As physiotherapists we see a range of acute and chronic injuries. A number of these injuries do not present with a history of trauma, such as a fall or rugby tackle. Instead there is a pattern of erratic training programs, inconsistent loading or persistent overloading to a region of the body. Often at this stage the patient requires a period of rest from this specific activity or sport, followed by a rehabilitation program and gradual return to full fitness.
To reduce the likelihood of sustaining these injuries, assist the rehabilitation process and prevent recurrent injuries we use training diaries. The link to the PDF at the bottom of this article is a simple weekly planner that can be used to fill in the type of activity, duration and perceived exertion score. There are also numerous training apps that can be used to track and monitor training load.
So how do you calculate your training load? The training load can be calculated by multiplying your perceived exertion score for a session (RPE) by the duration of the exercise session (minutes) (Gabbett T, 2016). This uses RPE to take into consideration the internal training load of a session, in this case the external training load is measured in minutes. However depending on your activity you may decide a different measure of external load is more appropriate.
Gabbett (2016) stated that when training loads are fairly consistent (a change of between -5% and + 10% of load per week) then the injury risk is less than 10%. However when training loads are increased by 15% or more per week, the injury risk escalates to between 21-49%. Therefore it is recommended that training increases are limited to less that 10% per week.
So stay injury free by monitoring your internal and external training loads. For more information on anything in this article or to book a physiotherapy or soft tissue appointment contact us on: 020 3488 2244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabbett TJ. The training—injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder? Br J Sports Med 2016;50:273-280.