Quantification of training load during return to play after upper- and lower-body injury in australian rules football

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2017, 12 (5), pp. 634 - 641
Issue Date:
2017-05-01
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© 2017 Human Kinetics, Inc. Context: Training volume, intensity, and distribution are important factors during periods of return to play. Purpose: To quantify the effect of injury on training load (TL) before and after return to play (RTP) in professional Australian Rules football. Methods: Perceived training load (RPE-TL) for 44 players was obtained for all indoor and outdoor training sessions, while field-based training was monitored via GPS (total distance, high-speed running, mean speed). When a player sustained a competition time-loss injury, weekly TL was quantified for 3 wk before and after RTP. General linear mixed models, with inference about magnitudes standardized by between-players SDs, were used to quantify effects of lower- and upper-body injury on TL compared with the team. Results: While total RPE-TL was similar to the team 2 wk before RTP, training distribution was different, whereby skills RPE-TL was likely and most likely lower for upper- and lower-body injury, respectively, and most likely replaced with small to very large increases in running and other conditioning load. Weekly total distance and high-speed running were most likely moderately to largely reduced for lower- and upper-body injury until after RTP, at which point total RPE-TL, training distribution, total distance, and high-speed running were similar to the team. Mean speed of field-based training was similar before and after RTP compared with the team. Conclusions: Despite injured athletes' obtaining comparable TLs to uninjured players, training distribution is different until after RTP, indicating the importance of monitoring all types of training that athletes complete.
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