Monitoring and managing volume is a critical part of any training program. Train with too little volume, and you reduce the effectiveness of a training program. However, train with too much volume, and you run the risk of developing injuries, and restricting the amount your body adapts to the demands you place on it.
For athletes that train under a number of different coaches and specialists, communication and sharing of information between each discipline is important. This ensures that the athlete's volume is being managed in the most optimal way, helping keep training loads within the, 'sweet spot.'
How does an athlete get better?
An athlete improves their fitness through a combination of training and recovery. Training provides the body with a stimulus that creates a catalyst for change, and recovery is where the body repairs and rebuilds itself following exercise.
Managing training and recovery is a fine balance, and tipping the balance too far in either direction can have consequences for the athlete. If recovery time is too short, the body will not have a genuine chance to repair and rebuild, and improvement does not occur. If recovery time is too long, then there will not be enough regular stimulus to optimise improvement. Thus, scheduling recovery in appropriate amounts is just as important as the training stimulus that the athlete is given.
What happens when an athlete trains too much with not enough recovery?
This situation makes the athlete vulnerable to what is called, 'overtraining' -where the physical and mental condition of the athlete begins to decline, and the risk of injury and illness increases.
Load is not limited to the training track
An athlete's life outside of training can also have a bearing on their response to exercise (e.g. sleep, work and other life stresses). This is why monitoring an athlete's wellness is so important -we can't always, 'see' the factors that can determine an athlete's readiness. Monitoring can be done through simple wellness surveys, which ask the athlete questions surrounding mood, sleep, and soreness, as well as quantifying training loads.