High-speed running, sprinting, and injury risk in soccer
Players exposed to large weekly increases in high-speed/ sprinting running distances have an increased injury risk.
On the contrary, players subjected to higher chronic training loads and those with better performance on intermittent aerobic testing have been shown to have a decreased risk of injury.
Improved performance and exposure to chronic workloads allows playes to better tolerate increases in running distances with less injury risk.
Training loads have been listed as one of the modifiable risk factors for soccer injuries. High-speed (HSR) and sprinting (SR) running distances in competitive soccer match play has been increasing.
An increase in HSR distance has been associated with increases in the number of soft tissue injuries in rugby. This study aimed to determine whether HSR and SR distances were associated with an increased injury risk in elite soccer players.
37 elite soccer players were followed for 48 weeks. Running speed and distance during training and match play were recorded using GPS. RPE was also recorded and these 2 indices were used to determine weekly and 21-day chronic training loads. All injuries that ocurred during the follow-up period were recorded in a database.
The authors found a U-shaped curve relation between HSR/ SR based load and injury risk.
According to data from this study, a 3:21 acute:chronic HSR/ SR workload ratio was associated with an increased injury risk.
Players should be exposed to training periods that include both high speed and sprint based speeds.
> From: Malone et al., J Sci Med Sport 21 (2018) 257-262. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.