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Trick Yourself Into Finishing Faster

Sports performance is part physical and part mental. Not only will competitors try to get inside your head, but you have the ability to convince yourself to do better. What’s the right amount of mental gamesmanship? Consider the findings of a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
 
After competing in several 5 km time trials to determine cycling proficiency, 8 male and 3 female subjects took part in 3 more 5 km events where they tracked their progress using an avatar that provided feedback based on 100%, 102% and 105% of their previous best effort. 
 
Quadriceps muscle activation, power output and race times were better with 102% feedback compared to 100%. Using 105% of a subject’s previous best effort was not beneficial.