Kyle L. Sunderland1, Paige J. Sutton1, Petey W. Mumford1

1Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO

An examination of the internal and external workloads in collegiate women’s lacrosse players has yet to be reported. PURPOSE: Thus, this study aimed to determine the internal and external training and game loads of female collegiate lacrosse players during an entire season. METHODS: Data from heart rate integrated global positioning system units (Polar Team Pro, Polar Electro, Bethpage, NY) worn during each lacrosse practice and game across an entire competitive season (February-May) was analyzed for 19 collegiate (age 21 ± 2y) women’s lacrosse players. Sessions were recorded from the beginning of team warmup until the completion of all team activities. Measures of heart rate (HRavg and impulse) and perceived exertion (sRPE) were determined for measures of internal workload. While external measures of distance, speed, and high-intensity accelerations and decelerations (ACC and DEC) were utilized as measures of external workload. Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to examine differences between training and game workloads. RESULTS: With the exception of HRavg (p=0.494), all workload variables were significantly less during training days compared to game days. However, the average practice duration was shorter than the average gameday duration (91.8±0.9 min vs 181.4±2.2 min, respectively; p<0.001). So, when considering the workloads relative to the duration of the session, the relative ACC (0.53±0.10 count/min vs 0.40±0.12 count/min, p<0.001) and DEC (0.40±0.08 count/min vs 0.33±0.08 count/min, p<0.001) were actually significantly greater on practice days compared to game days. All other workload variables were not significantly different between practice and gamedays when considering the duration of practice. CONCLUSION: When examining the workloads of an NCAA Division II National Championship winning women’s lacrosse team, there was significantly less workload during practice sessions compared to gamedays. However, many of the workload differences were due to the increased duration of a gameday. Therefore, coaches and trainers should consider not only the absolute workloads but the rate at which those workloads are applied to athletes when determining the appropriate training stimulus.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This project was funded by the Lindenwood University PRIDE Fund.

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