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Risk perception influences athletic pacing strategy

Micklewright, D and Parry, D and Robinson, T and Deacon, G and Renfree, A and Gibson, ASC and Matthews, WJ (2015) 'Risk perception influences athletic pacing strategy.' Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47 (5). 1026 - 1037. ISSN 0195-9131

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Abstract

© 2014 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Purpose: The objective of this study is 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 ultramarathon 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 ultramarathon. Split times and perceived exertion were recorded at seven checkpoints. 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 kilometer was faster among lower risk perceivers compared with higher risk perceivers (t(18) = 2.0, P = 0.03) and faster among higher risk takers compared with lower risk takers (t(18) = 2.2, P = 0.02). Actual pace was slower than predicted pace during the first kilometer in both the higher risk perceivers (t(9) = j4.2, P = 0.001) and lower risk perceivers (t(9) = j1.8, P = 0.049). In experiment 2, pace during the first 36 km was faster among lower risk perceivers compared with 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 G 0.001) and from 18 to 36 km (t(16) = 4.0, P G 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 suggest that the performance template lacks accuracy, perhaps indicating greater reliance on momentary pacing decisions rather than preplanned strategy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 16:48
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2019 13:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14034

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