How do you monitor and plan everthing?

I play football, and i have recorded all my conditioning history since i started a proper program. I was just wondering how you guys plan everything? Training templates? Or do you only plan to a point and listen to your body on other occasions?

I mean its hard to plan everything when i am unsure when i will have competition and team training…

I have 2 templates on my wall with the date of the end of every week. I have a weekly technical goal and a monthly technical goal. For the physical template i fill in how many weeks i am spending doing something eg Max strength. Does this sound organised enough?

Please post your methods/strategies.

Many thanks!

Generally, I try to plan as much of the training as possible, but then as you progress and actually DO the training I’ll vary it depending on how I’m responding to it. For example, this summer I planned every day down to the letter during the first week of June, and that was the template that carried me all the way through the start of football. However, I made some changes as I went along that I felt were necessary. At one point I found that the sprint work was starting to fatigue me, so I dropped the volume a bit and skipped a few lifting sessions. Then once that was worked out I found that I could add more volume and so that’s what I did. I organize it by an excel spreadsheet.

Ok cool thanks alot for responding. But how do you measure the intensity of technical work? Heart rate monitor? Could you please email me you spreadsheet to

I am currently using an excellent spreadsheet for conditioning to measure volume etc.

Thanks for the reply.

If you play football, what possible use could a heart rate monitor be?

So when i am doing technical work with the ball to make sure im not over exerting myself.

Also i read on this website how you can keep a daily check on your heart rate to see if your in an overtrained state.

Obviously i was wrong. Sorry for being stupid i know very little in the way of planning and monitoring training…

Good work trying to measure performance. Charlie just means that you are using the wrong tool for your needs.

Are you talking about American Football or Soccer?

A heart rate monitor is really only useful for endurance sports. If you are interested in sprint performance you want to monitor intensity (based on your PBs over a certain distance).

You will know you are overdoing it with skill work if you are running flat out during the drills. Otherwise you are probably ok. Use distributed skill practice, E.g. little and often, if you can manage it.


Sorry if i came out a little sour - i didn’t intend it.

I have no problem keeping track of conditioning. It is just technical work. I have a training program for my technical work so i can perfect all the skills neccessary. My only problem is i always seem to overdo it. I get alot of ‘sore spots’ that keep me out of action for usually 3-5 days.

I was just wondering if there was a way to track intensity of technical work? Sometimes for my technical work,for certain things i have to work reasonably hard or put strain on my body say in a kicking excersise.

Any help from anyone is much appreciated as i have this problem with overtraining and it makes me really depressed because whenever im not working on my skills i feel guilty and i go work on them to intensly thus overtraining.

EDIT. Oh yeh i play soccer football. The real football :wink: . Rather than make another thread i think i may as well ask here. Is there a speed for soccer dvd or book available for purchase from this website, that covers how to effectivly set up a speed program? Thank you.

Ahh, well we’re a bit different. I play American Football. For soccer it doesnt seem to me like the technical work your doing should be too intense. Dribbling and ball control drills never seemed to get me into a state of fatigue like your describing when I played. I’ll email you that excel spreadsheet anyways, it was for american football though, so I dont know how useful it will be. Also, there were a lot of minor deviations along the way, especially the lowering of lifting volumes, so dont take it too literally when looking at it.

You don’t need a heart monitor to track your AM resting heart rate, just a stopwatch or wristwatch. Take it first thing in the AM before rising (hopefully at the same time every morning.) Sorry, I thought you meant heart rate throughout training sessions.

Just back the sessions off that are causing soreness (DOMS) and gradually add back elements as long as the soreness doesn’t return.
The GPP DVD would prob help you set up an overall program, which you can then adjust to suit your tolerance

Ok thanks for the advice i might have a look at the GPP DVD. Is it worth looking at my resting heart rate to see if im overtraining?

Yeh i think as far as skill work goes i just have to ease into the things that place stress on my body more slowly. ie kicking and fast dribbling deceptions that are like a plyometric action in themselves so cause soreness and minor injuries quite easliy.

I have been very frustrated this year with lots of these niggles, i just have to slow dow on the techincal work and ease into it slowly.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Checking your resting heart rate immediately upon waking up in the morning is definitely a worthwhile training tool to track CNS fatigue and to avoid overtraining before it occurs. For only taking a minute out of your day there’s a great advantage there. Sudden spikes in resting heart rate in the morning are usually signs that you should back off.

Ok cool i will look into that.

Agreed, but you may need to take a little time to track minor variability which occurs without symptoms or consequence to get a baseline to decide on the differential to use when intervening in the program.

I track all my athletes (who are reliable enough to do this) morning heart rate and have done so for the last 5 months. In general they show a trend that relates to the level of stress they are under - for example during max strength phases and right after competitions you will see a rise, also usually the day before a competition. Once the season is over i am going to review the data and evaluate just how useful it has been.

Practical note: you have to be careful because the conditions under which you wake up can have a dramatic affect on your HR (e.g. an alarm clock).

For optimum results upon waking lie in bed and relax for a few min before taking the HR so as to ensure consistantcy.

Ok thanks for the advice on that.

I was just wondering if ANYONE who plays a sport similar to football where most of your training is technical has a way to monitor the intensity of the drills themselves.

EG i want to make my dribbling faster so obviously, like sprinting, i practise doing it at top speed to make my footwork faster. You could compare this to a plyometric action i guess. My point is, like plyos this places stresses on the body and causes soreness or minor injuries.

So does anyone have a way of tracking intensity? Many thanks.

I posted this on another forum but it looks as though it may have some value here.

I’ve spent the last several months trying to find another practical and non-invasive method for predicting/planning the overreaching state while also establishing one’s individual overtraining threshold.

Historically, endurance athletes have used training volume (miles per week) as an index with reasonable effectiveness. However, measurement of training volume alone ignores the critical importance of training intensity. For athletes training for strength and/or power, the use of volume as a training measure is incomplete because of the overriding importance of intensity.

Heart rate (HR) can be used as a measure of intensity since it demonstrates an almost linear relationship with VO2. Unfortunately, it does so only during steady-state, submaximal exercise. Beyond the anaerobic threshold, heart rate increases disproportionately and, thus, becomes a comparatively poor method of evaluating very high-intensity exercise. Furthermore, during overreaching, RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) for a given HR has been reported to increase, suggesting that RPE could be more sensitive to accumulated fatigue than HR.

So, what does that leave us with?

In an effort to answer that question, Foster et al. (1) developed a method of using RPE as a factor in quantifying training load. When this number (between 0-10) is multiplied by the duration (in minutes) of the training session, the “session RPE” or training load - a single number representing the magnitude of that training session - is derived.

Rating Descriptor

0 = Rest
1 = Very, Very Easy
2 = Easy
3 = Moderate
4 = Somewhat Hard
5 = Hard
6 = -
7 = Very Hard
8 = -
9 = -
10 = Maximal

Training Load = RPE x Duration (min)

However, training load is clearly not the only training related variable contributing to the genesis of the overtraining syndrome. “Training monotony” and “training strain” may also contribute to the negative adaptations to training.

Training monotony is a measure of the day-to-day variability of training within a given week. It is calculated as the average daily training load divided by the standard deviation over the course of a training week. It has been shown that greater daily variability (i.e. alternating “heavy” and “light” days) leads to positive adaptations whereas less variability can rapidly lead to decompensation.

Training Monotony = Daily Mean/Standard Deviation

Finally, since high training load and high training monotony are both factors related to negative adaptations to training, Foster et al. suggested that the product of training load and training monotony, “training strain”, may also relate to negative adaptations to training. It is this measure that they use to establish individual thresholds for overtraining. In other words, underperformance and/or illness will coincide with a certain level - the athletes individual threshold - of training strain. Indeed, they found that 84% of illnesses could be explained by a preceding spike in training load above the individual training threshold.

Training Strain = Training Load x Training Monotony

So, a weekly training log might look something like this…

Day --------- Training Session ------ Duration (min) - RPE ---- Load
Sunday ------- Cycle (100km) -------- 180 ------------- 5 ------ 900
Monday ------- Weight Training ------- 120 ------------ 7 ------ 840
Tuesday ------ Cycle (10km) ---------- 20 -------------- 2 ------ 40
Wednesday – Inline Roller Intervals – 90 ------------- 6 ------ 540
Thursday ----- Plyometrics ------------ 75 ------------- 7 ------ 525
Friday -------- Cycle (10km) ----------- 20 ------------- 2 ------ 40
Saturday ----- Weight Training -------- 120 ------------- 7 ------ 840

Daily Mean (average) Load ------------------------ 532
Daily Standard Deviation of Load ----------------- 367
Monotony (Daily Mean/Standard Deviation) ----- 1.44
Weekly Load (Daily Mean Load x 7) ------------- 3725
Strain (Weekly Load x Monotony) --------------- 5397

All of this information can be quite easily calculated using a spreadsheet program (i.e. Microsoft Excel) and, unless you’re a math geek, this may be the only way to calculate standard deviation.

So, how do you put this plan into motion?

Approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of each training session, rate the global intensity using the RPE chart. Delay scoring the session so that particularly difficult or particularly easy segments toward the end of the exercise bout do not dominate your rating.

Multiply this number (0-10) by the duration of the entire training session (including warm-up, cooldown, and recovery intervals during the training session). In the case where multiple training sessions are performed on a given day, the training loads are summated.

Find the average load and standard deviation for the week. Use these numbers to derive monotony, weekly load, and strain. That’s it. I’m hoping that matching this information with other performance and health measures will allow me and others to fine-tune the training process.


(1) Foster, C. Monitoring training in athletes with reference to overtraining syndrome. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 7, pp. 1164-1168, 1998.

(2) Foster, C., J.A. Florhaug, J. Franklin, L. Gottschall, L.A. Hrovatin, S. Parker, P. Doleshal, and C. Dodge. A new approach to monitoring exercise training. J. Strength Cond. Res. 15(1):109-115, 2001.

(3) Day, M.L., M.R. McGuigan, G. Brice, and C. Foster. Monitoring exercise intensity during resistance training using the session RPE scale. J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(2), 353-358, 2004.

(4) Impellizzeri, F. M., E. Rampinini, A. J. Coutts, A. Sassi, and S. M. Marcora. Use of RPE-based training load in soccer. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 36, No. 6, pp. 1042-1047, 2004.

(5) Sweet, T. W., C. Foster, M. R. McGuigan, and G. Brice, Quantitation of resistance training using the session rating of perceived exertion method. J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(4): 796-802, 2004.

WHOLLY sh*t!!

Thanks so much dude this looks like the sort of thing im after so i can track ALL aspects of training, both technical and physical, since when i have adapted to my current training [sprints] which cause doms i will be training twice a day every day.

Ill be honest here: i dont really understand alot of what you posted, but i will read over it until i do, and hopefully i will put it into practise next week.

MANY thanks!!

Thanks for the post! I’m wondering, however, if it’s possible to differentiate between 10 intensity options. Could it be structured for 5 options, which would be easier to classify for most athletes?

The RPE scale given above is by Carl Foster (Milwaukee Heart Institute), while evaluating 56 competitive athletes. In order to facilitate ease of use, they developed slightly different phrases to describe the different ratings vs. the original Borg Scale. The latter is from point 6 until 20, so in that sence they are slowly coming down in numbers… :slight_smile:

The theory behind this scale (by Borg) is that there is a direct relationship between exercise intensity vs. HR and HR vs. the number indicated by the participant/athlete (e.g., figure indicated divided by 10 gives you an ESTIMATION of the HR).

Later on, this 6-20 scale was modified, since the perception of effort does not increase necessarily in linear fashion with intensity. Rather as the athlete approaches the “Hard” point, the perception of effort increases very steeply. In order to do this, they reduced the number of ratings for this new 0-10 scale (i.e., 0-3 mild to moderate, 4-10 somewhat strong to very, very strong).

PS the latter scale is different from the Foster one, but the rationale behind it is the same.