The role of the rating-of-perceived-exertion template in pacing

Wouter Schallig, Tim Veneman, Dionne A. Noordhof, José A. Rodríguez-Marroyo, John P. Porcari, Jos J. De Koning*, Carl Foster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) template is thought to regulate pacing and has been shown to be very robust in different circumstances. Purpose: The primary purpose was to investigate whether the RPE template can be manipulated by changing the race distance during the course of a time trial. The secondary purpose was to study how athletes cope with this manipulation, especially in terms of the RPE template. Method: Trained male subjects (N = 10) performed 3 cycling time trials: A 10-km (TT10), a 15-km (TT15), and amanipulated 15-km (TTman). During the TTman, subjects started the time trial believing that they were going to perform a 10-km time trial. However, at 7.5 km they were told that it was a 15-km time trial. Results: A significant main effect of time-trial condition on RPE scores until kilometer 7.5 was found (P = .016). Post hoc comparisons showed that the RPE values of the TT15 were lower than the RPE values of the TT10 (difference 0.60; CI95% 0.11, 1.0) and TTman (difference 0.73; CI95% 0.004, 1.5). After the 7.5 km, a transition phase occurs, in which an interaction effect is present (P = .011). After this transition phase, the RPE values of TTman and TT15 did not statistically differ (P = 1.00). Conclusions: This novel distanceendpoint manipulation demonstrates that it is possible to switch between RPE templates. A clear shift in RPE during the TTman is present between the RPE templates of the TT10 and TT15. The shift strongly supports suggestions that pacing is regulated using an RPE template.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Anticipatory model
  • Cycling
  • Fatigue
  • Hazard score
  • Performance
  • Psychobiological model


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