Risk perception influences athletic pacing strategy
St, Clair Gibson Alan
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
MetadataShow full item record
Micklewright, D., Parry, D., Robinson, T., Deacon, G., Renfree, A., St, C. G. A., & Skylark, W. (2014). Risk perception influences athletic pacing strategy. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 47 1026-1037. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000500
Purpose: To examine risk-taking and risk-perception associations with perceived exertion, pacing and performance in athletes. Methods: Two experiments were conducted in which risk-perception was assessed using the domain-specific risk-taking (DOSPERT) scale in 20 novice cyclists (Experiment 1) and 32 experienced ultra-marathon runners (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants predicted their pace and then performed a 5 km maximum effort cycling time-trial on a calibrated KingCycle mounted bicycle. Split-times and perceived exertion were recorded every kilometer. In experiment 2, each participant predicted their split times before running a 100 km ultra-marathon. Split-times and perceived exertion were recorded at 7 check-points. In both experiments, higher and lower risk-perception groups were created using median split of DOSPERT scores. Results: In experiment 1, pace during the first km was faster among lower compared to higher risk-perceivers, t(18)=2.0 P=0.03, and faster among higher compared lower risk-takers, t(18)=2.2 P=0.02. Actual pace was slower than predicted pace during the first km in both the higher risk perceivers, t(9)=-4.2 P=0.001, and lower risk perceivers, t(9)=-1.8 P=0.049. In experiment 2, pace during the first 36 km was faster among lower compared to higher risk-perceivers, t(16)=2.0 P=0.03. Irrespective of risk-perception group, actual pace was slower than predicted pace during the first 18 km, t(16)=8.9 P<0.001, and from 18 to 36 km, t(16)=4.0 P<0.001. In both experiments there was no difference in performance between higher and lower risk-perception groups. Conclusions: Initial pace is associated with an individual’s perception of risk, with low perceptions of risk being associated with a faster starting pace. Large differences between predicted and actual pace suggests the performance template lacks accuracy, perhaps indicating greater reliance on momentary pacing decisions rather than pre-planned strategy.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000500
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246416