Thursday, October 22, 2020

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 entering 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 in this 'new normal' 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 100m).

- 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" settings for each lane where the leader in the lane is using a Tempo Trainer Pro programmed to CSS plus 10-20 seconds (see settings below). The swimmers will get ahead of the beeper whilst swimming then wait for it to catch up at the end of the swim for their next send-off.

Notice how Seamus has actually sped up the beeper (reducing the beeper cycle time) on the second set of 200s - this is a classic Red Mist session strategy, increasing the pace as the session goes on!

Swim Smooth Suffolk squad enjoying the Dense Mist Session!
Lane 1 enjoying the aftermath of the Dense Mist session! 

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)

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

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

We'd love to hear how you get on with this session! 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!

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