Duration specific Running performance in Elite Gaelic Football

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The aim of the current investigation was to determine the position and duration specific running performance of elite Gaelic football players through the use of a moving average method. Global positioning system data (4-Hz, VX Sport, New-Zealand) were collected from thirty-five (n = 35) elite Gaelic football players across a two season period. A total of 32 competitive matches were analysed with 300 full match play data samples obtained for final analysis. Players were categorised based on positional groups; full-back, half-back, midfield, half- forward and full-forward. The velocity-time curve was analysed for each position using a rolling average method, where maximal values were calculated for ten different time durations (1-10 min) using total distance (m·min-1), high-speed (m·min-1) and sprint distance (m·min-1) across each match. There were large differences between the 1 and 2 min rolling averages and all other rolling average durations. Smaller differences were observed for rolling averages of a greater duration. Midfielders covered significantly more relative total, high speed and sprint distance than other positions across all time periods (p < 0.05; ES: 0.84-1.33), with half-backs (p < 0.05; ES: 0.74 – 1.22) and half-forwards (p < 0.05; ES: 0.99-1.45) covering more relative distance than full-backs and full-forwards. The results of the current investigation suggest that running performance within Gaelic football fluctuates across match-play. These data provide further knowledge of the running requirements of Gaelic football competition and this information can be used to aide coaches and practitioners in adequately preparing athletes for the most demanding periods of play.

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