Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Rugby league coaches often prescribe training to replicate the demands of competition. The intensities of running drills are often monitored in comparison with absolute match-play measures. Such measures may not be sensitive enough to detect fluctuations in intensity across a match or to differentiate between positions. Purpose: To determine the position- and duration-specific running intensities of rugby league competition, using a moving-average method, for the prescription and monitoring of training. Methods: Data from a 15-Hz global positioning system (GPS) were collected from 32 professional rugby league players across a season. The velocity–time curve was analyzed using a rolling-average method, where maximum values were calculated for 10 different durations, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 min, for each player across each match. Results: There were large differences between the 1- and 2-min rolling averages and all other rolling-average durations. Smaller differences were observed for rolling averages of greater duration. Fullbacks maintained a greater velocity than outside backs and middle and edge forwards over the 1- and 2-min rolling averages (ES 0.8–1.2, P < .05). For rolling averages 3 min and greater, the running demands of the fullbacks were greater than those of the middle forwards and outside backs (ES 1.1–1.4, P < .05). Conclusions: These findings suggest that the running demands of rugby league fluctuate vastly across a match. Fullbacks were the only position to exhibit a greater running intensity than any other position, and therefore training prescription should reflect this.

Document Type

Journal Article

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