Research Repository

Pacing Decision Making in Sport and the Effects of Interpersonal Competition: A Critical Review

Konings, Marco J and Hettinga, Florentina J (2018) 'Pacing Decision Making in Sport and the Effects of Interpersonal Competition: A Critical Review.' Sports Medicine, 48 (8). pp. 1829-1843. ISSN 0112-1642

Konings Hettinga-SportsMed(3)cleancopy.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (206kB) | Preview


An athlete’s pacing strategy is widely recognised as an essential determinant for performance during individual events. Previous research focussed on the importance of internal bodily state feedback, revealed optimal pacing strategies in time-trial exercise, and explored concepts such as teleoanticipation and template formation. Recently, human–environment interactions have additionally been emphasized as a crucial determinant for pacing, yet how they affect pacing is not well understood. Therefore, this literature review focussed on exploring one of the most important human–environment interactions in sport competitions: the interaction among competitors. The existing literature regarding the regulation of exercise intensity and the effect of competition on pacing and performance is critically reviewed in this paper. The PubMed, CINAHL and Web of Science electronic databases were searched for studies about pacing in sports and (interpersonal) competition between January 2000 to October 2017, using the following combination of terms: (1) Sports AND (2) Pacing, resulting in 75 included papers. The behaviour of opponents was shown to be an essential determinant in the regulation of exercise intensity, based on both observational (N = 59) and experimental (N = 16) studies. However, adjustment in the pacing response related to other competitors appears to depend on the competitive situation and the current internal state of the athlete. The findings of this review emphasize the importance of what is happening around the athlete for the outcome of the decision-making process involved in pacing, and highlight the necessity to incorporate human–environment interactions into models that attempt to explain the regulation of exercise intensity in sports and exercise.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Exercise; Decision Making; Running; Sports; Athletic Performance; Athletes
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sport
Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 13:19
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item