An analysis of training load in highly trained female football players

K. Winther, Andreas and Baptista, Ivan and Pedersen, Sigurd and Brito, João and B. Randers, Morten and Johansen, Dag and Pettersen, Svein Arne and da Costa, Julio Alejandro Henriques Castro (2024) An analysis of training load in highly trained female football players. PLOS ONE, 19 (3). e0299851. ISSN 1932-6203

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This observational study aimed to analyze external training load in highly trained female football players, comparing starters and non-starters across various cycle lengths and training days. Method: External training load [duration, total distance [TD], high-speed running distance [HSRD], sprint distance [SpD], and acceleration- and deceleration distance [AccDecdist] from 100 female football players (22.3 ± 3.7 years of age) in the Norwegian premier division were collected over two seasons using STATSports APEX. This resulted in a final dataset totaling 10498 observations after multiple imputation of missing data. Microcycle length was categorized based on the number of days between matches (2 to 7 days apart), while training days were categorized relative to match day (MD, MD+1, MD+2, MD-5, MD-4, MD-3, MD-2, MD-1). Linear mixed modeling was used to assess differences between days, and starters vs. non-starters. Results: In longer cycle lengths (5–7 days between matches), the middle of the week (usually MD-4 or MD-3) consistently exhibited the highest external training load (~21–79% of MD TD, MD HSRD, MD SpD, and MD AccDecdist); though, with the exception of duration (~108–120% of MD duration), it remained lower than MD. External training load was lowest on MD+2 and MD-1 (~1–37% of MD TD, MD HSRD, MD SpD, MD AccDecdist, and ~73–88% of MD peak speed). Non-starters displayed higher loads (~137–400% of starter TD, HSRD, SpD, AccDecdist) on MD+2 in cycles with 3 to 7 days between matches, with non-significant differences (~76–116%) on other training days. Conclusion: Loading patterns resemble a pyramid or skewed pyramid during longer cycle lengths (5–7 days), with higher training loads towards the middle compared to the start and the end of the cycle. Non-starters displayed slightly higher loads on MD+2, with no significant load differentiation from MD-5 onwards.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Eurolib Press > Biological Science
Depositing User: Managing Editor
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2024 11:23
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 11:23

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