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J Sports Sci. 2015;33(12):1229-37. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1022575. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

Typical weekly workload of under 15, under 17, and under 19 elite Portuguese football players.

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a CreativeLab, Research Center in Sports, Health Sciences and Human Development , University of Trás-os-montes e Alto Douro , Vila Real , Portugal.


This study aims to describe the time-motion and physiological performance profiles of footballers whose ages are under 15 (U15), under 17 (U17), and under 19 (U19) during a typical week of a competitive season. A total of 151 elite Portuguese players U15 (age 14.0 ± 0.2; n = 56), U17 (age 15.8 ± 0.4; n = 66), and U19 (age 17.8 ± 0.6; n = 19) were monitored during 33 training sessions (TSs) (U15 n = 12; U17 n = 11; and U19 n = 10 TSs). The TS data were captured at 15 Hz by global positioning systems devices and divided into post-match (session after the match), prematch (session before the match), and middle week (average of remaining sessions). The U15 middle week showed a higher number of sprints, distance covered in intermediate speed zones, and time spent above 90% HRmax, while the prematch presented a higher distance covered above 18 km · h(-1) and time spent below 75% HRmax. In U17, both prematch and post-match data presented lower values than middle-week data in most of the variables. The post-match data in U19 presented higher values of distance covered above 13 km · h(-1), body impacts above 10 G, and time spent above 85% HRmax, while middle week showed higher values in body impacts in most of the zones. In addition, the prematch data presented 35% to 100% less values than the middle-week data. Understanding the weekly workload variations according to the competition and the developmental ages of the players can contribute to optimising short- and mid-term planning.


development ages; external load; internal load; periodisation; training microcycle

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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