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Open AccessArticle

Training/Match External Load Ratios in Professional Soccer Players: A Full-Season Study

1
Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
2
Instituto de Telecomunicações, Delegação da Covilhã, 6200-001 Covilhã, Portugal
3
Medical and Performance Department, Sporting Clube de Portugal, 2890-529 Lisboa, Portugal
4
Institute of Sport Science and Innovations, Lithuanian Sports University, 44221 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Isabel I, 09003 Burgos, Spain
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Centre for Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
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Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
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Exercise Physiology Laboratory, 18450 Nikaia, Greece
9
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
10
Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, 9001 St. Gallen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173057
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 21 August 2019 / Published: 23 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Exercise and Sports Performance)
The aim of this study was two-fold: (i) to describe the training/match ratios of different external load measures during a full professional soccer season while analyzing the variations between different types of weeks (three, four and five training sessions/week) and (ii) to investigate the relationship between weekly accumulated training loads and the match demands of the same week. Twenty-seven professional soccer players (24.9 ± 3.5 years old) were monitored daily using a 10-Hz global positioning system with a 100-Hz accelerometer. Total distance (TD), running distance (RD), high-speed running (HSR), sprinting distance (SD), player load (PL), number of high accelerations (ACC), and number of high decelerations (DEC) were recorded during training sessions and matches. An individual training/match ratio (TMr) was calculated for each external load measure. Weeks with five training sessions (5dW) presented meaningfully greater TMr than weeks with four (4dW) or three (3dW) training sessions. Additionally, TDratio (TDr) was significantly greater in 5dW than in 3dW (mean differences dif: 1.23 arbitray units A.U.) and 4dW (dif: 0.80 A.U.); HSRr was significantly greater in 5dW than in 3dW (dif: 0.90 A.U.) and 4dW (dif: 0.68 A.U.); and SDr was significantly greater in 5dW than in 3dW (dif: 0.77 A.U.) and 4dW (dif: 0.90 A.U.). Correlations between the weekly training loads and the match demands of the same week were small for PL (r = 0.250 [0.13;0.36]), ACC (r = 0.292 [0.17;0.40]) and DEC (r = 0.236 [0.11;0.35]). This study reveals that ratios of above 1 were observed for specific measures (e.g., HSR, SD). It was also observed that training sessions are not adjusted according to weekly variations in match demands. View Full-Text
Keywords: association football; training load; load quantification; external load; sports training association football; training load; load quantification; external load; sports training
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Clemente, F.M.; Rabbani, A.; Conte, D.; Castillo, D.; Afonso, J.; Truman Clark, C.C.; Nikolaidis, P.T.; Rosemann, T.; Knechtle, B. Training/Match External Load Ratios in Professional Soccer Players: A Full-Season Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3057.

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