Pacing in sport is critical for reaching an end point, the finish, in the shortest possible time or ahead of the competition. In many sports, the objective is to outscore the competition; in those sports pacing is often used tactically to score at the right time, when chances of success are most likely.
Key Factors in Determining a Pacing Strategy for Triathlon
Triathlon is a complex and time-consuming sport to train and prepare for. Triathletes need a keen sense and understanding of their physical and technical capacities to position themselves correctly in races to optimise their performances
Pacing: Individual Strategies for Optimal Performance examines
the science, strategies, and application of pacing in sports. Coaches,
athletes, and students of sport will learn to assess, develop, and
implement effective pacing strategies for 13 sports, including running,
cycling, triathlon, soccer, and basketball.
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We’ve all heard the advice “Pace yourself. Save energy and finish strong.” It sounds simple enough, so why is it so hard? Why do even supremely conditioned elite athletes mismanage their energy supplies and fail to finish strong? Pacing: Individual Strategies for Optimal Performance examines the latest science, research, and application in search of answers.
This guide explores the role of pacing in sports, the most common strategies used, the factors that influence effectiveness, and key considerations for today’s athletes and coaches. You’ll also discover these aspects:
How environmental variables, such as temperature and terrain, can affect performance
How to choose the best pacing strategy for any event
How to use pacing to defeat an opponent
The role the brain plays in pacing strategies
Part I explains the biological and psychological underpinnings of pacing science, including the six commonly used pacing strategies that are discussed in detail throughout the book: all-out, positive, even, negative, parabolic, and variable. Part II shows how to apply the science, offering pacing recommendations and considerations for time-dependent sports such as running, triathlon, and swimming and exploring the role of pacing in racket sports and several team sports. Combining scientific research and real-world profiles of elite athletes and coaches, Pacing: Individual Strategies for Optimal Performance shows coaches and athletes how to develop the ideal pacing plan for every competition.
Part I: Science and Philosophy of Pacing
Chapter 1 What Is Pacing? Chapter 2 Understanding Pacing Strategies Chapter 3 Physiology of Pacing Chapter 4 Psychology of Pacing Chapter 5 Adapting Pacing Strategies
Kevin G. Thompson, PhD, is director of the Research Institute for
Sport and Exercise at the University of Canberra, Australia. He has
previously held administrative positions at Canberra and at Northumbria
University in the UK. He has held senior positions in elite athlete
support, including director of sport sciences and regional director at
the English Institute of Sport from 2002 to 2009 and manager of
coaching, sport science, and sports medicine at the Welsh Institute of
Sport from 1999 to 2002. He is a member of the Australian Institute of
Sport High-Performance Sport Research Advisory Panel and former chair of
the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) sport and
performance division and special sport science committee. He is a fellow
of BASES and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Thompson is a BASES-accredited high-performance sport physiologist.
Since 1994, he has practised as an applied sport scientist supporting
professional rugby and soccer players and elite athletes who have
competed at Olympic Games and European and World Championships.
Thompson is a section editor of the European Journal of Sport Sciences
and former associate editor and current advisory board member of the International
Journal of Sport Physiology and Performance. He has been on the
organizing committees of scientific conferences, including the 2005
English Institute of Sport National Conference, the 2010 and 2011
International Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference in the UK,
and the 2013 Sports Medicine Australia-ACT Conference, Science and
Medicine in Sport.
Thompson has authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed scientific
journals and conference proceedings and over 25 articles for sport,
professional, and coach education publications. He has written five book
chapters and contributed regularly to the Times and Guardian
broadsheet newspapers. Much of his research has been on pacing
strategies, physiological monitoring of elite athletes, and fatigue
"Pacing is of great theoretical and practical relevance
to both sport scientists and coaches. From a theoretical perspective its
study helps expand our understanding of the mechanisms through which
human performance is regulated, and the processes which lead to the
development of fatigue. From a practical perspective, it allows coaches
and athletes to fully realise the performance potential that has been
developed through long periods of physical, mental, and technical
Kevin Thompson’s book does an outstanding job of bridging the gap
between theory and practice. It refers to cutting edge research in order
to explain underpinning mechanisms, but also features a series of inputs
from world class athletes and coaches explaining how they have utilised
these principles in their own careers. This combination will allow
students and researchers to identify the practical challenges faced by
high level athletes, and will also allow practitioners to recommend
evidence based strategies. With chapters based specifically around a
number of different team and individual sports, this book will be of
value to anybody with an interest in optimizing sports performance."
Dr. Andrew Renfree-- Institute of Sport and Exercise
Science, University of Worcester