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Individualisation of time-motion analysis : a method comparison and case report series

Hunter, F.; Bray, J.; Towlson, C.; Smith, M.; Barrett, S.; Madden, J.; Abt, G.; Lovell, R.


F. Hunter

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Dr James Bray
Lecturer in Sport Nutrition & Physiology

M. Smith

S. Barrett

J. Madden

R. Lovell


© Georg Thieme Verlag KG. This study compared the intensity distribution of time-motion analysis data, when speed zones were categorized by different methods. 12 U18 players undertook a routine battery of laboratory- and field-based assessments to determine their running speed corresponding to the respiratory compensation threshold (RCT), maximal aerobic speed (MAS), maximal oxygen consumption (vVO 2max ) and maximal sprint speed (MSS). Players match-demands were tracked using 5 Hz GPS units in 22 fixtures (50 eligible match observations). The percentage of total distance covered running at high-speed (%HSR), very-high speed (%VHSR) and sprinting were determined using the following speed thresholds: 1) arbitrary; 2) individualised (IND) using RCT, vVO 2max and MSS; 3) individualised via MAS per se; 4) individualised via MSS per se; and 5) individualised using MAS and MSS as measures of locomotor capacities (LOCO). Using MSS in isolation resulted in 61 % and 39 % of player's % HSR and % VHSR, respectively, being incorrectly interpreted, when compared to the IND technique. Estimating the RCT from fractional values of MAS resulted in erroneous interpretations of % HSR in 50 % of cases. The present results suggest that practitioners and researchers should avoid using singular fitness characteristics to individualise the intensity distribution of time-motion analysis data. A combination of players' anaerobic threshold, MAS, and MSS characteristics are recommended to individualise player-tracking data.


Hunter, F., Bray, J., Towlson, C., Smith, M., Barrett, S., Madden, J., …Lovell, R. (2015). Individualisation of time-motion analysis : a method comparison and case report series. International journal of sports medicine, 36(1), 41-48.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 12, 2014
Online Publication Date Sep 26, 2014
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Apr 24, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 24, 2015
Journal International journal of sports medicine
Print ISSN 0172-4622
Electronic ISSN 1439-3964
Publisher Thieme Gruppe
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 1
Pages 41-48
Keywords External load, Fitness characteristics, GPS, Match-demands, Soccer, Intensity-distribution
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Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of an article which has been published in: International journal of sports medicine, 2014, v.36, issue 1 at: