A popular method is a 1-10 scale corresponding to general lactate levels. Another very simplistic method, which is what we are using in CXC Academy, is an intensity scale 1-5 that corresponds with the training Levels 1-5.
In short, a consistent unit of measure for time and intensity is necessary to measure load. We use hours to measure duration and a 1-5 training intensity scale to measure intensity. Measuring load and not just duration alone is an excellent method to measure training and how much one can handle weekly, month to month, and year to year.
For example, one workout might have 15 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of Level 4 intervals (5X4minutes) with 4 minutes of recovery, and then a 15-minute cooldown. The total training load of that workout would have a load of:
Level 4 – 0.33 hrs X 4 = 1.33 TL.
Level 1 – 15min warm-up+4min*5 recovery time between intervals+15min cool down = 50min or 0.83hrs
0.83hrs X 1 = 0.83 TL
Total effort is 1.33TL + 0.83TL = 2.17TL
We often analyze the total training load per training level per week. For example, 10TL for the week in Level 1 is 10hrs of Level 1 training for that week.
I hope all the math makes sense,
by Bryan Fish, CXC Academy Advisor / U.S. Ski Team Continental Cup Coach