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Experts in Sport: Training load monitoring in elite sport - limitations and lessons from medicine

Among the plethora of sports technologies now available, how is athletes’ training and performance impacted and what effect does this have on sport as a whole?

The latest episode of the Experts in Sport podcast, hosted by Stuart McErlain-Naylor, features Professor Franco Impellizzeri from the University of Technology Sydney.

Franco is active within the Sports and Exercise Science & Medicine industry, with a background in sports coaching in clinical science and is currently working as a researcher.

Having collaborated with various academics throughout his career and undertaking research within private institutions, Franco gives his expert opinion on current issues within the sector. He discusses the implications around the commercialisation of using external measures of training load and the impact this has upon sports team composition and achieving optimal performance.

Franco speaks about how decisions within sports coaching may be informed by data: “Nowadays, we tend to use more external measures of training load because it’s easier and also because there is more commercial interest in that area”. He examines how companies market products to appeal to teams and researchers, alluding to the capitalisation of the industry.

During the episode, Stuart and Franco discuss the problems with these technologies, such as the over-exertion of athletes when attempting to achieve higher numerical statistics. It is considered how researchers must begin to collaborate across multiple disciplines and strengthen communication between sectors to reduce bias.

Listeners of the podcast can subscribe and download the latest episode by visiting iTunes, Spotify, and TuneIn. All subscribers will receive an alert once new episodes are published.

The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/135

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.