Core temperature responses and match running performance during intermittent-sprint exercise competition in warm conditions

National Strength and Conditioning Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2009, 23 (4), pp. 1238 - 1244
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This study investigated the thermoregulatory responses and match running performance of elite team sport competitors (Australian Rules football) during preseason games in a warm environment. During 2 games in dry bulb temperatures above 29°C (>27°C wet bulb globe temperature), 10 players were monitored for core temperature (T^sub core^) via a telemetric capsule, in-game motion patterns, blood lactate ([La^sup -^]), body mass changes, urine specific gravity, and pre- and postgame vertical jump performance. The results showed that peak T^sub core^ was achieved during the final quarter at 39.3 ± 0.7°C and that several players reached values near 40.0°C. Further, the largest proportion of the total rise in T^sub core^ (2.1 ± 0.7°C) occurred during the first quarter of the match, with only small increases during the remainder of the game. The game distance covered was 9.4 ± 1.5 km, of which 2.7 ± 0.9 km was at high-intensity speeds (>14.4 km-h^sup -1^). The rise in T^sub core^ was correlated with first-quarter high-intensity running velocity (r = 0.72) and moderate-intensity velocity (r = 0.68), second-quarter T^sub core^ and low-intensity activity velocity (r = -0.90), second-quarter T^sub core^ and moderate-intensity velocity (r = 0.88), fourth-quarter rise in T^sub core^ and very-high-intensity running distance (r = 0.70), and fourth-quarter T^sub core^ and moderate-intensity velocity (r = 0.73). Additional results included mean game [La^sup -^] values of 8.7 ± 0.1 mmol*L^sup -1^, change in body mass of 2.1 ± 0.8 kg, and no change (p > 0.05) in pre- to postgame vertical jump. These findings indicate that the plateau in T^sub core^ may be regulated by the reduction in lowintensity activity and that pacing strategies may be employed during competitive team sports in the heat to ensure control of the internal heat load.
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