Not quite so fast: effect of training at 90% sprint speed on maximal and repeated-sprint ability in soccer players

Thomas Haugen, Espen Tonnessen, Svein Leirstein, Erlend Hem, Stephen Seiler
Journal of Sports Sciences 2014, 32 (20): 1979-1986
Abstract The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of training at an intensity eliciting 90% of maximal sprinting speed on maximal and repeated-sprint performance in soccer. It was hypothesised that sprint training at 90% of maximal velocity would improve soccer-related sprinting. Twenty-two junior club-level male and female soccer players (age 17 ± 1 year, body mass 64 ± 8 kg, body height 174 ± 8 cm) completed an intervention study where the training group (TG) replaced one of their weekly soccer training sessions with a repeated-sprint training session performed at 90% of maximal sprint speed, while the control group (CG) completed regular soccer training according to their teams' original training plans. Countermovement jump, 12 × 20-m repeated-sprint, VO2max and the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 test were performed prior to and after a 9-week intervention period. No significant between-group differences were observed for any of the performance indices and effect magnitudes were trivial or small. Before rejecting the hypothesis, we recommend that future studies should perform intervention programmes with either stronger stimulus or at other times during the season where total training load is reduced.

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