Introducing the 45 minute "Dense Mist" Session

During the pandemic many pools around the world are operating on an hourly rotation, giving you 45-50 minutes in the water then emptying the pool and ushering you out of the changing rooms before the end of the hour. This allows a clean break between groups of swimmers in the pool, which is clearly a good idea to limit the spread of Covid19. However it does also limit the training time you have available in the water.

Seamus Bennet, our coach in Suffolk in the UK would normally run a highly popular Red Mist session every week for his swimmers, taking somewhere between 60 and 80 minutes. With his squad limited to this 45 minute turnaround he wanted to get as much of the training benefits of Red Mist as he could in this much shorter time slot.

His solution was to invent the "Dense Mist" session, here's the key elements:

- Get into the water as quickly as possible and swim "gun to tape" making the most of the allowable time.

- No drills or unnecessary equipment - get straight into the action.

- Given that the session is shorter you can swim a little quicker than a Red Mist session, around CSS pace. (Red Mist pace is normally CSS + 3-5 seconds per 100).

- Just like Red Mist, keep recovery times really short to maximise time swimming.

Since Tuesday's date was 20-10-20 he designed the session to be a series of 200s, then 100s, then back to the 200s. Here's the whiteboard for each of the 6 lanes:

Note the "TT" turnaround times for each lane. This is the turnaround time for each of the swims before setting off for the next one - set according the lane's ability level so they get between 10 and 20 seconds rest.

Notice how Seamus has actually reduced the turn-around time on the second set of 200s - this is a classic Red Mist session strategy, increasing the pace as the session goes on!

We know many of you are facing similar challenges with pool space and session timings, so we wanted to share this simple, no equipment session with you. So why not give it a go? We're certain you'll enjoy it as much as the Swim Smooth Suffolk squad. 

Here's the basic session:

3 x 200m (target CSS pace + 20s recovery)

10 x 100m (target CSS pace + 15s recovery)

3 x 200m (target CSS pace + 10s recovery)

We'd love to hear how you get on! Be sure to tag @swimsmooth and @swim_smooth_suffolk

To find our more about Seamus or to hear more about Swim Smooth Suffolk's sessions, head to their website:

Swim Smooth!



Unknown said...

A great session it was too, building all the way through and feeling like a classic red mist at the end!

David said...

I see that he is suggesting that some of the swimmers go off the deep end. Is that wise? ;)

realathlete said...

Is this an acceptable workout for a beginner like me?Without fins I average 1:10 or so per 50 yards, usually leaving every 1:30, for 100's I leave on the 3:00,etc.And that's after a long warm up.Thanks.

realathlete said...

Is this a workout a beginner can do? I average about 1:10 or so per 50 yards, and I leave on the 1:30, for a 100 I average 2:20+, leave on the 3:00,etc. And that’s after a long warm up. Should I do this workout? Thanks

Unknown said...

Just to flag that the link to the London & Surrey SS squad at the foot of the email takes you to a missing page.

Adam Young said...

Thanks guys! Glad you enjoyed the session and we've tidied up that link.

realathlete, how long have you been swimming and what have you been up to? A slightly smaller version of a session like this could be just what you need to develop that base swimming fitness.

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