Seasonal Variation in the Physiological Profile of High-Level Male Field Hockey Players

Karl Stagno, Rhys Thatcher, Ken Van Someren

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Objectives: To measure the physiological profiles of elite players and observe changes throughout a season in order to provide guidelines for training. Secondly, investigate whether recent rule changes have had an impact on the physiological demands of match play Material and Methods: Nine English premier division male field hockey players participated in this study (mean s: age 244 years, body mass 80.85.2 kg and height 181.83.9 cm). Three treadmill exercise tests were performed at pre-season (T1), at the start of the competitive season (T2) and at mid-competitive season (T3), to determine the running velocity at a blood lactate concentration of 4 mmoll-1 (VOBLA), individual HR: O2 regressions, O2peak, peak running speed (PRS) and time to exhaustion. Results: There were increases (p<0.05) between T1 and T2 in O2peak (54.06.3 to 60.17.6 ml•kg-1•min-1) and PRS (18.21.7 to 19.11.7 km•h-1). VOBLA increased from T2 to T3 (15.11.7 to 15.81.4 km•h-1, p<0.05) and time to exhaustion increased from T1 to T3 (30.38.0 s to 33.05.9 s). The subjects’ mean responses to competition match play were; heart rate 167±8 beats •min-1, O2 42.8±6.3 ml•min-1•kg-1 and a fractional utilisation of 80±7 %. Conclusions: The high levels of aerobic fitness observed are consistent with the demands of the games. However, there were significant changes in fitness over the course of a training year. Recent rule changes do not seem to alter the physiological demands of match play
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Sport
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • trainin
  • periodisation
  • physiological characteristics


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