CHANGES IN MARKERS OF STRESS, RECOVERY, TRAINING LOAD AND PERFORMANCE DURING A WOMEN'S DIVISION I FIELD HOCKEY SEASON

Sean Conway, Sean Conway, Shawn Arent
unpublished
Understanding how the health and physiology of female collegiate athlete changes in response to training is critical to optimizing performance and maintaining fitness over a long competitive season. Evaluating these changes using blood-based biomarkers along with fitness tests and training activities may help maximize outcomes and improve athlete management. PURPOSE: To evaluate changes in fitness and blood-based biomarkers over a Women's Division I Field Hockey season. METHODS: Field hockey
more » ... DS: Field hockey players (N= 23; M age =19±1.09 yrs; M ht =166.05±3.33 cm; M wt =64.49±7.39 kg; M %BF =26.14±6.52) were monitored for changes in biomarkers prior to the start of pre-season (T1) and at four week intervals thereafter (T2, T3, T4). Athletes arrived fasted and euhydrated prior to the first pre-season practice and 36 hours after a game for T2, T3 and T4. Blood was used to assess biomarkers correlated with stress, oxygen carrying capacity, metabolism and nutritional status. On a separate visit from T1 and T4 athletes reported for performance testing including body composition (%BF), vertical jump (VJ) and a maximal graded exercise test to (VO 2max) via direct gas exchange. All players were monitored for training stress using the Polar Team 2 System throughout training. Results: There was no significant (P>0.05) change in total cortisol but, significant differences iii (P<0.05) were found in markers associated with training induced stress. Significant differences (P<0.05) were found in all metabolic, nutritional and hematological markers over the course of the season. Fitness tests were found to be significantly correlated with changes in stress, metabolism and Kcal expenditure during the pre-season (T1-T2). Conclusions: These results show significant changes in biomarkers and training stress over the course of a competitive field hockey season. Biomarkers were shown to significantly change throughout the season but most of this change occurred during intense pre-season training (T1-T2). Continued elevation of these markers showed athletes never truly recovered throughout the season despite significant decreases in training volume. Despite showing no significant change over the season performance markers were shown to be predictive of the pre-season response to training. Incorporating blood-based biomarkers into an established monitoring program can help coaches better evaluate team training stress and recovery. iv Acknowledgement
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