Monitoring Fatigue During the In-Season Competitive Phase in Elite Soccer Players.

R. T. (Robin) Thorpe, Anthony J. Strudwick, Martin Buchheit, Gregory Atkinson, Barry Drust, Warren Gregson

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    Purpose: To quantify the relationship between daily training load and a range of potential measures of fatigue in elite soccer players during an in-season competitive phase (17-days). Methods: Total high-intensity running distance (THIR), perceived ratings of wellness (fatigue, muscle soreness, sleep quality), counter-movement jump height (CMJ), post-exercise heart rate recovery (HRR) and heart rate variability (Ln rMSSD) were analysed during an in-season competitive period (17 days). General linear models were used to evaluate the influence of daily fluctuation in THIR distance on potential fatigue variables. Results: Fluctuations in fatigue (r=-0.51; large; P<0.001), Ln rMSSD (r=-0.24; small; P=0.04), and CMJ (r=0.23; small; P=0.04) were significantly correlated with fluctuations in THIR distance. Correlations between variability in muscle soreness, sleep quality and HRR and THIR distance were negligible and not statistically significant. Conclusions: Perceived ratings of fatigue and heart rate variability were sensitive to daily fluctuations in THIR distance in a sample of elite soccer players. Therefore, these particular markers show particular promise as simple, non-invasive assessments of fatigue status in elite soccer players during a short in-season competitive phase.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)958-964
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2016

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