3 years ago

Sports analytics for professional speed skating

Jac Orie, Arno Knobbe, Benjamin van der Burgh, Nico Hofman, Ricardo Cachucho


In elite sports, training schedules are becoming increasingly complex, and a large number of parameters of such schedules need to be tuned to the specific physique of a given athlete. In this paper, we describe how extensive analysis of historical data can help optimise these parameters, and how possible pitfalls of under- and overtraining in the past can be avoided in future schedules. We treat the series of exercises an athlete undergoes as a discrete sequence of attributed events, that can be aggregated in various ways, to capture the many ways in which an athlete can prepare for an important test event. We report on a cooperation with the elite speed skating team LottoNL-Jumbo, who have recorded detailed training data over the last 15 years. The aim of the project was to analyse this potential source of knowledge, and extract actionable and interpretable patterns that can provide input to future improvements in training. We present two alternative techniques to aggregate sequences of exercises into a combined, long-term training effect, one of which based on a sliding window, and one based on a physiological model of how the body responds to exercise. Next, we use both linear modelling and Subgroup Discovery to extract meaningful models of the data.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10618-017-0512-3

DOI: 10.1007/s10618-017-0512-3

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