The Influence of Distance Feedback on Running Performance and Pacing Strategy During a 5km Time-Trial

Luke C McIlvenna, Chris Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Few studies have explored the impact of distance feedback frequency on running performance.PURPOSE: To determine the effect of open (OF) and limited (LF) distance feedback in comparison to no feedback (NF) on pacing strategy and performance during a 5km treadmill time-trial (TT).METHODS: Eight trained middle-distance runners (36 ± 11 yrs, 65.6 ± 9.8 kg) completed three self-paced TTs with either LF, OF, or NF in a randomised counter-balanced design. In the LF trial, participants were informed of the distance covered after every km. In the other trials the distance covered was visible during the whole trial (OF) or only after completion of the 5 km (NF). Heart rate (HR) was recorded throughout and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) recorded every 2 min. Blood lactate (BL) concentration was measured before and after each TT. Differences in completion time and maximum HR between conditions were assessed using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Differences in running velocity (RV), HR, BL and RPE were assessed using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA.RESULTS: There was no significant difference in completion time between conditions (P=0.47, NF trial: 25:14 ± 3:12, LF trial: 24:29 ± 2:28, OF trial: 24:33 ± 2:40 min:s) although both OF and LF had a small positive effect on performance (d=0.23 and 0.29, respectively). There was a significant interaction effect of “condition” and “distance covered” on RV (P=0.03) suggesting divergent pacing strategies between feedback conditions. RV, however, was not different between conditions at each 0.5 km split (P>0.05). RPE increased during each trial (P<0.01), but was not different between conditions (P=0.78). BL increased following the TT (P<0.01) but was not different between conditions (P=0.13). There were no differences in mean HR between conditions (P=0.24) but maximum HR was higher in the OF TT compared to NF (P<0.01, d=0.40).CONCLUSION: These data suggest that access to either LF or OF during a 5 km TT can have a small positive effect on performance, likely due to a difference in pacing strategy. Participants in the NF condition adopted a conservative, slow-start strategy with pace increasing throughout the TT. RV was more variable in the OF and LF conditions. Middle-distance runners should therefore consider using distance feedback from GPS or similar during training and competitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-325
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5S
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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