Owing to popular demand for a more endurance-focused session for the 9.30am "Time-4-Me" squads, this Friday (and for the next 3 Fridays) we shall be a running a 4-week trial 90 minute session to gauge the popularity of such a swim.
All the early morning squads have: one technique session; one endurance session; and one threshold development session, but the 9.30am session has always historically had two technique sessions (Monday and Friday) and just one, harder threshold development session on a Wednesday. Given the original format of this Time-4-Me squad, that has suited everyone relatively well for the last 6 years, but a growing number of you have asked for a more demanding session to be delivered instead. This pleases me no end ;-)
Indeed, the most popular 9.30am session is the Wednesday session, which certainly indicates that you guys are not afraid to push on a little harder knowing that the Monday technique session is serving you well in that capacity.
For those of you a little unsure about this, please view the next 4 weeks simply as a change to the norm - something to excite and inspire you! You don't need to stay for the full 90 minutes and even though this session is ordinarily conducted without much use of pull buoys, paddles and fins etc, there will be the option to use these in the next 4 weeks at times in order to smooth that transition to this type of session.
We will make an assessment at the end of the 4 weeks as to how popular this might be going forwards. For those of you who haven't yet managed to score a spot in the most popular session of the week (Wednesday 5.30am) - this might be your chance to come and perform the same (or very similar) version of that session and gain the massive benefits that those who have been doing the Wednesday 5.30am session for a while.
It'll be a great session to boost your overall endurance, develop your pace awareness and even develop some mental aptitude along the way as well. It is not an easy session, but a challenging one and you are all more than welcome to give it a go!
I would strongly recommend always having an energy drink and even a gel with you at this session - it's not generally as fast as a Wednesday 9.30am session, but the interval distances are usually in the range of 50m to 1000m at CSS +2 to 6"/100m.
This type of session has the nickname "Red Mist" and you can read why here: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2012/07/red-mist-set.html
So why not pop down tomorrow, give it a whirl and see what you make of it? I guarantee not everyone will like it (at least initially) but 4 weeks is a great period for you to judge the effectiveness of it yourself and you will be impressed if nothing else!