Advertisement

High-speed running and sprinting as an injury risk factor in soccer: Can well-developed physical qualities reduce the risk?

      Abstract

      Objectives

      This study investigated the association between high-speed running (HSR) and sprint running (SR) and injuries within elite soccer players. The impact of intermittent aerobic fitness as measured by the end speed of the 30–15 intermittent fitness test (30–15 VIFT) and high chronic workloads (average 21-day) as potential mediators of injury risk were also investigated.

      Design

      Observational Cohort Study.

      Methods

      37 elite soccer players from one elite squad were involved in a one-season study. Training and game workloads (session-RPE × duration) were recorded in conjunction with external training loads (using global positioning system technology) to measure the HSR (>14.4 km h−1) and SR (>19.8 km h−1) distance covered across weekly periods during the season. Lower limb injuries were also recorded. Training load and GPS data were modelled against injury data using logistic regression. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated with 90% confidence intervals based on 21-day chronic training load status (sRPE), aerobic fitness, HSR and SR distance with these reported against a reference group.

      Results

      Players who completed moderate HSR (701–750-m: OR: 0.12, 90%CI: 0.08–0.94) and SR distances (201–350-m: OR: 0.54, 90%CI: 0.41–0.85) were at reduced injury risk compared to low HSR (≤674-m) and SR (≤165-m) reference groups. Injury risk was higher for players who experienced large weekly changes in HSR (351–455-m; OR: 3.02; 90%CI: 2.03–5.18) and SR distances (between 75–105-m; OR: 6.12, 90%CI: 4.66–8.29). Players who exerted higher chronic training loads (≥2584 AU) were at significantly reduced risk of injury when they covered 1-weekly HSR distances of 701–750 m compared to the reference group of <674 m (OR = 0.65, 90% CI 0.27–0.89). When intermittent aerobic fitness was considered based on 30–15 VIFT performance, players with poor aerobic fitness had a greater risk of injury than players with better-developed aerobic fitness.

      Conclusions

      Exposing players to large and rapid increases in HSR and SR distances increased the odds of injury. However, higher chronic training loads (≥2584 AU) and better intermittent aerobic fitness off-set lower limb injury risk associated with these running distances in elite soccer players.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Malone S.
        • Owen A.
        • Newton M.
        • et al.
        The acute:chronic workload ratio in relation to injury risk in professional soccer.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2016; ([Epub ahead of print])https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.10.014
        • Nedelec M.
        • Halson S.L.
        • Abd-Elbasset A.
        • et al.
        Stress, sleep and recovery in elite soccer: a critical review of the literature.
        Sport Med. 2015; 45: 1387-1400
        • Arnason A.
        • Sigurdsson S.B.
        • Gudmundsson A.
        • et al.
        Physical fitness, injuries, and team performance in soccer.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004; 36: 278-285
        • Barnes C.
        • Archer D.T.
        • Hogg B.
        • et al.
        The evolution of physical and technical performance parameters in the English premier league.
        Int J Sports Med. 2014; 35: 1095-1100
        • Haddad Al
        • Simpson B.M.
        • Buchheit M.
        • et al.
        Peak match speed and maximal sprinting speed in young soccer players: effect of age and playing position.
        Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015; 10: 888-896
        • Johnston R.J.
        • Watsford M.L.
        • Pine M.J.
        • et al.
        Standardisation of acceleration zones in professional field sport athletes.
        Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2014; 9: 1161-1168
        • Malone S.
        • Roe M.
        • Doran D.
        • et al.
        High chronic training loads and exposure to bouts of maximal velocity running reduce injury risk in elite Gaelic football.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2016; (pii: S1440-2440(16)30148-7 [Epub ahead of print])https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2016.08.005
        • Gabbett T.J.
        The training-injury prevention paradox: should athletes be training smarter and harder?.
        Br J Sports Med. 2016; (pii: bjsports-2015-095788. [Epub ahead of print])https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095788
        • Djaoui L.
        • Chamari K.
        • Owen A.
        • et al.
        Maximal sprinting speed of elite soccer players during training and matches.
        J Strength Cond. 2016; ([Epub ahead of print])https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001642
        • Rogalski B.
        • Dawson B.
        • Heasman J.
        • Gabbett T.J.
        Training and game loads and injury risk in elite Australian footballers.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2013; 16: 499-503
        • Owen A.L.
        • Forsyth J.J.
        • Wong D.P.
        • et al.
        Heart-rate based training intensity and its impact on injury incidence among elite-level professional soccer players.
        J Strength Cond Res. 2015; 29: 1705-1712
        • Malone S.
        • Roe M.
        • Doran D.A.
        • et al.
        Aerobic fitness and playing experience protect against spikes in workload: the role of the acute:chronic workload ratio on injury risk in elite Gaelic football.
        Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016; ([Epub Ahead of Print])https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp. 2016-0090
        • Duhig S.
        • Sheild A.J.
        • Opar D.
        • et al.
        Effect of high speed running on hamstring strain injury risk.
        Br J Sports Med. 2016; (pii: bjsports-2015-095679. [Epub ahead of print])https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095679
        • Colby M.J.
        • Dawson B.
        • Heasman J.
        • Rogalski B.
        • Gabbett T.J.
        Accelerometer and GPS-derived running loads and injury risk in elite Australian footballers.
        J Strength Cond Res. 2014; 28: 2244-2252
        • Bowen L.
        • Gross A.S.
        • Gimple M.
        • Li F.X.
        Accumulated workloads and the acute: chronic workload ratio relate to injury risk in elite youth football players.
        Br J Sports Med Open. 2016; ([Epub ahead of print].)https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095820
        • Cross M.J.
        • Williams S.
        • Trewartha G.
        • Kemp S.P.T.
        • Stokes K.A.
        The influence of in-seaon training loads on injury risk in professional rugby union.
        Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016; 11: 350-355
        • Gabbett T.J.
        • Ullah S.
        • Finch C.
        Identifying risk factors for contact injury in professional rugby league players—application of a frailty model for recurrent injury.
        J Sci Med Sport. 2012; 15: 496-504
        • Brooks J.H.
        • Fuller C.W.
        • Kemp S.P.
        • Reddin D.B.
        Epidemiology of injuries in English professional rugby union: part 1 match injuries.
        Br J Sports Med. 2005; 39: 757-766
        • Fuller C.W.
        • Ekstrand J.
        • Junge A.
        • et al.
        Consensus statement on injury definitions and data collection procedures in studies of football (soccer) injuries.
        Clin J Sports Med. 2006; 16: 97-106
        • Buchheit M.
        • Allen A.
        • Poon T.K.
        • Mondonutti M.
        • Gregson W.
        • Di Salvo V.
        Integrating different tracking systems in football: multiple camera semi-automatic system, local positioning measurement and GPS technologies.
        J Sports Sci. 2014; 32: 1844-1857
        • Gallo T.
        • Cormack S.
        • Gabbett T.
        • et al.
        Characteristics impacting on session rating of perceived exertion training load in Australian footballers.
        J Sports Sci. 2015; 33: 467-475
        • Carey D.L.
        • Blanch P.
        • Ong K.L.
        • et al.
        Training loads and injury risk in Australian football-differing acute: chronic workload ratios influence match injury risk.
        Br J Sports Med. 2016; (Published Online First)https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096309
        • Buchheit M.
        The 30-15 intermittent fitness test: accuracy for individualizing interval training of young intermittent sport players.
        J Strength Cond Res. 2008; 22: 365-374
        • Hulin B.T.
        • Gabbett T.J.
        • Blanch P.
        • et al.
        Spikes in acute workload are associated with increased injury risk in elite cricket fast bowlers.
        Br J Sports Med. 2013; 48: 708-712
        • Hulin B.T.
        • Gabbett T.J.
        • Lawson D.W.
        • et al.
        The acute:chronic workload ratio predicts injury: high chronic workload may decrease injury risk in elite rugby league players.
        Br J Sports Med. 2015; (Published Online First)https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2015-094817
        • Buchheit M.
        • Ufland P.
        Effect of endurance training on performance and reoxygenation rate during repeated-sprint running.
        Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011; 111: 293-301
        • Hägglund M.
        • Walden M.
        • Magnusson H.
        • Kristenson K.
        • Bengtsson H.
        • Ekstrand J.
        Injuries affect team performance negatively in professional football: an 11- year follow-up of the UEFA Champions League injury study.
        Br J Sports Med. 2013; 47: 738-742
        • Halson S.L.
        Monitoring training load to understand fatigue in athletes.
        Sports Med. 2014; 44: 139-147
        • Akubat I.
        • Barrett S.
        • Abt G.
        Integrating the internal and external training loads in soccer.
        Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014; 9: 457-462
        • Malone S.
        • Doran D.
        • Akubat I.
        • Collins K.
        The integration of internal and external training load metrics in hurling.
        J Hum Kinet. 2016; 53: 211-221