Training Load Measures and Biomarker Responses during a 7-Day Training Camp in Young Cyclists-A Pilot Study

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Background and Objectives: During intense training periods, there is a high need to monitor the external and especially the internal training load in order to fine-tune the training process and to avoid overreaching or overtraining. However, data on stress reactions, especially of biomarkers, to high training loads in children and youth are rare. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate the training load of youth athletes during a training camp using a multilevel approach. Materials and Methods: Six trained youth male cyclists performed a 7-day preseason training camp. To investigate the internal training load, every morning, minimally invasive "point-of-care testing" (POCT) devices were used to analyze the following biomarkers: creatine kinase (CK), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), albumin (Alb), bilirubin (Bil), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total protein (TP). Additionally, data of training load measures (HR: heart rate, RPE: rating of perceived exertion, sRPE: session-RPE, TRIMP: training impulse, intensity (RPE:HR), and load (sRPE:TRIMP) ratios), self-perception (person's perceived physical state, questionnaires on muscle soreness, and sleep quality), and measures of the autonomic nervous system (resting heart rate, heart rate variability) were collected. Two days before and after the training camp, subjects performed performance tests (Graded Exercise Test, Wingate Anaerobic Test, Counter Movement Jump). Results: Primarily, the biomarkers CK, BUN, and Alb, as well as the self-perception showed moderate to large load-dependent reactions during the 7-day training camp. The biomarkers returned to baseline values two days after the last training session. Power output at lactate threshold showed a small increase, and no changes were found for other performance parameters. Conclusions: The study suggests that a multilevel approach is suitable to quantify the internal training load and that different parameters can be used to control the training process. The biomarkers CK, BUN, and Alb are suitable for objectively quantifying the internal training load. The self-perception provides additional subjective information about the internal training load.

Original languageEnglish
Article number673
JournalMedicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 07.2021


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