In an international hockey game, the average shift length was ~86s, which was split in half between playing and stoppage time. Players spent ~18% of their playing time in high intensity skating.
The big take home here is that the ice hockey requires bursts of high intensity skating interspersed by periods of lower intensity skating and stoppages.
Shifts are followed by LONG recovery periods on the bench.
This is significantly different from the 40s of work, 1:3 work to rest ratio commonly used to describe game demands.
The longer you go, the slower you go.
So recognizing that the game is comprised of peaks and valleys in movement speed/intensity (higher highs and lower lows), opposed to 40s of continuous work, should have a significant impact on how players condition.
To your success,
P.S. For in-season and off-season hockey conditioning programs, click here >> Ultimate Hockey Transformation
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.