Int J Sports Med 2015; 36(03): 215-219
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1389973
Physiology & Biochemistry
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Pacing, the Missing Piece of the Puzzle to High-intensity Interval Training

E. K. Zadow
1   School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia
N. Gordon
1   School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia
C. R. Abbiss
2   School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
J. J. Peiffer
1   School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 04 August 2014

Publication Date:
21 November 2014 (online)


This study examined physiological and perceptual responses to matched work high-intensity interval training using all-out and 2 even-paced methodologies. 15 trained male cyclists performed 3 interval sessions of three 3-min efforts with 3 min of active recovery between efforts. The initial interval session was completed using all-out pacing, with the following 2 sessions being completed with computer- and athlete-controlled pacing in a randomised and semi-counterbalanced manner. Computer- and athlete-controlled intervals were completed at the mean power from the corresponding interval during the all-out trial. Oxygen consumption and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded during each effort. 20 min following each session, participants completed a 4-km time trial and provided sessional rating of perceived exertion. Oxygen consumption was greater during all-out (54.1±6.6−1.min−1; p<0.01) and athlete-controlled (53.0±5.8−1.min−1; p<0.01) compared with computer-controlled (51.5±5.7−1.min−1). Total time ≥85% maximal oxygen consumption was greater during all-out compared to both even-paced efforts. Sessional ratings of perceived exertion were greater after all-out compared to both even-paced sessions. Mean 4-km power output was lower after all-out compared with both even paced intervals. Distribution of pace throughout high-intensity interval training can influence perceptual and metabolic stress along with subsequent performance and should be considered during the prescription of such training.

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