Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Competition Between Desired Competitive Result, Tolerable Homeostatic Disturbance, and Psychophysiological Interpretation Determines Pacing Strategy

Foster, Carl; de Koning, Jos J.; Hettinga, Florentina J.; Barroso, Renato; Boullosa, Daniel; Casado, Arturo; Cortis, Cristina; Fusco, Andrea; Gregorich, Halle; Jaime, Salvador; Jones, Andrew M.; Malterer, Katherine R.; Pettitt, Robert; Porcari, John P.; Pratt, Cassie; Reinschmidt, Patrick; Skiba, Phillip; Splinter, Annabel; St Clair Gibson, Alan; St Mary, Jacob; Thiel, Christian; Uithoven, Kate; van Tunen, Joyce


Carl Foster

Jos J. de Koning

Florentina J. Hettinga

Renato Barroso

Daniel Boullosa

Arturo Casado

Cristina Cortis

Andrea Fusco

Halle Gregorich

Salvador Jaime

Andrew M. Jones

Katherine R. Malterer

Robert Pettitt

John P. Porcari

Cassie Pratt

Patrick Reinschmidt

Phillip Skiba

Annabel Splinter

Jacob St Mary

Christian Thiel

Kate Uithoven

Joyce van Tunen


Scientific interest in pacing goes back >100 years. Contemporary interest, both as a feature of athletic competition and as a window into understanding fatigue, goes back >30 years. Pacing represents the pattern of energy use designed to produce a competitive result while managing fatigue of different origins. Pacing has been studied both against the clock and during head-to-head competition. Several models have been used to explain pacing, including the teleoanticipation model, the central governor model, the anticipatory-feedback-rating of perceived exertion model, the concept of a learned template, the affordance concept, the integrative governor theory, and as an explanation for “falling behind.” Early studies, mostly using time-trial exercise, focused on the need to manage homeostatic disturbance. More recent studies, based on head-to-head competition, have focused on an improved understanding of how psychophysiology, beyond the gestalt concept of rating of perceived exertion, can be understood as a mediator of pacing and as an explanation for falling behind. More recent approaches to pacing have focused on the elements of decision making during sport and have expanded the role of psychophysiological responses including sensory-discriminatory, affective-motivational, and cognitive-evaluative dimensions. These approaches have expanded the understanding of variations in pacing, particularly during head-to-head competition.


Foster, C., de Koning, J. J., Hettinga, F. J., Barroso, R., Boullosa, D., Casado, A., …van Tunen, J. (2023). Competition Between Desired Competitive Result, Tolerable Homeostatic Disturbance, and Psychophysiological Interpretation Determines Pacing Strategy. International journal of sports physiology and performance : IJSPP,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 27, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 27, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Mar 21, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 24, 2023
Journal International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Print ISSN 1555-0265
Electronic ISSN 1555-0273
Publisher Human Kinetics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Homeostasis; Fatigue; Psychophysiology
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (896 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2023, © Human Kinetics, Inc.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations