What They Did
A team of 21 male soccer players (age 19.4±1.4-yr) were assessed over a 14-wk period during their NCAA Division-I season. Players were separated by position (centre forward, centre midfielder, wide midfielder, centre back, and wide back), excluding goalkeepers.
Only full-team (starters and reserves) practices were monitored using heart rate and global positioning system (GPS) technology.
The 14-wk testing period included pre-season (6-wk) and in-season (8-wk) blocks. The pre-season was divided into two 3-wk phases (Pre1 and Pre2), and the in-season block into four 2-wk phases (In1, In2, In3, In4) in order to provide context on competitions during each phase and relative comparison.
Players reported a TQR score upon arrival to training, and an RPE in the 15-30-min post-practice, as subjective-internal measures. RPE was later multiplied by the session duration to provide an ‘RPE Load’ metric. Time spent >85% predicted HRmax, time between 65-85% HRmax, and time <65% HRmax were analysed (%HRhigh, %HRmid, %HRlow, respectively) to represent an objective-internal load measure. Lastly, running speed was measured as time spent(min) >7.2km*h-1 (SZupper) and ≤7.2km*h-1 (SZlower), as well as total distance covered(m) as the objective-external GPS metrics.
The various metrics were analysed for comparison between playing position, as well as phase of the season.