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

Steven E. Gaskill

Commitee Members

Bambi Douma, Charles Palmer


Accelerometers, heart rate monitoring, overtraining, training stress, women


University of Montana


It is important for coaches and athletes to monitor training load in order to better simulate match-play and also to recover between training and matches. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test techniques for monitoring practice and match-play stress and load in female collegiate soccer players and compare them to each other as well as to subjective athletes’ assessment. Methods: Eleven female collegiate soccer players were monitored during practices and match-play during their spring season. Subjects wore Actiheart® combined accelerometer and heart rate (HR) monitors throughout practices and match-play. Practice and match-play load was quantified in training impulses (TRIMPS) using two different models. One using a logarithmic scale (log TRIMPS) and the other using a linear model with three HR zones (HR zone TRIMPS). Following each session subjects reported their rating of perceived exertion (RPE) for that session. Results: RPE was significantly correlated to log and HR zone TRIMPS per hour and average HR (p < 0.05) but not to practice and match time or total log or HR zone TRIMPS. In comparing average practice to average match-play Average log TRIMPS were 16% higher during match-play and HR zone TRIMPS were 6% higher but neither difference was significant. Average log TRIMPS were 78% greater and average HR zone TRIMPS per hour were 54% greater for match-play (p < 0.05). Average HR, practice time, log TRIMPS, log TRIMPS per hour, HR zone TRIMPS and HR zone TRIMPS per hour were significantly greater (p < 0.05) for the four averaged hardest practices compared to the four averaged easiest practices. Average HR was 11%, log TRIMPS per hour were 43% and HR zone TRIMPS per hour were 33% greater for match-play than the hardest practices (p < 0.05) but total stress measured in log and HR zone TRIMPS were not significantly different. Conclusions: Results from this study suggest that RPE can be used to evaluate intensities of practice and match-play but may not accurately measure total stress. Results also suggest that, at least for the program studied, increased intensity of the hard practices might improve specificity of practice to simulate match-play.



© Copyright 2008 Ian Richard Marshall