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Preprint / Version 2

Exposures to near-to-maximal speed running bouts during different turnarounds in elite football

association with match hamstring injuries


  • Martin Buchheit Kitman Labs
  • Maxime Settembre
  • Karim Hader
  • Derek McHugh



max speed exposures, hamstring injuries, programming, planning


Purpose: To examine the association between the occurrence of near-to-maximal sprinting speed (near-to-MSS) running bouts during training and hamstring injury rate during the consecutive match of the same turnaround in elite football (soccer).

Methods : Retrospective data from 36 team-seasons (16 elite teams performing in top European leagues) were analysed (627 players, 96 non-contact time loss match hamstring injuries). 

We examined 1) the association between match hamstring injury rate and the occurrence of  >85%, >90% or >95% MSS exposures or not during training within each turnaround and 2) whether the above-mentioned associations differed depending on the day(s) of the turnarounds when these exposures occurred. 

Results: The longer the length of the turnarounds and the lower the speed thresholds, the greater the number (and proportion) of near-to-MSS exposures. For some turnarounds, there were no match hamstring injuries when players were exposed to running bouts >95% MSS during training vs. when there were no or lower relative speed exposures (i.e., >85 or >90%). Finally, irrespective of the turnaround length, there were no match hamstring injuries when >95% MSS exposures occurred at D-2, while in contrast, injuries still happened when players were not exposed at all, or when these exposures occurred at D-3 and/or earlier within the turnaround. 

Conclusion: While the present observational study design precludes the examination of causal relationships, programming >95% MSS exposures at D-2 during 3-d to 8-d turnarounds may be a relevant strategy to decrease the incidence of match hamstring injuries in elite football. 


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2022-06-29 — Updated on 2022-07-18