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Quantifying Sub-Elite Youth Football Weekly Training Load and Recovery Variation

Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Department of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Departamento de Desporto e Educação Física, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Department of Sports, Douro Higher Institute of Educational Sciences, 4560-708 Penafiel, Portugal
Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giuseppe Annino and Vincenzo Bonaiuto
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4871;
Received: 13 March 2021 / Revised: 22 May 2021 / Accepted: 24 May 2021 / Published: 26 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance Analysis in Sport and Exercise)
Monitoring the training load in football is an important strategy to improve athletic performance and an effective training periodization. The aim of this study was two-fold: (1) to quantify the weekly training load and recovery status variations performed by under-15, under-17 and under-19 sub-elite young football players; and (2) to analyze the influence of age, training day, weekly microcycle, training and playing position on the training load and recovery status. Twenty under-15, twenty under-17 and twenty under-19 players were monitored over a 2-week period during the first month of the 2019–2020 competitive season. Global positioning system technology (GPS) was used to collect external training loads: total distance covered, average speed, maximal running speed, relative high-speed running distance, high metabolic load distance, sprinting distance, dynamic stress load, accelerations and decelerations. Internal training load was monitored using ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE). Recovery status was obtained using the total quality recovery (TQR) scale. The results show an age-related influence for external training load (p ≤ 0.001; d = 0.29–0.86; moderate to strong effect), internal training load (p ≤ 0.001, d = 0.12–0.69; minimum to strong effect) and recovery status (p ≤ 0.001, d = 0.59; strong effect). The external training load presented differences between training days (p < 0.05, d = 0.26–0.95; moderate to strong effect). The playing position had a minimum effect on the weekly training load (p < 0.05; d = 0.06–0.18). The weekly microcycle had a moderate effect in the TD (p < 0.05, d = 0.39), RPE (p < 0.05; d = 0.35) and sRPE (p < 0.05, d = 0.35). Interaction effects were found between the four factors analyzed for deceleration (F = 2.819, p = 0.017) and between inter-day, inter-week and age for total covered distance (F = 8.342, p = 0.008). This study provided specific insights about sub-elite youth football training load and recovery status to monitor training environments and load variations. Future research should include a longer monitoring period to assess training load and recovery variations across different season phases. View Full-Text
Keywords: monitoring; workload; perceived exertion; soccer; periodization monitoring; workload; perceived exertion; soccer; periodization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Teixeira, J.E.; Forte, P.; Ferraz, R.; Leal, M.; Ribeiro, J.; Silva, A.J.; Barbosa, T.M.; Monteiro, A.M. Quantifying Sub-Elite Youth Football Weekly Training Load and Recovery Variation. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 4871.

AMA Style

Teixeira JE, Forte P, Ferraz R, Leal M, Ribeiro J, Silva AJ, Barbosa TM, Monteiro AM. Quantifying Sub-Elite Youth Football Weekly Training Load and Recovery Variation. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(11):4871.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Teixeira, José E., Pedro Forte, Ricardo Ferraz, Miguel Leal, Joana Ribeiro, António J. Silva, Tiago M. Barbosa, and António M. Monteiro 2021. "Quantifying Sub-Elite Youth Football Weekly Training Load and Recovery Variation" Applied Sciences 11, no. 11: 4871.

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