Physiologically based GPS speed zones for evaluating running demands in Women's Rugby Sevens

Anthea C. Clarke, Judith Anson, David Pyne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Abstract: High-speed running (>5 m · s−1) is commonly reported in men’s rugby union and sevens; however, the appropriateness of using the same speed threshold for Women’s Rugby Sevens players is unclear, and likely underestimates the degree of high-intensity exercise completed by female players. The aim of this study was to establish, for international Women’s Rugby Sevens players, a physiologically defined threshold – speed at the second ventilatory threshold (VT2speed) – for the analysis of high-intensity running, using mean and individualised thresholds. Game movement patterns (using 5 Hz GPS) of 12 international Women’s Rugby Sevens players (23.5 ± 4.9 years, 1.68 ± 0.04 m, 68.2 ± 7.7 kg; mean ± s) were collected at an international tournament. Seven of these players also completed a treadmill VO2max test to estimate VT2speed. Compared to the mean VT2speed threshold (3.5 m · s−1), the industry-used threshold of 5 m · s−1 underestimated the absolute amount of high-intensity running completed by individual players by up to 30%. Using an individualised threshold, high-intensity running could over- or underestimating high-intensity running by up to 14% compared to the mean VT2speed threshold. The use of individualised thresholds provides an accurate individualised assessment of game demands to inform the prescription of training.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1101-1108
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015


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