Optimising training load in athletes using wrist-worn accelerometry

Project lead: Dr Vicky Stiles

An improved ability to objectively monitor simple, meaningful characteristics of external training load on a large population scale will enhance our understanding of the influence of training load on injury and performance in athletes.

Working with Activinsights Ltd and using wrist-worn activity monitors (wearables; accelerometers), we have generated new training load metrics from raw acceleration data to allow training programmes for runners to be monitored 24-7. Capturing characteristics of training, rest and recovery are important for enhancing performance and preventing injury. Similar techniques are also being developed for tennis players and other populations engaging in high-performance activity.

Related publications

Stiles VH, Pearce M, Moore I, Langford J, Rowlands A (2018). Wrist-worn accelerometry for runners: Objective quantification of training load. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50, 2277-2284

I’m particularly interested in helping other people reap the benefits of exercise and improved performance whilst also looking after their bodies. Continuing to work with industry and end-user groups to develop and capture meaningful measures of training load, including rest and recovery, will really help us do that and will furnish us with the best information to help reduce the stubborn rates of injury that have remained high, particularly for runners, since records began.

Dr Vicky Stiles, lead researcher.