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Calculating training load

Wed, Aug  19, 2009 - By CXC Skiing

Can you give more detail on how to calculate training load? For example, how many minutes at Level 1 gives a load of 10? How many Level 3 intervals to get a load of 6?

Intensity is commonly measured by perceived exertion. Perceived exertion is often scaled from 1 to 10, 4 to 20, etc. A popular method is a 1-10 scale which coincidently corresponds to general lactate levels. Another very simplistic method, which is what we are using in CXC Academy, is an intensity scale 1-5 that corresponds with the training levels 1-5. Review back to “Determine Your Training Intensity” under the yearly overview section. You will see definitions for each intensity level and their corresponding lactate, VO2 percentage and percentage of maximal heart rate.

In short, a consistent unit of measure for time and intensity is necessary to measure load. We use hours to measure duration and a 1-5 training intensity scale to measure intensity for purposes of CXC Academy. Measuring load and not just duration alone is an excellent method to measure training and how much one can handle week to week, month to month and year to year.

For example, one workout might have 15 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of level 4 intervals (5X4 minutes) with 4 minutes recovery in between and then a 15 minute cool down. The total training load of that workout would have a load of:

Level 4 – 0.33 hrs X 4 = 1.33 TL.

Level 1 – 15 min warm-up
+ 4min X 5 recovery time between intervals
+ 15 min cool down = 50 min or 0.83 hrs
= 0.83 hrs X 1 = 0.83 TL

Total effort is 1.33 TL + 0.83 TL = 2.17 TL

We often analyze total training load per training level per week. For example, 10TL for the week in level 1 is 10 hr of level 1 training for that week.