Heart Rate Distribution and Aerobic Fitness Changes During Preseason in Elite Soccer Players
ISSPF FACULTY MEMBER PUBLICATION
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Material & Method: Sixteen elite professional soccer players (age, 26.8 ± 3.8 years; weight, 77.8 ± 7.7 kg; height, 1.79 ± 0.06 m; mean ± SD) participated in the study. Aerobic fitness was evaluated with VO2max, running velocity at VO2max (v-VO2max) during a laboratory incremental aerobic test and with the distance completed during an interval shuttle run test (ISRT), before and after preseason. HR of each player was measured using a short-range telemetry HR transmitter strap at 5-s intervals during all training sessions of the preseason. The absolute (min) and relative (%) time spent in high-intensity HR zone (90–100% of HRmax) during the preseason period was calculated for each player.
Results: VO2max and distances completed during ISRT improved significantly (p < 0.05) by 3.3 ± 2.1% and 29 ± 16%, respectively. The time (%) players spent in high-intensity training was significantly correlated (p < 0.01) with the changes (%) in distance completed during ISRT.
- These results provide useful information about the HR quantification during preseason in elite soccer players.
- Additionally, coaches have to take into consideration the time soccer players spend in high-intensity training for optimal endurance responses when planning and implementing the preseason training period.