The impact of 3 different-length between-matches microcycles on training loads in professional rugby league players

Purpose: To examine the impact of varying between-matches microcycles on training characteristics (ie, intensity, duration, and load) in professional rugby league players and to report on match load related to these between-matches microcycles. Methods: Training-load data were collected during a 26-wk competition period of an entire season. Training load was measured using the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method for every training session and match from 44 professional rugby league players from the same National Rugby League team. Using the category-ratio 10 RPE scale, the training intensity was divided into 3 zones (low 7 AU). Three different-length between-matches recovery microcycles were used for analysis: 5–6 d, 7–8 d, and 9–10 d. Results: A total of 3848 individual sessions were recorded. During the shorter-length between-matches microcycles (5–6 d), significantly lower training load was observed. No significant differences for subsequent match load or intensity were identified between the various match recovery periods. Overall, 16% of the training sessions were completed at the low-intensity zone, 61% at the moderate-intensity zone, and 23% at the high-intensity zone. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that rugby league players undertake higher training load as the length of between-matches microcycles is increased. The majority of in-season training of professional rugby league players was at moderate intensity, and a polarized approach to training that has been reported in elite endurance athletes does not occur in professional rugby league.
© Copyright 2015 International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. All rights reserved.

Subjects: rugby load organization microcycle training load
Notations: sport games
DOI: 10.1123/ijspp.2015-0100
Published in: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Published: 2015
Volume: 10
Issue: 6
Pages: 767-773
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced