Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Exercise Science Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Charles Dumke

Commitee Members

Charles Palmer, Brandon Ronan


Acute and Chronic Workload, ACWR, Cross Country, Injury Symptoms, Illness Symptoms


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy | Sports Sciences



Objectives: Examining the relationship between workloads (miles ran) of collegiate cross-country (XC) athletes (n=18) and symptoms of injury or illness over the course of 10 weeks. This can assist sport coaches, athletic performance coaches, and athletic trainers in keeping athletes healthy and furthering adaptation throughout the course of the season, thus improving the team’s overall success during the season.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to show a relationship between an Acute and chronic workload ratio (ACWR) in miles run and weight lifted, ACWR in miles run grouped by z-scores, weight, age, years of collegiate XC experience, miles ran during the previous summer, a four-week rolling average of miles ran and injury or illness symptoms in collegiate XC runners.

Methods: Descriptive data was collected during the initial survey. Weight was collected throughout the 10 weeks during the 2018 XC season at the University of Montana. Workload and illness and injury data were collected over the course of the season via the run2win team website and weekly surveys. Cumulative workloads (1-weekly, 2-weekly, 3-weekly, 4-weekly) in addition to the ACWR, acute workload (current weekly miles) divided by chronic workload (previous four-week average) were classified into discrete ranges by z-scores. A binary logistic analysis was used with these and other variables (Total in season miles, miles ran during the summer, a dichotomized 4-week average, and number of years of collegiate XC) were used to predict the likelihood of symptoms of injury or illness during the 2018 XC season.

Results: The study began with 28 participants, 13 males and 15 females. 10 athletes were dropped from the study. There were 68 reported symptoms of injury or illness (48 injury, 25 illness, 5 with both). A total of 57 days of training were missed, 47 days due to injury and 10 days due to illness. A strong positive correlation (p

Conclusion: The use of an ACWR along with the other variables that were used based off of the external workload of miles ran improved the predictability of injury symptoms during the course of the 2018 XC season. This finding shows that collegiate XC coaching staffs should consider the miles ran during the week, the chronic workload of the athletes, and the number of years of collegiate XC experience of the athletes in addressing injury rates.



© Copyright 2019 Brennan T. Mickelson