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
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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 mechanisms.
"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 training.
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