Monitoring Training Load In Sports Like Professional Swimming, Running or Cycling

Sport performance is the result of many hours of training. In recent years many books and articles have been written about training and the effectiveness of various training methods, so far from a scientific point of view little is know about how exactly training leads to performance improvements. The complex and multidisciplinary character of the sport performance has contributed to this without a doubt.

When one then realizes that in recent decades the performance density in sports has increased and that sports performance is subject to the law of diminishing returns, it becomes clear that in the future more and more investments will be needed to realize increasingly smaller performance improvements.  This requires a thorough approach in which applications and innovations in knowledge and technology will play an important role.

The STW research project “Status Monitoring with athletes’ connects seamlessly to and hopes to contribute to the improvement of sports performance through a contribution optimization of training load and resilience.

Model for Swimming

The starting point is a system-theoretical model based on the concept of power balance (Van Ingen Schenau and Cavanagh, 1990) in which the dose response relationships of training are described in terms of the relationships between performance factors. This model is the framework including training, monitoring, evaluation and supervision.
Translation of this model to sport practice (Truijens 2010) led to three parameters that reliably characterize training load:

  • Heart Rate
  • Swimming Speed
  • Movement Frequency

As indicator of (mental) resilience the heart rate variability (HRV) is used.

Measure ECG & Activity When Swimming

The Project

  1. Sensor Development for synchronized, real-time measurement of heart rate, swimming speed and movement frequency for swimming
  2. Monitoring athletes and data analysis for the determination of individual dose-response relationships and load capacity


  • Lead Research: VU Amsterdam, TU Eindhoven
  • Other Partners: KNZB, Lode, Nemo Healthcare , Innosportlab
  • Funding: STW

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