High-Intensity Running in English FA Premier League Soccer Matches

Bradley, P.S., Sheldon, W., Wooster, B., Olsen, P., Boanas, P., Krustrup, P.

This study aimed to (1) determine the activity profiles of English FA Premier League soccer players and (2) examine high-intensity running during elite-standard soccer matches across different playing positions. Analysis of 28 Premier League games during the 2005–2006 season (n = 370) was conducted using a multi-camera computerized tracking system.

During typical matches, wide midfielders covered a greater distance in high-intensity running compared to central midfielders, full-backs, attackers, and central defenders. Additionally, in the last 15 minutes of a game, high-intensity running distance decreased by approximately 20% compared to the first 15 minutes for all playing positions.

Furthermore, a similar distance deficit for high-intensity running was observed with and without ball possession between the last 15 minutes and the first 15 minutes of the game. The mean recovery time between very high-intensity running bouts was 72 seconds, with a 28% longer recovery time during the last 15 minutes compared to the first 15 minutes of the game.

The decline in high-intensity running immediately after the most intense 5-minute period was more pronounced in attackers and central defenders. These findings suggest that high-intensity running, with and without ball possession, is reduced during various phases of elite-standard soccer matches, and activity profiles and fatigue patterns vary among playing positions.

Overall, these results provide valuable insights into the high-intensity running patterns of elite-standard soccer players, which could inform the development and prescription of specific training regimes tailored to individual playing positions.the
development and prescription of specific training regimes.

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