Nordic Nation: Training and Intensity with Dr. Stephen Seiler

Jason AlbertMay 15, 2017


May 1 marks the symbolic start of the annual training cycle for many year-round nordic skiers. With that in mind, we recently spoke with Stephen Seiler. A Texas native, Seiler, 51, is a professor of sports science at the University of Adger in Kristiansand, Norway.

Stephen Seiler, a professor at the University of Adger in Kristiansand, Norway, specializes in exercise science. (Photo:

Seiler has researched, written and spoken extensively about physiological adaptations as it relates to endurance athletes. Seiler’s mantra — the 80/20 Rule — the easy to hard intensity ratio when it comes to training sessions, has been well publicized. Seiler believes easy days should be truly easy, meaning walking the hills may be mandatory. If the easy days are easy, then the hard days are hard. He espouses a fidelity to training models with little, if any, in-between efforts; that means no middle-of-the-road intensity. And his observations come straight from Norway.

“… They know what gets you on the podium,” he said of the Norwegians’ tried-and-tested training principles. “And they know that there are no shortcuts. They don’t fall for the latest trend, the latest trick because they know how you get there. The magic is there is no magic in Norway.”

But we’ll let Seiler speak for himself.

Here’s a link to the video referenced several times in the podcast.

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Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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