An examination of in-season external training load in semi-professional soccer players: considerations of one and two match weekly microcycles

William Swallow, Neil Skidmore, RICHARD PAGE, James Malone*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to firstly, quantify the external training load (TL) of semi-professional soccer players during an annual season and secondly, to examine the influence of one (1MW) and two (2MW) match weekly microcycles. Data were collected from 24 semi-professional outfield soccer players during the 2018-2019 annual season using micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) devices for the following variables: Training duration (min), total distance (TD), Player Load (PL), high speed running (HSR) distance (5.5-7.0 m/s), and acceleration (ACC) efforts (>2 m/s2). Training sessions were defined as days before match day (i.e. MD minus), with match weeks broken down as either 1MW or 2MW. Data revealed higher TD, PL, and HSR distance on MD and MD-5 when compared to all other MD codes. MD-4 displayed significantly higher values compared to MD-1 (mean differences (Mdiff): TD: 785 ± 158 m; PL: 29 ± 9 au; HSR: 192 ± 63 m; ACC: 15 ± 3 #) and MD-2 (Mdiff: TD: 279 ± 137 m; HSR: 127 ± 54 m). During 2MW scenarios, both TD (Mdiff: 685 ± 328 m) and PL (Mdiff: 33 ± 14 au) were higher on MD-1 when compared to 1MW. However, lower values were observed for duration and HSR on MD-2 and MD-4 during 2MW compared to 1MW scenarios.These data suggest that there appears to be a progressive reduction in TD, PL, HSR and ACC leading into competitive matches based on MD- analysis. However, some variability exists in TL prescription as a result of different MW scenarios (i.e. 1MW vs. 2MW).
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Early online date24 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Association football
  • Global Positioning System
  • performance analysis
  • periodisation
  • Association football, global positioning system (GPS), performance analysis, periodisation

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