September 25th, 2017

Open-Ended Vs. Time Trail Cycling

Some endurance athletes spend a considerable amount of time fine-tuning their pacing strategies before competing. An interesting study from the University of Kent's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences published in The Journal of Sports Sciences suggests they can perform better when there is no pacing strategy to follow.
 
Researchers had 17 experienced male cyclists take part in a trial where they didn’t know the distance or how long they would have to race. Subjects were encouraged to maintain their target power output for as long as possible. A second trial involved a pre-determined period of race time.
 
Despite the fact that cyclists found it difficult to keep track of elapsed during intense effort, they performed better during the open-ended trial compared to the traditional time trial. This might be a useful training tool.