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Relationships of internal and external training load in elite-level adolescent soccer

Salter, Jamie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7375-1476, Weston, Matthew and Hood, Peter (2017) Relationships of internal and external training load in elite-level adolescent soccer. In: The Future of Football Medicine - Isokinetic, 13th - 15th May 2017, Camp Nou, Barcelona.

Text (Football Medical Strategies (Isokinetic) 2017)
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Introduction and Purpose: The quantification of locomotive demands such as high-speed running (>13 kmh-1) are now commonplace within the monitoring of external training load metrics. However, limitations linked to discounting energetically demanding changes in running speed and lack of sensitivity between individual locomotor profiles raise concerns over the accuracy of this variable (1). Recent findings have identified tri-axial accelerometer data to be an effective measure of movement efficiency and that it could be a more suitable measure of external training load than locomotive demands alone (1, 2). It is also becoming increasingly common that practitioners seek quantification of the physiological responses to these external training loads, referred to as internal training load (such as heart rate and rating of perceived exertion [RPE]) (2). Combining external and internal training load variables has been shown to provide a more useful approach than using either independently as this permits a better understanding of the dose-response of activity (2, 3). Therefore, the aim of this study was to observe the magnitude of associations between internal and external training load amongst elite-level adolescent soccer players.

Methods: Thirty-four male adolescent soccer players (Age: 13.85 ± 1.02 yrs; Weight: 55.1 ± 12.8 kg; Height: 166.9 ± 10.3 cm) from the same category one academy were monitored over a two-week training period. High-resolution tri-axial accelerometers using a vector-magnitude algorithm (PlayerLoadTM), high-intensity distance (HID) (MinimaxX v4.0, Catapult InnovationsTM, Melbourne, Australia) and session RPE (sRPE; CR10) (15 mins post training) were collected from three training sessions per player. From this, RPELoad was calculated using training session duration (mins) multiplied by sRPE. Between-subject correlations were used to determine relationships using a standardised scale of magnitudes.

Results: The relationship between RPELoad and PlayerLoadTM was moderate (r = 0.41; 90% confidence interval 0.14 to 0.62), small for sRPE and PlayerLoadTM (r = 0.22; -0.07 to 0.48), and trivial for sRPE and HID (r = 0.12; -0.17 to 0.39) and RPELoad and HID (r = 0.07; -0.22 to 0.35).

Conclusions: The strongest associations between internal and external training load in adolescent soccer exist between RPELoad and PlayerLoadTM. Both sRPE and RPELoad have a limited association with HID. This suggests that tri-axial accelerometer data combined with post-activity perceived exertion ratings may offer a better indicator of the dose-response than high-speed locomotor metrics. However, due to the relatively trivial overall associations, it is advised that where possible practitioners routinely monitor a combination of both external training load (i.e., PlayerLoadTM and HID) alongside internal RPELoad to inform training load monitoring.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Status: Published
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Q Science > QP Physiology
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2539

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