Physiologically based GPS speed zones for evaluating running demands in Women’s Rugby Sevens Academic Article uri icon


  • High-speed running (>5 m · s⁻¹) is commonly reported in men's rugby union and sevens; however, the appropriateness of using the same speed threshold for Women's Rugby Sevens players is unclear, and likely underestimates the degree of high-intensity exercise completed by female players. The aim of this study was to establish, for international Women's Rugby Sevens players, a physiologically defined threshold - speed at the second ventilatory threshold (VT(2peed)) - for the analysis of high-intensity running, using mean and individualised thresholds. Game movement patterns (using 5 Hz GPS) of 12 international Women's Rugby Sevens players (23.5 ± 4.9 ears, 1.68 ± 0.04 m, 68.2 ± 7.7 kg; mean ± s) were collected at an international tournament. Seven of these players also completed a treadmill VO(2max) test to estimate VT(2speed). Compared to the mean VT(2speed) threshold (3.5 m · s⁻¹), the industry-used threshold of 5 m · s⁻¹ underestimated the absolute amount of high-intensity running completed by individual players by up to 30%. Using an individualised threshold, high-intensity running could over- or underestimating high-intensity running by up to 14% compared to the mean VT(2peed) threshold. The use of individualised thresholds provides an accurate individualised assessment of game demands to inform the prescription of training.

publication date

  • 2015