Potenzielle Einflussfaktoren auf Pacing im ausdauersportlichen Wettkampf

C. Thiel, J.J. de Koning, C. Foster

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In competitive endurance sport, athletes permanently regulate their performance to achieve the best result without threatening organismic integrity. This conscious and subconscious allocation of energy reserves in relation to an endpoint is termed pacing and depends on sport-specific experience as well as on the perception and the effects of fatigue. Pacing can be visualized as the profile of performance or speed over the distance of a competition and is subject to multiple influencing factors. Following a short description of the foundations, fatigue mechanisms, models of pacing and methods to analyze pacing, the present non-systematic review explores the potential influence of athletic performance, gender and various competitive and environmental conditions on the pacing behavior of recreational and competitive athletes in endurance sports competition. Of the 157 studies identified initially, 17 studies were included most of which focused on pacing in runners and cyclists. Factors correlated to pacing patterns include, but are not limited to, the kind of locomotion, the round of competition and the criteria for competitive success. Athletes on a higher level of performance and women show a more even pacing than athletes on a lower level of performance and men. In high ambient temperatures, the pacing pattern is more positive. Most changes of pacing behavior associated with these factors also correlate with changes in competitive performance or time. When compared with models of successful pacing and with recommendations from exercise physiology, the present results indicate the potential to improve pacing behavior and offer evidence to coaches and athletes for training and preparation of competition. However, the pacing strategies recommended in the literature and the changes in pacing behavior associated with the factors mentioned, can presumably be generalized to a limited extent only.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)173-189
Issue number4
Early online date26 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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