Individual and combined effects of acute and chronic running loads on injury risk in elite Australian footballers
Date of this Version
0905-7188 print, 1600-0838 online
A model that takes into account the current workload, and the workload the athlete has been prepared for, as an acute:chronic workload ratio has been previously used as a novel way to monitor training load and injury risk. Fifty-nine elite Australian football players from one club participated in this 2-year study. Global Positioning System technology was used to provide information on running workloads of players. An injury was defined as any non-contact "time-loss" injury. One-week (acute), along with 4-week (chronic) workloads were calculated for a range of variables. The size of the acute workload in relation to the chronic workload was calculated as an acute:chronic workload ratio. An acute:chronic workload ratio of >2.0 for total distance during the in-season was associated with a 5 to 8-fold greater injury risk in the current [relative risk (RR) = 8.65, P = 0.001] and subsequent week (RR = 5.49, P = 0.016). Players with a high-speed distance acute:chronic workload ratio of >2.0 were 5-11 times more likely to sustain an injury in the current (RR = 11.62, P = 0.006) and subsequent week (RR = 5.10, P = 0.014). These findings demonstrate that sharp increases in running workload increase the likelihood of injury in both the week the workload is performed, and the subsequent week.
This document has been peer reviewed.