Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the GPS and accelerometry-derived running demands, creatine kinase (CK) and self-reported wellness during an Olympic Games in international hockey. Methods: Data was collected across 5 games during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. GPS units (10Hz) were used to assess the running demands, accelerations & decelerations of outfield players in a men’s hockey squad with matches 2-5 compared to match 1. CK was used as a marker of muscle damage and self-reported psychometric questionnaires were used to assess wellness, with each of the 5 matches compared to pre-competition assessments. Results: There were significant increases (p<0.05) in either, or both, absolute and relative total distance, player load, high speed running distance, sprint distance, accelerations & decelerations, compared to baseline. There was a significant decrease (p<0.05) in maximal velocity by match 5. CK significantly increased from match 1-5, and displayed significant correlations with total distance (TD, r=0.55) and player load (PL, r=0.41). Muscle soreness (MS) correlated with TD & PL, with other wellness markers unchanged compared to baseline. Conclusions: International hockey athletes may maintain or increase running activities over the course of an Olympic tournament, however this may be impacted by situational (match score/ outcome) and environmental (ambient temperature) factors. Despite CK and MS displaying relationships with running variables, further work is needed to establish their individual value in monitoring international hockey athletes.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance|
|Early online date||11 Mar 2021|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2021|
- muscle damage