The influence of changes in acute training load on daily sensitivity of morning-measured fatigue variables in elite soccer players

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Robin T. Thorpe
  • Anthony J. Strudwick
  • Martin Buchheit
  • Greg Atkinson
  • Warren Gregson

Colleges, School and Institutes


Purpose: To determine the sensitivity of a range of potential fatigue measures to daily training load accumulated over the previous 2, 3, and 4 d during a short in-season competitive period in elite senior soccer players (N = 10). 
Methods: Total highspeed-running distance, perceived ratings of wellness (fatigue, muscle soreness, sleep quality), countermovement-jump height (CMJ), submaximal heart rate (HRex), postexercise heart-rate recovery (HRR), and heart-rate variability (HRV: Ln rMSSD) were analyzed during an in-season competitive period (17 d). General linear models were used to evaluate the influence of 2-, 3-, and 4-d total high-speed-running-distance accumulation on fatigue measures.  
Results: Fluctuations in perceived ratings of fatigue were correlated with fluctuations in total high-speed-running-distance accumulation covered on the previous 2 d (r = –.31; small), 3 d (r = –.42; moderate), and 4 d (r = –.28; small) (P < .05). Changes in HRex (r = .28; small; P = .02) were correlated with changes in 4-d total high-speed-running-distance accumulation only. Correlations between variability in muscle soreness, sleep quality, CMJ, HRR%, and HRV and total high-speed-running distance were negligible and not statistically significant for all accumulation training loads. 
Conclusions: Perceived ratings of fatigue and HRex were sensitive to fluctuations in acute
total high-speed-running-distance accumulation, although sensitivity was not systematically influenced by the number of previous days over which the training load was accumulated. The present findings indicate that the sensitivity of morning-measured fatigue variables to changes in training load is generally not improved when compared with training loads beyond the previous day’s training.

Bibliographic note

This is the accepted version of the following article, which has been published in final form at


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2-107–S2-113
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of sports physiology and performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017


  • training, performance, wellness, recovery