Pro/Elite training

Been watching some of Lionel Sanders vids and was wondering what he is testing with his blood and why does he seem to do it so often? Anyone know?

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Norwegian approach to intensity control. He’s coached by Gustav Iden’s brother.


I find L Sanders’ post-Kona vid remarkable. His explanation, the Norwegian approach is too hard for him.

Wasn’t the Norwegian approach all about intensity control? Meticulous intensity control. And all the other sensors! And all this talk about the high volume of low intensity.

Perhaps there is no Norwegian approach. Perhaps there are only two extremely gifted athletes, Iden and Blu, who had the luck to grow up together (athletically). And like the other Pogs and Remcos of this world simply shine no matter what training you throw at them.


That is the conclusion I’ve come to as well.

This was a pleasant surprise from his previous years where he would throw out the baby w/the bath water. However, I don’t neccesarily think the training was too hard, instead believe he raced way too much, which he admits to. Also, if you follow his YT channel, prior to Dallas PTO race, he mentions Mikal (coach) did not want him to race. Then in the Kona week series, there was at least one instance where Mikal was saying he was going too hard or doing too much.

Gustav and Kristian definitely raced less. How much of a difference that makes :man_shrugging: That said, these two are specimens and young.

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Interesting interview, up to 12 lactate measurements during a normal training day.

But LS also said, that he did so much race pace training like never before. On top of actual racing. It’s the volume of race pace training I’m surprised about. I thought they just ride <0.5mmol lactate most of the time and become somehow fast by this. Train slow makes you faster and so. And shouldn’t the training system actually detect when an athlete does to much?

Are there actually any other Norwegian top level triathletes. Stones seems to have vanished. I don’t really follow short distance triathlon but I don’t see any (other) Norwegians in the top ranks.

Aren’t Blu and Iden coached by Olav Bu? So maybe only he has the secret sauce :wink:

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I thought they just ride <0.5mmol lactate most of the time and become somehow fast by this

From what I’ve gathered they do multiple double threshold days a week and the intensity is controlled by lactate 0.5 mmol < LT2, where LT2 is around 2.5-3.0 mmol/L based on regular lactate profiling

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the Norwegian middle/long-distance runner trains in a very similar way and is quite successful.

Whether or not the Norwegian success is due to training, genetics or the timing of having a cohort of endurance athletes roughly the same age who can push each other in training is hard to say but it is impressive to have so many world class athletes come out of a country of 5m people

Ingebrigsten is a genetic phenom. He was as a junior as well. Like most genetic anomalies I am not sure training principles apply universally to the masses.

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Very entertaining interview with the two Norwegians (and the next Podcast will then be with their coach Olav Bu)

They certainly do not believe in the “magic of the island” :joy:

Gustav & Kristian: The Norwegian Train Reign | Rich Roll


wow, training seriously since age 14. Genetics and doing endurance training for a long time.

Interesting interview with the coach of Iden and Blu, e.g. that Blu races better at 80kg (at only 1.77m height) than at a lower weight (he used to be down to 72kg) as he loses absolute VO2max.

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Excerpt from an interview with Tim Wellens, where he briefly discusses the training at UAE and how it differs. Also his personal anecdote about Pog at the end.

Wellens does start on his familiar Mallorca, but wants to be really good in March and April. Not put everything on the Ardennes classics like last year and then be tempted by a few Flemish races because the legs are already so good. ‘That was a wrong choice, a bit stupid,’ agrees Wellens, who is taking a different approach at UAE. ‘In the past I always struggled to be good in March and April, that has been a weak point for years. I also know why, but I was always not where I wanted to be in the big classics. I now have a different way of working, I train completely differently with a different trainer. Whether that is better or not, we will know in March and April.’

No more Paul Van Den Bosch, he was Wellens’ regular coach for years. At UAE, he really has to get out of his comfort zone. 'The big difference is that I train much harder now, without being at the maximum level. That means I have to ride annoyingly the whole training, but never going the full 100%. Old skool training, at UAE you always have to train in zone 2. They want your normalized power here to also be your average power, making training more like a time trial. They want you to ride downhill, on the flat and uphill in zone 2. That also means I can’t ride with other people now. Others don’t want to train with me anymore. Someone like Jasper De Buyst can still follow me, but those guys don’t want to ride in that zone all the time. Sometimes I water down and train a little slower.

‘Laying the base as high as possible,’ sounds like the goal for the winter months. Wellens’ bike is getting a major upgrade. According to the Belgian, it is a very different mindset than with other teams. ‘With other teams it is either very quiet or very hard. I already knew that when I signed here and in the end UAE as a team is just very strong. You can say that Pogacar wins races, but the team is very good in width. So I’m giving it a chance, even though during the interviews I really did ask if I’m not becoming an iron with this training method. They don’t think so. I already asked Pogacar once how come he can still sprint so well after a tough race and he said he never does sprints on training. And yet he is still so explosive. There are riders on the team who say they don’t want to train like that and I can do that too, but I want to give it a chance.’

Article is here if anyone wants the full interview about other stuff. Translation from Netherlands


I much more prefer his description of this style compared to the general ‘’happy hard’’ :stuck_out_tongue:




Egan Bernal is back with a vengeance. At least in terms of time in the saddle…

23h average last 7 weeks. Talk about base…some 5w/kg efforts from 10 to 30 mins here and there.

“making training more like a time trial”

Sounds fun. :sob:

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McNulty - hitting it with precision