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Combining HIIT sessions with the Norwegian training model

Cyclists on a track

Building upon our previous discussion on the Norwegian training model, let's explore the advantages of integrating shorter HIIT sessions, like 30/15 or 20/10 intervals, into this training approach. This addition can prove beneficial and is definitely worth considering.

Benefits of Including Shorter HIIT Sessions:

1. Enhanced Aerobic Capacity: HIIT is highly effective at improving cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity. Studies have shown that HIIT can be more effective than moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) in enhancing left ventricular systolic performance and aerobic capacity [1]

2. Quality Volume: The Norwegian model aims to incorporate more quality volume by emphasising threshold training. Shorter HIIT sessions can be an effective way to include high-intensity work without excessive fatigue, aligning with the principle of maximising quality training volume [2]

3. Training Variety: Adding shorter HIIT sessions introduces variety into the training regimen, which can help maintain motivation and prevent monotony. It also targets different physiological adaptations, providing a more comprehensive training stimulus.

4. Efficiency: Shorter HIIT sessions, such as 30/15 (30 seconds of high intensity followed by 15 seconds of rest) or 20/10 (the Tabata protocol), are time-efficient and can be easily integrated into training schedules. This allows athletes to achieve significant fitness gains in a shorter time frame [6]

Integrating HIIT into the Norwegian Model

1. Balance: Ensure a balanced approach by integrating HIIT sessions in a way that complements the primary focus on lactate threshold training. Avoid overloading with too much high-intensity work to prevent excessive fatigue and risk of injury.

2. Periodisation: Plan HIIT sessions during specific phases of the training cycle, such as the preparation or pre-competition phases, to maximise benefits without compromising recovery and adaptation from threshold training.

3. Monitoring: Use lactate monitoring to ensure that the intensity of HIIT sessions aligns with the overall training goals and that recovery is sufficient.

Example HIIT Sessions:

30/15 Intervals:

- Warm-up: 15 minutes of easy riding

- Main Set: 3 x 10 x 30 seconds at high intensity (90-95% of maximum effort) with 15 seconds of easy spinning

- Cool-down: 10 minutes of easy riding

20/10 Intervals (Tabata Protocol):

- Warm-up: 15 minutes of easy riding

- Main Set: 3 x 8 x 20 seconds at maximum effort with 10 seconds of rest

- Cool-down: 10 minutes of easy riding

In conclusion, including shorter HIIT sessions like 30/15 or 20/10 can enhance the Norwegian model of training by providing additional cardiovascular benefits, efficient training, and variety. When integrated thoughtfully, HIIT can complement lactate threshold training, contributing to overall performance improvements for serious road cyclists.

🌐 Sources

1. [ - Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training](

2. [ - The Norwegian Training Model](

3. [ - How To Apply The Norwegian Method To Training](

4. [ - The Norwegian model of lactate threshold training](

5. [ - Training session models in endurance sports](

6. [ - Norwegian protocol](

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