University of Hull logo

Methods of monitoring training load and their relationships to changes in fitness and performance in competitive road cyclists

Sanders, Dajo; Abt, Grant; Hesselink, Matthijs K. C.; Myers, Tony; Akubat, Ibrahim


Matthijs K.C. Hesselink

Dajo Sanders

Profile Image

Dr Grant Abt
Reader in Sport and Exercise Physiology and Head of Department for Sport, Health and Exercise Science

Matthijs K. C. Hesselink

Tony Myers

Ibrahim Akubat


Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the dose-response relationships between different training load methods and aerobic fitness and performance in competitive road cyclists. Method: Training data from 15 well-trained competitive cyclists were collected during a 10-week (December – March) pre-season training period. Before and after the training period, participants underwent a laboratory incremental exercise test with gas exchange and lactate measures and a performance assessment using an 8-min time trial (8MT). Internal training load was calculated using Banister’s TRIMP (bTRIMP), Edwards’ TRIMP (eTRIMP), individualized TRIMP (iTRIMP), Lucia’s TRIMP (luTRIMP) and session-RPE (sRPE). External load was measured using Training Stress Score™ (TSS). Results: Large to very large relationships (r = 0.54-0.81) between training load and changes in submaximal fitness variables (power at 2 and 4 mmol·L-1) were observed for all training load calculation methods. The strongest relationships with changes in aerobic fitness variables were observed for iTRIMP (r = 0.81 [95% CI: 0.51 to 0.93, r = 0.77 [95% CI 0.43 to 0.92]) and TSS (r = 0.75 [95% CI 0.31 to 0.93], r = 0.79 [95% CI: 0.40 to 0.94]). The highest dose-response relationships with changes in the 8MT performance test were observed for iTRIMP (r = 0.63 [95% CI 0.17 to 0.86]) and luTRIMP (r = 0.70 [95% CI: 0.29 to 0.89). Conclusions: The results show that training load quantification methods that integrate individual physiological characteristics have the strongest dose-response relationships, suggesting this to be an essential factor in the quantification of training load in cycling.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2017
Journal International journal of sports physiology and performance
Print ISSN 1555-0265
Electronic ISSN 1555-0273
Publisher Human Kinetics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 5
Pages 668-675
Keywords Road cyclists; Training load methods; Dose-response relationships; Aerobic fitness; Performance
Publisher URL
Additional Information Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from: International journal of sports physiology and performance, 2017, v.12 (issue 5): pp.668-675, © Human Kinetics, Inc.


Article.pdf (2.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
©2017 University of Hull

AM - Accepted Manuscript

You might also like

Downloadable Citations