• Mark Turnbull

Information Overload - When Less Is More


Cyclists-Triathlete’s 30 min Cycling Time-Trial Performance Is Impaired With Multiple Feedback Compared to a Single Feedback


Freya Bayne1*, Sebastien Racinais2, Katya Mileva1, Steve Hunter1 and Nadia Gaoua1

  • 1Sport and Exercise Science Research Centre, School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, London, United Kingdom

  • 2Research and Scientific Support Department, Aspetar, Doha, Qata


Purpose: The purpose of this article was to (i) compare different modes of feedback (multiple vs. single) on 30 min cycling time-trial performance in non-cyclist’s and cyclists-triathletes, and (ii) investigate cyclists-triathlete’s information acquisition.


Methods: 20 participants (10 non-cyclists, 10 cyclists-triathletes) performed two 30 min self-paced cycling time-trials (TT, ∼5–7 days apart) with either a single feedback (elapsed time) or multiple feedback (power output, elapsed distance, elapsed time, cadence, speed, and heart rate). Cyclists-triathlete’s information acquisition was also monitored during the multiple feedback trial via an eye tracker. Perceptual measurements of task motivation, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and affect were collected every 5 min. Performance variables (power output, cadence, distance, speed) and heart rate were recorded continuously.


Results: Cyclists-triathletes average power output was greater compared to non-cyclists with both multiple feedback (227.99 ± 42.02 W; 137.27 ± 27.63 W; P < 0.05) and single feedback (287.9 ± 60.07 W; 131.13 ± 25.53 W). Non-cyclist’s performance did not differ between multiple and single feedback (p > 0.05). Whereas, cyclists-triathletes 30 min cycling time-trial performance was impaired with multiple feedback (227.99 ± 42.02 W) compared to single feedback (287.9 ± 60.07 W; p < 0.05), despite adopting and reporting a similar pacing strategy and perceptual responses (p > 0.05). Cyclists-triathlete’s primary and secondary objects of regard were power (64.95 s) and elapsed time (64.46 s). However, total glance time during multiple feedback decreased from the first 5 min (75.67 s) to the last 5 min (22.34 s).


Conclusion: Cyclists-triathletes indoor 30 min cycling TT performance was impaired with multiple feedback compared to single feedback. Whereas non-cyclist’s performance did not differ between multiple and single feedback. Cyclists-triathletes glanced at power and time which corresponds with the wireless sensor networks they use during training. However, total glance time during multiple feedback decreased over time, and therefore, overloading athletes with feedback may decrease performance in cyclists-triathletes



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