Anglia Ruskin University
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Pace Versus Prediction: Is the Experience of the Runner Associated With Marathon Success?

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:39 authored by Dan Gordon, Itay Basevitch, Adrian Scruton, Justin Roberts, Joe Biggins, Viviane Merzbach
PURPOSE: Pacing strategies during exercise are attributed to optimising the balance between the artefacts of fatigue and regulation of substrate metabolism. Pace judgement is set within a continuum of information from the ability to anticipate metabolic demands and select an appropriate strategy through to the accumulation of prior experience for completion of such a task that has a known end-point. Therefore the purpose of this study was to evaluate the importance of athlete experience to successfully regulate pace and attain a predicted end time during a marathon. METHOD: Following local institutional ethical approval n= 777 runners competing in the 2015 London Marathon agreed to participate. Using an on-line survey and opportunistic questionnaire at a pre-marathon event participants were asked to predict their race time. Athlete experience (EXP) was established based on the number of previously completed marathons using a Likert scale from 0 to greater than 10 with increments of 1 race. Athlete age was also recorded. All race data was downloaded from the race website generating 5Km split times, then converted to speed and normalised (%) to the final split time/speed (m.s-1). Prediction time (PT) was used a proxy for end-point and compared to finish time (FT). RESULTS: FT for whole group (WG) was 15479 ±3311s compared to the group PT 15003 ±2972s a significant difference of 476s (P= 0.0001). An R2of 0.863 observed for WG compared to 0.799 (EXP-0) and 0.852 (EXP-5) when comparing FT to PT. Significant differences observed between PT and FT for all EXP groups apart from EXP-5 (P= 0.0001). EXP-0 showed significant difference across all split times apart from 35-40 km (P=0.0001) with a decrease in normalised speed from 5km (109.0 ±7.6) –40km (89.9 ±7.4%). The EXP-5 group showed significant changes in pace between 25-30 km (P= 0.001) (ES= 0.35) and 30-35 km (P= 0.0001) (ES= 0.44), decrease in pace from 5km (105.0 ±5.7%) to 40km (93.7 ±5.6%). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that successful marathon pacing is dependent on the experience of the athlete reflecting the development of the pacing template. Additionally experience is associated with better attainment of prediction time suggesting that less experienced runners should run with more experienced athletes with similar end-point targets.




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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise




American College of Sports Medicine

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American College of Sports Medicine 63rd Annual Meeting


Boston, MA

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  • Other


  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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