Individualization of time-motion analysis: a case-cohort example

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013 Jul;8(4):456-8. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.8.4.456. Epub 2012 Oct 30.


Purpose: To report the intensity distribution of Premier League soccer players' external loads during match play, according to recognized physiological thresholds. The authors also present a case in which individualized speed thresholds changed the interpretation of time-motion data.

Method: Eight outfield players performed an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion to determine the running speeds associated with their ventilatory thresholds. The running speeds were then used to individualize time-motion data collected in 5 competitive fixtures and compared with commonly applied arbitrary speed zones.

Results: Of the total distance covered, 26%, 57%, and 17% were performed at low, moderate, and high intensity, respectively. Individualized time-motion data identified a 41% difference in the high-intensity distance covered between 2 players of the same positional role, whereas the player-independent approach yielded negligible (5-7%) differences in total and high-speed distances covered.

Conclusions: The authors recommend that individualized speed thresholds be applied to time-motion-analysis data in synergy with the traditional arbitrary approach.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Time and Motion Studies*
  • Young Adult