‘Training load’ and managing your injury risk.

‘Training load’ refers to the cumulative effect of the amount of training you do and and at what intensity you train during those sessions.

An interesting study examined the relationship between training load and injury risk and included athletes of all levels. There’s a link to the article below:

“How much is too much? (Part 1) International Olympic Committee consensus statement on load in sport and risk of injury”


The article discusses how many factors can affect training load both internal and external (e.g. life stresses).

A nice useful takeaway from the discussion I found was the concept of aiming to keep training load between 0.8-1.2 times the average of the past 4 weeks to reduce the risk of injury. In other words, if for example, you have averaged 150km cycling per week for 4 weeks, hitting up 180km is safe for the coming week’s volume.

Equally training the following week at less than 0.8 (80%) of the previous 4 week average may result in less training stimulus for effective adaptation (this may be good for tapering though prior to an event)

Obviously when combining cycling, running and swimming or various activities it can become less simplistic to work out but it gives you perhaps some useful concepts.

Quite relevant though if due to life circumstances or illness you have had a break, this significantly affects the average volume over the past 4 weeks, then what you should plan for your return to cycling week…

Also the discussion encompasses life stresses and their effect on tolerance to training load.

The study seems unclear on best way to monitor ‘readiness’ for training but advocates multiple objective (e.g. HR) and subjective (e.g. RPE) in conjunction with potentially some psychosocial measures.

Not really a definitive guide, but an interesting read and gives you some things to consider for training load and how to effectively manage the various things that feed into or inhibit performance (e.g. training volume, intensity, competition phase, life stress, sleep, nutrition etc). Hope you find it useful.

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