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  • Author: Chris S. Whatman x
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Kaitlyn J. Weiss, Sian V. Allen, Mike R. McGuigan and Chris S. Whatman

Purpose:

To establish the relationship between the acute:chronic workload ratio and lower-extremity overuse injuries in professional basketball players over the course of a competitive season.

Methods:

The acute:chronic workload ratio was determined by calculating the sum of the current week’s session rating of perceived exertion of training load (acute load) and dividing it by the average weekly training load over the previous 4 wk (chronic load). All injuries were recorded weekly using a self-report injury questionnaire (Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center Injury Questionnaire20). Workload ratios were modeled against injury data using a logistic-regression model with unique intercepts for each player.

Results:

Substantially fewer team members were injured after workload ratios of 1 to 1.49 (36%) than with very low (≤0.5; 54%), low (0.5–0.99; 51%), or high (≥1.5; 59%) workload ratios. The regression model provided unique workload–injury trends for each player, but all mean differences in likelihood of being injured between workload ratios were unclear.

Conclusions:

Maintaining workload ratios of 1 to 1.5 may be optimal for athlete preparation in professional basketball. An individualized approach to modeling and monitoring the training load–injury relationship, along with a symptom-based injury-surveillance method, should help coaches and performance staff with individualized training-load planning and prescription and with developing athlete-specific recovery and rehabilitation strategies.

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Simon A. Rogers, Chris S. Whatman, Simon N. Pearson and Andrew E. Kilding

Purpose: To examine relationships between methods of lower-limb stiffness and their associations with running economy (RE) and maximal velocity (vmax) in middle-distance (MD) runners. Methods: Eleven highly trained male MD runners performed a series of mechanical and physiological tests to determine maximal overground sprint speed, RE, and V˙O2peak. Achilles tendon stiffness (kT) was estimated using ultrasonography during maximal isometric ankle plantar flexion. Global stiffness qualities were evaluated using a spring-mass model, providing measures of leg (kleg) and vertical stiffness (kvert) during running and jumping, respectively. Results: Very large (r = −.70) and large (r = −.60) negative relationships existed between RE and kT and kvert, during plantar flexion and unilateral jumps, respectively. There were large (r = .63) and extremely large (r = −.92) associations between kvert and kT and kleg during sprinting, respectively. Runners’ vmax had large positive associations between kT (r = .52) and kleg (r = .59) during sprinting. Conclusions: In well-trained MD athletes, greater stiffness appears linked to faster and more economical running. Although kT had the strongest relationship with RE, kleg while sprinting and kvert in maximal unilateral jumps may be more practical measures of stiffness. Agreement between global stiffness assessments and kT highlights the energy contribution of the Achilles tendon to running efficiency and velocity. Further research incorporating these assessment tools could help establish more comprehensive mechanical and metabolic athlete profiles and further our understanding of training adaptations, especially stiffness modification, longitudinally.