ABSTRACT Identifying the external training load variables which influence subjective internal response will help reduce the mismatch between coach-intended and athlete-perceived training intensity. Therefore, this study aimed to reduce external training load measures into distinct principal components (PCs), plot internal training response (quantified via session Rating of Perceived Exertion [sRPE]) against the identified PCs and investigate how the prescription of PCs influences subjective internal training response. Twenty-nine school to international level youth athletes wore microtechnology units for field-based training sessions. SRPE was collected post-session and assigned to the microtechnology unit data for the corresponding training session. 198 rugby union, 145 field hockey and 142 soccer observations were analysed. The external training variables were reduced to two PCs for each sport cumulatively explaining 91%, 96% and 91% of sRPE variance in rugby union, field hockey and soccer, respectively. However, when internal response was plotted against the PCs, the lack of separation between low-, moderate- and high-intensity training sessions precluded further analysis as the prescription of the PCs do not appear to distinguish subjective session intensity. A coach may therefore wish to consider the multitude of physiological, psychological and environmental factors which influence sRPE alongside external training load prescription.