Changes in cognition over a 16.1 km cycling time trial using Think Aloud protocol: Preliminary evidence

Whitehead, Amy E., Massey, Hollie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9793-8702, Williams, Emily L., Dowling, Christopher, Morley, David, Taylor, Jamie Alan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0619-9992 and Polman, Remco C. (2019) Changes in cognition over a 16.1 km cycling time trial using Think Aloud protocol: Preliminary evidence. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17 (3). pp. 266-274. ISSN 1612-197X

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version

Official URL:


Objectives: This study investigated cognitions of cyclists during a competitive time trial (TT) event using Think Aloud (TA) protocol analysis. Design: Single group, observational design. Method: Fifteen male and three female cyclists from the North West of England verbalised their thoughts throughout an outdoor competitive 16.1 km cycling time trial (Level 2 TA). Verbalisations were recorded using iVue Horizon 1080P camera glasses. Data was transcribed verbatim, analysed using deductive content analysis and grouped into themes: (i) Pain And Discomfort (Fatigue, Pain), (ii) External Feedback (Time, Speed, Heart Rate), (iii) Environment (Surroundings, Traffic and Other Cyclists), (iv) Pace and Distance (Pace, Distance). The number of verbalisations within each theme were analysed by distance quartile using Friedman tests to examine changes in cognitions over time. Results: Associative themes, including Fatigue and Pain, were verbalised more frequently in the earlier stages of the TT and less in the final quartile, whereas verbalisations about Distance significantly increased in the last quartile. Conclusions: This study demonstrates how a novel data collection method can capture in-event cognitions of endurance athletes. It provides an important extension to previous literature, showing how individuals may process and attend to information over time during an exercise bout. Future research should establish the relationship between performance and cognitive processes.

Repository Staff Only: item control page