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What is Training Load?
“Training load” is a broad term describing total volume, intensity and type of physical activity an athlete undertakes during both training and competition.
- External load: the physical work performed by an athlete. For example, distance run, amount of jumps performed, balls thrown. It van also be the duration, intensity or other available metrics.
- Internal load: the athletes perception of effort. The most common forms of measuring internal load is a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) or heart rate response to a stimulus.
- Acute load: Training load that have been accumulated in the last week.
- Chronic load: Average training load that has been accumulated over 4 weeks.
- Swimming = distance (m)
- Running = distance (km)
- Dance = routines performed
- Cricket = balls bowled
- RPE (rate of perceived exertion) x duration
Key Principles of Training Load
- Establish and maintain adequate training loads
- Avoid acute (large) spikes and troughs in load
- Overtraining and undertraining can increase injury risk
- Awareness of latent periods following any increase/decrease in load
- Injuries can occur up to 4 weeks later after a spike in training
- Minimise week-to-week fluctuations
- Establish a floor and ceiling of safety
- Identify your minimum and maximum training loads – aim to stay within these limits
- Ensure applied training loads are appropriate for your current situation
- Consider athlete age, skeletal maturity and training history