Training load and fatigue marker associations with injury and illness: A systematic review of longitudinal studies
Mellalieu, Stephen D.
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Background Coaches, sport scientists, clinicians and medical personnel face a constant challenge to prescribe sufficient training load to produce training adaption while minimising fatigue, performance inhibition and risk of injury/illness. Objective The aim of this review was to investigate the relationship between injury and illness and longitudinal training load and fatigue markers in sporting populations. Methods Systematic searches of the Web of Science and PubMed online databases to August 2015 were conducted for articles reporting relationships between training load/fatigue measures and injury/illness in athlete populations. Results From the initial 5943 articles identified, 2863 duplicates were removed, followed by a further 2833 articles from title and abstract selection. Manual searching of the reference lists of the remaining 247 articles, together with use of the Google Scholar ‘cited by’ tool, yielded 205 extra articles deemed worthy of assessment. Sixty-eight studies were subsequently selected for inclusion in this study, of which 45 investigated injury only, 17 investigated illness only, and 6 investigated both injury and illness. This systematic review highlighted a number of key findings, including disparity within the literature regarding the use of various terminologies such as training load, fatigue, injury and illness. Athletes are at an increased risk of injury/illness at key stages in their training and competition, including periods of training load intensification and periods of accumulated training loads. Conclusions Further investigation of individual athlete characteristics is required due to their impact on internal training load and, therefore, susceptibility to injury/illness.
Jones, C.M., Griffiths, P.C. and Mellalieu, S.D., (2017) 'Training load and fatigue marker associations with injury and illness: a systematic review of longitudinal studies', Sports medicine, 47 (5), pp 943–974
This article was published in Sports Medicine on 28 September 2016 (online) available open access at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0619-5
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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