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Camila G. Freitas, Marcelo S. Aoki, Clovis A. Franciscon, Ademir F.S. Arruda, Christopher Carling and Alexandre Moreira

This study investigated the effect of a 2-week overloading training phase followed by a 2-week tapering phase on internal training load (ITL), salivary cortisol, stress tolerance, and upper respiratory tract infections symptoms (URTI) in 11 male young soccer players (16.0 ± 0.5 yrs). Ratings of perceived exertion (session-RPE) were taken after each training session (N = 194) to determine ITL. Saliva sampling was conducted at the end of each week and cortisol concentration assessed by ELISA. DALDA and WURSS-21 questionnaires were administered every week to evaluate stress tolerance and severity of URTI respectively. The number of athletes reporting URTI symptoms was recorded. The overloading phase promoted greater ITL and a higher resting cortisol concentration than the tapering phase (P < .05). While no significant changes in stress tolerance or URTI severity were observed, the number of athletes reporting URTI symptoms was higher during the overloading phase. A significant correlation was observed between symptoms of stress and severity of URTI (rs=-.71; P = .01). The results indicate that an integrated approach using psychological measures (session-RPE and DALDA), self-reports of URTI symptoms, and endocrine responses (cortisol) to training are pertinent for monitoring young soccer players.

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Vincenzo Manzi, Antonio Bovenzi, Carlo Castagna, Paola Sinibaldi Salimei, Maurizio Volterrani and Ferdinando Iellamo

Purpose:

To assess the distribution of exercise intensity in long-distance recreational athletes (LDRs) preparing for a marathon and to test the hypothesis that individual perception of effort could provide training responses similar to those provided by standardized training methodologies.

Methods:

Seven LDRs (age 36.5 ± 3.8 y) were followed during a 5-mo training period culminating with a city marathon. Heart rate at 2.0 and 4.0 mmol/L and maximal heart rate were used to establish 3 intensity training zones. Internal training load (TL) was assessed by training zones and TRIMPi methods. These were compared with the session-rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) method.

Results:

Total time spent in zone 1 was higher than in zones 2 and 3 (76.3% ± 6.4%, 17.3% ± 5.8%, and 6.3% ± 0.9%, respectively; P = .000 for both, ES = 0.98, ES = 0.99). TL quantified by session-RPE provided the same result. The comparison between session-RPE and training-zones-based methods showed no significant difference at the lowest intensity (P = .07, ES = 0.25). A significant correlation was observed between TL RPE and TL TRIMPi at both individual and group levels (r = .79, P < .001). There was a significant correlation between total time spent in zone 1 and the improvement at the running speed of 2 mmol/L (r = .88, P < .001). A negative correlation was found between running speed at 2 mmol/L and the time needed to complete the marathon (r = –.83, P < .001).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that in recreational LDRs most of the training time is spent at low intensity and that this is associated with improved performances. Session-RPE is an easy-to-use training method that provides responses similar to those obtained with standardized training methodologies.

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Hugh H.K. Fullagar, Rob Duffield, Sabrina Skorski, David White, Jonathan Bloomfield, Sarah Kölling and Tim Meyer

Purpose:

The current study examined the sleep, travel, and recovery responses of elite footballers during and after long-haul international air travel, with a further description of these responses over the ensuing competitive tour (including 2 matches).

Methods:

In an observational design, 15 elite male football players undertook 18 h of predominantly westward international air travel from the United Kingdom to South America (–4-h time-zone shift) for a 10-d tour. Objective sleep parameters, external and internal training loads, subjective player match performance, technical match data, and perceptual jet-lag and recovery measures were collected.

Results:

Significant differences were evident between outbound travel and recovery night 1 (night of arrival; P < .001) for sleep duration. Sleep efficiency was also significantly reduced during outbound travel compared with recovery nights 1 (P = .001) and 2 (P = .004). Furthermore, both match nights (5 and 10), showed significantly less sleep than nonmatch nights 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 (all P < .001). No significant differences were evident between baseline and any time point for all perceptual measures of jet-lag and recovery (P > .05), although large effects were evident for jet-lag on d 2 (2 d after arrival).

Conclusions:

Sleep duration is truncated during long-haul international travel with a 4-h time-zone delay and after night matches in elite footballers. However, this lost sleep appeared to have a limited effect on perceptual recovery, which may be explained by a westbound flight and a relatively small change in time zones, in addition to the significant increase in sleep duration on the night of arrival after the long-haul flight.

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Dan Weaving, Nicholas E. Dalton, Christopher Black, Joshua Darrall-Jones, Padraic J. Phibbs, Michael Gray, Ben Jones and Gregory A.B. Roe

Purpose: To identify which combination metrics of external and internal training load (TL) capture similar or unique information for individual professional players during skills training in rugby union using principal-component (PC) analysis. Methods: TL data were collected from 21 male professional rugby union players across a competitive season. This included PlayerLoad™, total distance, and individualized high-speed distance (>61% maximal velocity; all external TL) obtained from a microtechnology device (OptimEye X4; Catapult Innovations, Melbourne, Australia) that was worn by each player and the session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) (internal TL). PC analysis was conducted on each individual to extract the underlying combinations of the 4 TL measures that best describe the total information (variance) provided by the measures. TL measures with PC loadings (PCL) above 0.7 were deemed to possess well-defined relationships with the extracted PC. Results: The findings show that from the 4 TL measures, the majority of an individual’s TL information (first PC: 55–70%) during skills training can be explained by session RPE (PCL: 0.72–0.95), total distance (PCL: 0.86–0.98), or PlayerLoad (PCL: 0.71–0.98). High-speed distance was the only variable to relate to the second PC (PCL: 0.72–1.00), which captured additional TL information (+19–28%). Conclusions: Findings suggest that practitioners could quantify the TL of rugby union skills training with one of PlayerLoad, total distance, or session RPE plus high-speed distance while limiting omitted information of the TL imposed during professional rugby union skills training.

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Andrew D. Govus, Aaron Coutts, Rob Duffield, Andrew Murray and Hugh Fullagar

Context: The relationship between pretraining subjective wellness and external and internal training load in American college football is unclear. Purpose : To examine the relationship of pretraining subjective wellness (sleep quality, muscle soreness, energy, wellness Z score) with player load and session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE-TL) in American college football players. Methods: Subjective wellness (measured using 5-point, Likert-scale questionnaires), external load (derived from GPS and accelerometry), and s-RPE-TL were collected during 3 typical training sessions per week for the second half of an American college football season (8 wk). The relationship of pretraining subjective wellness with player load and s-RPE training load was analyzed using linear mixed models with a random intercept for athlete and a random slope for training session. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) denote the effect magnitude. Results: A 1-unit increase in wellness Z score and energy was associated with trivial 2.3% (90% confidence interval [CI] 0.5, 4.2; SMD 0.12) and 2.6% (90% CI 0.1, 5.2; SMD 0.13) increases in player load, respectively. A 1-unit increase in muscle soreness (players felt less sore) corresponded to a trivial 4.4% (90% CI −8.4, −0.3; SMD −0.05) decrease in s-RPE training load. Conclusion: Measuring pretraining subjective wellness may provide information about players’ capacity to perform in a training session and could be a key determinant of their response to the imposed training demands American college football. Hence, monitoring subjective wellness may aid in the individualization of training prescription in American college football players.

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Joshua Christen, Carl Foster, John P. Porcari and Richard P. Mikat

Purpose:

The session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) has gained popularity as a “user friendly” method for evaluating internal training load. sRPE has historically been obtained 30 min after exercise. This study evaluated the effect of postexercise measurement time on sRPE after steady-state and interval cycle exercise.

Methods:

Well-trained subjects (N = 15) (maximal oxygen consumption = 51 ± 4 and 36 ± 4 mL/kg [cycle ergometer] for men and women, respectively) completed counterbalanced 30-minute steady-state and interval training bouts. The steady-state ride was at 90% of ventilatory threshold. The work-to-rest ratio of the interval rides was 1:1, and the interval segment durations were 1, 2, and 3 min. The high-intensity component of each interval bout was 75% peak power output, which was accepted as a surrogate of the respiratory compensation threshold, critical power, or maximal lactate steady state. Heart rate, blood lactate, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. The sRPE (category ratio scale) was measured at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 60 min and 24 h after each ride using a visual analog scale (VAS) to prevent bias associated with specific RPE verbal anchors.

Results:

sRPE at 30 min postexercise followed a similar trend: steady state = 3.7, 1 min = 3.9, 2 min = 4.7, 3 min = 6.2. No significant differences (P > .05) in sRPE were found based on postexercise sampling times, from 5 min to 24 h postexercise.

Conclusions:

Postexercise time does not appear to have a significant effect on sRPE after either steady-state or interval exercise. Thus, sRPE appears to be temporally robust and is not necessarily limited to the 30-min-postexercise window historically used with this technique, although the presence or absence of a cooldown period after the exercise bout may be important.

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Franco M. Impellizzeri, Samuele M. Marcora and Aaron J. Coutts

to the internal training load. Accordingly, measures of internal load can be indicators reflecting the actual psychophysiological response that the body initiates to cope with the requirements elicited by the external load. Therefore, the concept of internal load incorporates all the

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Jeroen de Bruijn, Henk van der Worp, Mark Korte, Astrid de Vries, Rick Nijland and Michel Brink

individualize the training and this makes players susceptible to under- and overtraining. In order to fully comprehend this problem, it is important to distinguish between the internal training load and external training load. The external training load is the load provided by the coach or physiotherapist and

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Alireza Rabbani, Mehdi Kargarfard, Carlo Castagna, Filipe Manuel Clemente and Craig Twist

, and fitness abilities simultaneously. 4 The reported high variability within the skill-based training regime causes players to experience various external and internal training loads. Indeed, even with similar external training loads, athletes might respond differently to the stimuli based on their

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Cyril Schmit, Rob Duffield, Christophe Hausswirth, Jeanick Brisswalter and Yann Le Meur

. Conversely, training at high intensities in the heat is also likely to increase the internal training load and to augment the risk of functional overreaching (F-OR). As F-OR has been associated with altered cardiac function 10 and impaired perceptual responses to exercise, 11 these maladaptations are