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3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, Sport and fitness sciences


The current study aimed to assess the relationship between the hurling player’s fitness profile and integrated training load (TL) metrics. Twenty-five hurling players performed treadmill testing for VO2max, the speed at blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol•L-1 (vLT) and 4 mmol•L-1 (vOBLA) and the heart rate-blood lactate profile for calculation of individual training impulse (iTRIMP). The total distance (TD; m), high speed distance (HSD; m) and sprint distance (SD; m) covered were measured using GPS technology (4-Hz, VX Sport, Lower Hutt, New Zealand) which allowed for the measurement of the external TL. The external TL was divided by the internal TL to form integration ratios. Pearson correlation analyses allowed for the assessment of the relationships between fitness measures and the ratios to performance during simulated match play. External measures of the TL alone showed limited correlations with fitness measures. Integrated TL ratios showed significant relationships with fitness measures in players. TD:iTRIMP was correlated with aerobic fitness measures VO2max (r = 0.524; p = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.224 to 0.754; large) and vOBLA (r = 0.559; p = 0.003; 95% CI: 0.254 to 0.854; large). HSD:iTRIMP also correlated with aerobic markers for fitness vLT (r = 0.502; p = 0.009; 95% CI: 0.204 to 0.801; large); vOBLA (r = 0.407; p = 0.039; 95% CI: 0.024 to 0.644; moderate). Interestingly SD:iTRIMP also showed significant correlations with vLT (r = 0.611; p = 0.001; 95% CI: 0.324 to 0.754; large). The current study showed that TL ratios can provide practitioners with a measure of fitness as external performance alone showed limited relationships with aerobic fitness measures.