This paper presents a numerical analysis of the evolution of normal zones in a composite superconductor based on a novel heat conduction equation which takes into account the finite speed of thermal wave propagation and the inertia of the internal heat source. The results are compared with those obtained from the classical parabolic heat conduction equation. It is shown that appreciable differences can occur between the two models, in qualitative as well as quantitative terms. For large times these differences do not disappear because of the effect of internal heat generation.