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Purpose: To profile sprint endurance performance of elite-level female soccer players. Methods: Twenty-five female national-team soccer players (age 25.1 [2.7] y, body mass 59.6 [3.6] kg, height 168.5 [4.1] cm) were tested for sprint endurance, performing 5 maximal sprints, interspersed with 30 seconds of active recovery (5 × 30 m) and a 30-second all-out shuttle run in a soccer pitch. The Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIR1) evaluated intermittent high-intensity endurance under the same field-testing conditions. Maximal anaerobic capacity was assessed while participants performed three 10-second all-out bouts separated by 20 seconds of passive recovery (3 × 10 s) on a nonmotorized treadmill. Results: Huge interplayer variability was observed for sprint decrements in 3 × 10 seconds (coefficient of variation = 37%) and 5 × 30 m (coefficient of variation = 62%). The 3 × 10 performance was largely associated with 5 × 30-m mean and best time and very largely with 30 seconds. A very large and nearly perfect correlation was observed between 30 seconds and 5 × 30 mMean (r = −.86) and 5 × 30 mBest (r = −.92), respectively. The YYIR1 was moderately to largely associated with 5 × 30-m variables and 30 seconds, respectively. A nearly perfect association was observed between 5 × 30 mBest and 5 × 30 mMean (r = .97). Conclusions: Elite female soccer players’ sprint endurance variables are characterized by remarkable variability. Associations between sprint endurance variables suggest physiological interdependence and a likelihood of a general ability in sustaining sprinting in this population.

Castagna is with the Fitness Training and Biomechanics Laboratory, Technical Dept, Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Coverciano, Italy. Castagna, D’Ottavio, and Gabrielli are with the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. D’Ottavio is also with the women’s national team, Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Rome, Italy. Póvoas is with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), University Institute of Maia (ISMAI), Maia, Portugal.

Castagna (castagnac@libero.it) is corresponding author.
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