Repeated sprints training is a very popular one, especially in football. Coaches use different combinations, like 5 to 10 repetitions of 20-40m with 10-25 sec of active, passive or free recovery. What is the appropriate number of repetitions?
In the literature, a very large variability in fatigue induced with this kind of training exists. Fatigue indices range from 6-27% in different studies as well as for relatively similar level players within the same study. This means that training with a standard number of repetitions results in different fatigue level among players and thus different adaptations.
HOW CAN WE CALCULATE THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER OF REPETITIONS?
- Test players with the same protocol as training (10-15x30m with 25sec active recovery)
- Calculate fatigue index [FI= (worst time-best time/best time) * 100] for sprints 1-7, 1-10, 1-15
- Create an equation for FI with number of sprints for each player
- Decide the FI level you want to work for this period (6-10% is a good one)
- Estimate the number of sprints for each player