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Repeated Sprint Training Improves Intermittent Peak Running Speed in Team-Sport Athletes

Hunter, Jayden R1; O'Brien, Brendan J1; Mooney, Mitchell G1,2; Berry, Jason1,2; Young, Warren B1; Down, Neville1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 1318-1325
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d85aac
Original Research

Hunter, JR, O'Brien, BJ, Mooney, MG, Berry, J, Young, WB, and Down, N. Repeated sprint training improves intermittent peak running speed in team-sport athletes. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1318-1325, 2011-The aim of this study was to compare the effect of 2 repeated sprint training interventions on an intermittent peak running speed (IPRS) test designed for Australian Rules football. The test required participants to perform 10 × 10-m maximal efforts on an 80-m course every 25 seconds, for each of which the mean peak speed (kilometers per hour) was recorded to determine IPRS. The training interventions were performed twice weekly for 4 weeks immediately before regular football training. In the constant volume intervention (CVol), sprint repetition number remained at 10 (n = 9), and in the linear increase in volume (LIVol) intervention, repetition number increased linearly each week by 2 repetitions (n = 12). Intermittent peak running speed, 300-m shuttle test performance, and peak running speed were assessed before and upon completion of training. All measures were compared to a control group (CON; n = 8) in which players completed regular football training exclusively. Intermittent peak running speed performance in CVol and LIVol improved significantly (p < 0.01) by 5.2 and 3.8%, respectively, with no change in IPRS for CON. There were no differences in IPRS changes between CVol and LIVol. Additionally, peak running speed improved significantly (p < 0.01) by 5.1% for CVol, whereas 300-m shuttle performance improved significantly (p < 0.01) by 2.6% for LIVol only. Intermittent peak running speed, 300-m shuttle performance and peak running speed were improved after 4 weeks of training; however, progressively increasing sprint repetition number had no greater advantage on IPRS adaptation. Additionally, exclusive regular football training over a 4-week period is unlikely to improve IPRS, peak running speed, or 300-m shuttle performance.

1School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; and 2Essendon Football Club, Victoria, Australia

Address correspondence to Brendan J. O'Brien,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association