Boost Your Swim Fitness With This Challenging Red Mist Session

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If you've been following Swim Smooth for a while you'll have heard all about our challenging "Red Mist" sessions.  These infamous sets range between 4 and 6km in length and provide you with a tough "sustained speed" challenge, perfect for those preparing for Ironman triathlon swims, or 5-40km open water races.

This week on the blog we have one such set for you, swum by the squads in Perth on Wednesday morning. To swim this set you should know your CSS pace (more on that here) and have access to a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro "beeper" to pace you through the set.

Remember, as with all Red Mist sessions, this set it designed to be mentally as well as physically challenging. As things start to get tough you may feel like quitting, thinking "I'm only half way - this is ridiculous!". Watch out for that feeling, that's the Red Mist visiting you! Keep going, push on-through and the fitness (and confidence) you will gain will be huge...

If you've never swum a set like this before don't hold back and give it a crack. You'll feel great afterwards - and sleep fantastically well that night - and even if you don't quite finish it, no problem - you live to fight another day!

You can find plenty more Red Mist sessions in the Swim Smooth Guru here (Pro subscription required):

Red Mist Session - "The Descender"

Swim this set straight through without any additional rest beyond what it takes to add/remove paddles and change your beeper setting:

500 Warm-up - nice and steady effort

1000 Freestyle at CSS + 5s / 100 (beeper set per 25)

400 Pull buoy & paddles at CSS pace! (beeper set per 25)

800 Freestyle at CSS +4s  / 100 (beeper set per 50)

300 Pull buoy & Paddles at CSS pace! (beeper set per 25)

600 Freestyle at CSS + 3s / 100 (beeper set per 75)

200 Pull buoy & Paddles at CSS pace! (beeper set per 25)

400 Freestyle at CSS + 2s / 100 (beeper set per 100)

100 Pull buoy & Paddles at CSS pace! (beeper set per 25)

200 Freestyle at CSS + 1s / 100 (beeper set to 200 time)

Total distance: 4500m/yds

Notes on beeper settings:

Use your Finis Tempo Trainer Pro in:

Mode 1 for 0.01 second accuracy when needed
Mode 2 for 1 second accuracy and fast setting

Before you start the session work out what each of the CSS paces is in seconds per 100. For example, if your CSS pace is 1:35 / 100m then:

CSS + 5 = 100s / 100m
CSS + 4 = 99s / 100m
CSS + 3 = 98s / 100m
CSS + 2 = 97s / 100m
CSS + 1 = 96s / 100m
CSS pace = 95s / 100m

Then work out the beeper setting itself:

secondsbeeper setting
Set per 25, CSS pace:=>95 / 4 = 23.75s=>mode 1: 23:75
Set per 25, CSS + 5:=>100 / 4 = 25s=>mode 1: 25:00
Set per 50, CSS + 4:=>99 / 2 = 49.5s=>mode 1 49:50
Set per 75, CSS + 4:=>98 * 3/4 = 73.5s =>mode 1: 73:50
Set per 100, CSS + 2:=>97s=>mode 2: 1:37
Set per 200, CSS + 1:=>96 * 2 = 192s=>mode 2: 3:12
Set per 200, CSS + 1:=>96 * 2 = 192s=>mode 2: 3:12

(units for mode 1 are ss:00 and mode 2 mm:ss)

Remember, take as little additional rest as possible during this session - just enough to take a sip of drink and change the beeper setting. It's all about sustained swimming to get the fitness gains. Enjoy!

Here's the session written up on the squad board:

Also see the squad members commenting on our Instagram page here:

Swim Smooth!


Anonymous said...

Great! I have invented a new take on the Red Mist. I bought 2 Tempo Trainers. On one I set to CSS+n, on the other one I set stroke rate. As I decrease the CSS+n, I increase stroke rate but only by 2 strokes per minute. It hurts even more!!! Thanks

Alberto.openwater said...

My races are 5km and more. I really love "Uber Red Mist"!!
Thinking I'll need a Uber-Uber Red Mist sometimes...
Many thanks to Swim Smooth, really a great job!

Andy Mac said...

Was short on time so skipped the first 1.4k. But just to check, the paddles and pull buoy is intended for steady recovery? As that was how it felt. Or is it just my slightly sinky legs that make the standard swims feel much tougher? I'm off CSS 1.38, so I'm an alright swimmer.

Cyndy@swimsmooth said...

Yes the pull buoy and paddles will be a bit of reprieve for most people. Much less effort allowing the legs to trail relaxed behind you with a lift from the pull buoy. Happy swimming! Cheers Cyndy

Andy Mac said...

Perfect. Thanks.

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