :-)

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