This study aimed to evaluate changes in pre- to post-season power output, fatigue and recovery during a repeated sprint test. Twenty NCAA Division I men's hockey athletes performed identical sessions of repeated sprint work pre- and post-season. The repeated sprint test consisted of 5 sets of 45-s of repeated sprint work with 90-s of rest in between each series of sprints. Power output (Watts), decrement and recovery scores were determined using raw data from a non-motorized treadmill. Ratings of perceived exertion were recorded after, and perceived readiness recorded before, each series of sprints. Mean power was significantly higher in pre-season versus post-season performance during sprint 1 (760.6 vs. 691.3 Watts; p = 0.03), sprint 2 (719.9 vs 657.0 Watts; p = 0.05), sprint 4 (648.4 vs 588.9 Watts; p = 0.04) and sprint 5 (656.6 vs. 586.8 Watts, p = 0.04). Ratings of perceived exertion were significantly higher during sprints 3, 4, and 5 post-season with perceived readiness significantly higher (indicating less readiness) before sprints 3 and 4. There were no significant differences in recovery score or decrement score. Overall, athletes were unable to maintain power during subsequent repeated sprint work during post-season. The degree to which the athletes fatigued and recovered between sprints did not change between pre- to post-season testing, however, athletes exhibit increased perceptual strain during the repeated sprint work. These data indicate meaningful performance and perceptual differences throughout the competitive season in collegiate-level hockey players.
Copyright (C) 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.