chapter  30
Activity Profile of Men’s Gaelic Football
Pages 4

Time-motion analysis has determined the work-to-rest ratio of Gaelic football competition together with the duration of the average high intensity burst and average low intensity recovery period between bursts (McErlean et al., 2000). However, the bursts performed have a wide range of durations as do the recovery periods. Previous experimental studies have failed to find conditioning programmes based on an average burst duration and an average recovery duration to be effective. One such study consisted of a training programme of 40 repetitions of a 6-s sprint with a 30-s jog recovery performed by club hockey players once a week for 8 weeks (Huey et al., 2001). A further study tested a training programme of 3 sets of 8 repetitions of a 40-m agility run with a 90° direction change every 5 m with a 30-s recovery interval performed once a week by an international netball squad for 8 weeks (O’Donoghue and Cassidy, 2001). Both of these experimental studies employed training sessions that were based on time-motion analysis findings. One of the reasons why they failed to improve relevant fitness variables above control conditions could be the fact that both were based on an average burst duration and an average recovery duration. Such specific training sessions need to use a profile of burst and recovery durations that is more representative of the range experienced in competition. This is because demands placed on energy sources will be different where there are occasional long bursts of over 10 s and short recoveries of under 30 s. There are few studies that have determined the profile of bursts and recoveries in team games. O’Donoghue (2002) did find a wide variety of burst durations from under 2 s to over 12 s in FA Premier League soccer with a wide range of recoveries from under 2 s to over 90 s. However, there are no time-motion analysis studies for Gaelic football to provide such information.