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Measuring Training Stress

Bicycle Training Series Articles: All ABC Handouts ] 12 Beginners' Questions About Exercise ] ACE Tips ] Altitude Tents: How High the Risk? ] Aerobic Training ] Altitude Training for Sea-Level Competition ] Balance Training for Bicyclists ] Century Training ] Climbing & Descending ] Dealing With High Altitude ] Death Ride: Just-Made-It Schedule ] Economy & Efficiency ] Fitness Elements ] Heart-Rate-Based Training ] HIT Tips ] How to Perform VO2 Intervals ] How to Push Riders Uphill ] Isolated Leg Training ] [ Measuring Training Stress ] Overtraining ] Pacing ] Power-Based Training ] Recovery ] Road Racing Basics ] Six Climbing Positions ] Skills Training Principles ] Small Gears ] Sprint Weak? ] Stationary Training ] Stretching ] Tapering for Events ] Thresholds ] Time Trialing ] Torque-Based Training ] Training & Fitness Standards for Excellence ] Training Myths ] Warm Ups for Racing ] Weight Training ] Work of Breathing ] Workout Too Hard ]

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Information in this article is also available in the slide show Interval Training.

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.

Quantitative 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 insight.

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