Physiologically based GPS speed zones for evaluating running demands in women’s rugby sevens

High-speed running (>5 m/s) is commonly reported in men’s rugby union and sevens; however, the appropriateness of using the same speed threshold for Women’s Rugby Sevens players is unclear, and likely underestimates the degree of high-intensity exercise completed by female players. The aim of this study was to establish, for international Women’s Rugby Sevens players, a physiologically defined threshold – speed at the second ventilatory threshold (VT2speed) – for the analysis of high-intensity running, using mean and individualised thresholds. Game movement patterns (using 5 Hz GPS) of 12 international Women’s Rugby Sevens players (23.5 ± 4.9 years, 1.68 ± 0.04 m, 68.2 ± 7.7 kg; mean ± s) were collected at an international tournament. Seven of these players also completed a treadmill VO2max test to estimate VT2speed. Compared to the mean VT2speed threshold (3.5 m/s), the industry-used threshold of 5 m/s underestimated the absolute amount of high-intensity running completed by individual players by up to 30%. Using an individualised threshold, high-intensity running could over- or underestimating high-intensity running by up to 14% compared to the mean VT2speed threshold. The use of individualised thresholds provides an accurate individualised assessment of game demands to inform the prescription of training.
© Copyright 2015 Journal of Sports Sciences. Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Subjects: rugby female running load load intensity ventilation threshold
Notations: sport games
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2014.988740
Published in: Journal of Sports Sciences
Published: 2015
Volume: 33
Issue: 11
Pages: 1101-1108
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced