Associations Between Selected Training-Stress Measures and Fitness Changes in Male Soccer Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To investigate the relationship between accumulated global positioning system–accelerometer-based and heart rate–based training metrics and changes in high-intensity intermittent-running capacity during an in-season phase in professional soccer players. Methods: Eleven male professional players (mean [SD] age 27.2 [4.5] y) performed the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) before and after a 5-wk in-season training phase, and the final velocity (VIFT) was considered their high-intensity intermittent-running capacity. During all sessions, Edwards training impulse (Edwards TRIMP), Banister TRIMP, Z5 TRIMP, training duration, total distance covered, new body load (NBL), high-intensity running performance (distance covered above 14.4 km·h−1), and very-high-intensity running performance (distance covered above 19.8 km·h−1) were recorded. Results: The players’ VIFT showed a most likely moderate improvement (+4.3%, 90% confidence limits 3.1–5.5%, effect size 0.70, [0.51–0.89]). Accumulated NBL, Banister TRIMP, and Edwards TRIMP showed large associations (r = .51–.54) with changes in VIFT. A very large relationship was also observed between accumulated Z5 TRIMP (r = .72) with changes in VIFT. Large to nearly perfect within-individual relationships were observed between NBL and some of the other training metrics (ie, Edwards TRIMP, Banister TRIMP, training duration, and total distance) in 10 out of 11 players. Conclusions: Heart rate–based training metrics can be used to monitor high-intensity intermittent-running-capacity changes in professional soccer players. The dose–response relationship is also largely detected using accelerometer-based metrics (ie, NBL) to track changes in high-intensity intermittent-running capacity of professional soccer players.

Rabbani and Kargarfard are with the Dept of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran, and the Medical and Performance Dept, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal. Castagna is with the Football Training and Biomechanics Laboratory, Technical Dept, Italian Football Association (FIGC), Coverciano, Florence, Italy; and the University of Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. Clemente is with the School of Sport and Leisure, Polytechnical Inst of Viana do Castelo, Melgaço, Portugal, and the Inst of Telecommunications, Delegation of Covilhã, Lisboa, Portugal. Twist is with the Dept of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom.

Kargarfard (m.kargarfard@spr.ui.ac.ir) is corresponding author.
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