Measuring Training Stress
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Measuring Training Stress (Introduction)
Implicit in the very word
itself, athletic training is the process of improving fitness.
Physical training is a
stress, to which the body responds. As with all stresses, some stress may be
good, too much may be bad.
How much is enough, how
much is too much?
Can we qualify or quantify
training stress in order to prepare and plan to obtain enough, but not too
much; to improve, to provide adaptation, to peak, and yet not to overtrain?
A training log is basic
to the process.
Bicycle workout variables
include volume and intensity, as well as less common but potentially
important factors including cadence, bicycle position, pedal stroke
emphasis, and environment (altitude, climate, group setting, and terrain).
These factors can help provide a qualitative or quantitative measure of
training-stress measures generally relate to volume, intensity, or both.
As with measures of
training volume and intensity themselves, all methods of evaluating training
stress have pros and cons.
There is an interaction
between training intensity and volume: as intensity goes up, volume must
come down; and vice-versa: as volume goes up, intensity must come down.
Training stress indices
have been developed that are based on both volume and intensity defined by
heart rate or power.
Used singly or in
combination, measures of training stress together can provide valuable