Data_Sheet_6_Perceived Impact as the Underpinning Mechanism of the End-Spurt and U-Shape Pacing Patterns.CSV

2019-05-08T13:13:19Z (GMT) by Aviv Emanuel

The end-spurt and U-shape reflect common pacing patterns across a variety of fields (e.g., running, swimming, cycling). To date, however, the literature lacks a clear, parsimonious account for these effects. Here, I propose these pacing patterns can be accounted for by a psychological mechanism termed perceived impact. As athletes perceive their actions to better affect task-progress, they become more motivated and perform better accordingly. To illustrate, if an athlete has five more laps to go during a race, completing the current lap closes 20% of the remaining distance. Alternatively, when she has two more laps to go, the current lap closes 50% of the remaining distance. In the latter case, the impact of completing a single lap on task-progress is perceived to be higher. Her motivation will increase accordingly near the end of the track – giving rise to an end-spurt. I demonstrate the mechanism’s predictive power by reproducing previous findings through simulations. I then move to discuss how this framework is theoretically insightful in view of previous accounts such as the Central Governor Model and the Psyco-Biological Model. I conclude this work with applied strategies for practitioners in their daily routines.