This study examined whether the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS) is a useful tool for monitoring training stress in cycling athletes. Participants (n = 11) completed the POMS weekly during six weeks of high-intensity interval cycling and a one-week taper. Cycling performance improved over the first three weeks of training, plateaued during Weeks 4 and 5, decreased slightly following Week 6, and then significantly increased during the one-week taper. Neither the high-intensity interval training nor the one-week taper significantly affected total mood or specific mood states. POMS data from two cyclists who did not show improved performance capabilities during the taper (overtraining) were not distinctly unique when compared to cyclists who did improve. Also, one cyclist, who on some days had the highest total mood disturbance, responded well to the taper and produced his best personal effort during this time period. These findings raise questions about the usefulness of POMS to distinguish, at an individual level, between periods of productive and counterproductive high-intensity training.
David T. Martin is with the Department of Physiology and Applied Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australia; Mark B. Andersen, is with the School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance and the Centre for Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia; Ward Gates is with the College of Health Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071.