Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Sport and fitness sciences


The current investigation quantified the training and match-play load of elite Gaelic football players across a two-season period using global positioning system technology (GPS), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and sessional rating of perceived exertion (sRPE). Total weekly workload variables were collected across GPS, RPE, and sRPE across thirty-six elite Gaelic footballers (mean ± SD, age: 26 ± 5 years; height: 177 ± 8 cm; mass: 81 ± 7 kg) from one elite squad during a two-season observational period. External training load variables included: Total distance (m), High speed running (m; ≥ 17.1 km·h −1 ), Sprint distance (m; 22 km·h −1 ), Accelerations (n), Average metabolic power (W·kg−1 ), High-power distance (m; ≥ 25 W·kg−1 ). Internal load variables included: sRPE and RPE. Repeated measures ANOVA were used to understand the differences in loading patterns across phases, position, and week types when significant main effects were observed a Tukey’s post hoc test was applied and standardized effect sizes were calculated to understand the practical meaning of these differences. When total weekly loading across phases was considered total load was significantly greater in club 1 and provincial 1 with these phases showing the highest loading for players when compared to all other phases (p ≤ 0.001; ES: 2.95–7.22; very large). Furthermore, in-season 1 was greater for total loading when compared to in-season 2 and both championship phases (p ≤ 0.05; ES: 0.47–0.54; small). Total distance in training was greater during preseason 1 when compared to all other phases of the season (p ≤ 0.001; ES: 2.95–7.22; very large). During the in-season period, training based total distance was higher during provincial 1 when compared to other phases with similar trends across all measures (p ≤ 0.005). Finally, a positional profile for load measures was observed, with weekly context (match or non-match) having an impact on the internal and external loading players experienced across phases. The current data provide useful information for practitioners on the training periodization currently present within the elite Gaelic football training process. Specifically, the data provide positional profiles of loading across weekly and segmented phased of an elite Gaelic football season. These data can increase understanding as to the periods of increased and decreased loading across different phases of an elite Gaelic football season, while providing a framework for future analysis concerning Gaelic football periodization.