Quantifying the Physical Loading of Five Weeks of Pre-Season Training in Professional Soccer Teams from Dutch and Portuguese Leagues

Clemente, F.M., Seerden, G., Van Der Linden, C.M.I.

The purpose of this study was to quantify the physical loads of programmed pre-season training in four different professional Dutch and Portuguese soccer teams. Eighty-nine professional players were monitored daily during a five-week period. The physical loading of training was monitored by measuring external load measures such as total distance covered, walking distance, jogging distance, running distance, sprinting distance, high-intensity sprint distance, player’s load, and number of sprints using a 10 Hz GPS technology. Weekly external load and intra-week external load variations were tested.

Repeated measures did not show significant differences between weeks in terms of weekly loads based on total distance and sprinting distance. However, significant differences were found between training days considering the duration (p = .011), walking distance (p = .017), running distance (p = .004), player’s load (p = .040), and number of sprints (p = .006). Variations between weeks were small; however, intra-week variations were observed, particularly considering the measures associated with great volume and lower intensity.

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