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Quantifying high-speed running in rugby league: An insight into practitioner applications and perceptions

Bennett, Thomas; Marshall, Phil; Barrett, Steve; Malone, James J.; Towlson, Christopher


Thomas Bennett

Steve Barrett

James J. Malone


High-speed running has previously been documented as a popular metric among rugby league researchers. Researchers place importance on high-speed running due to its inclusion in assessing the demands of training and match-play to help prescribe accurate training loads and recovery methods. However, there is currently no information available as to how important rugby league practitioners perceive high-speed running to be and what methods are currently used by practitioners to quantify high-speed running. Furthermore, practitioners’ perceptions of specific benefits, barriers and motivations when selecting high-speed running methods are also currently limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide a current insight into the practice and perceptions of rugby league practitioners when quantifying high-speed running. This study surveyed practitioners working in the European Super League (n = 12) and the Australasian National Rugby League (n = 11). Ranking analysis established high-speed running to be the most important metric for both training practice and match-play. Absolute high-speed running thresholds were applied by 52% of respondents (n = 12) with the most common being 5.5 m·s−1 (n = 9). Individualised high-speed running thresholds were applied by 48% of respondents (n = 11) with the most common approach implementing peak sprint speed methods (n = 9). Absolute high-speed running thresholds are perceived to permit better group data comparison, whereas individualised methods are perceived to permit better interpretation of high-speed running data. Ultimately, practitioners are motivated to implement their chosen methods with the possibility of more accurately prescribed high-speed running thresholds, although the impracticality of specific testing procedures may act as a barrier.


Bennett, T., Marshall, P., Barrett, S., Malone, J. J., & Towlson, C. (2022). Quantifying high-speed running in rugby league: An insight into practitioner applications and perceptions. International journal of sports science & coaching,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 4, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Sep 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 23, 2022
Journal International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Print ISSN 1747-9541
Electronic ISSN 2048-397X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Acceleration; External load metric; Global positioning system; Sprint distance; Training load
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