Quantification of training and match-load distribution across a season in elite English Premier League soccer players

David M. Kelly, Anthony J. Strudwick, Greg Atkinson, Barry Drust, Warren Gregson

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Abstract

Objective: To examine training and match loads undertaken by soccer players competing in the English Premier League. Methods: Using a retrospective design, external (GPS) and internal training loads (sessions ratings of perceived exertion [sRPE-TL]) were examined in 26 players across the competition phase of the 2012–2013 English Premier League season. Within-subject linear mixed-models estimated the mean effects (95% confidence interval [CI]) for load data across 6-week mesocycles and 1-week microcycles. Results: Daily sRPE-TL (95% CI range, 15 to 111 AU) and total distance (95% CI range, 179 to 949 AU) were higher during the early stages (mesocycle 1 and 2) of the competition period. Overall, high-speed activity was similar between mesocycles. Across the training week, load was greater on match day and lower pre match-day (G-1) vs. all other days, respectively (p < 0.001). sRPE-TL (~70–90 AU per day) and total distance (~700–800 m per day) progressively declined over the 3 days before a match (p < 0.001). High-speed distance was greater 3 days (G-3) before a game vs. G-1 (95% CI, 140 to 336 m) while very high-speed distance was greater on G-3 and G-2 than G-1 (95% CI range, 8 to 62 m; p < 0.001). Conclusion: Periodisation of in-season training load is mainly evident across the weekly microcycle reflecting the recovery and preparation for matches.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Early online date6 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2019

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