Emily Williams 708x225

Right from the start of my PhD I have found everyone within the Sport and Physical Activity Department to be incredibly accommodating and I could not have been made to feel more at home.”

“During both my undergraduate and masters degrees I undertook a research project around pacing strategy influences and fatigue in different modes of exercise, so when the opportunity arose to study a PhD at Edge Hill about the topic of pacing and fatigue it seemed the perfect progression.

My research involves studying both physiological and psychological mechanisms influencing cycling time trial performance. As part of this, we alter the feedback cyclists get when performing a maximal time trial in order to try and improve their performance, explore the psychological perceptions of maximal performances and examine the contributing physiological influences when receiving different visual feedback. I am particularly interested in the influence of competitive performance and whether the pacing strategy thought to be their best or fastest to complete the race then changes as they react to their opponent.

With this work I hope to gain further insight into how athletes, specifically cyclists, choose to pace themselves during a performance and whether the feedback they are given alters their chosen and adopted pacing strategy. I also hope to provide information about strategies that facilitate performance improvements, either in a training or competitive environment, and improve knowledge about the conflicting argument of whether it is your mind or your muscle that makes you stop or decrease performance during maximal exertion.

Right from the start of my PhD I have found everyone within the Sport and Physical Activity Department to be incredibly accommodating and I could not have been made to feel more at home. I am respected and treated as one of the team and they go above and beyond to help me all they can. Within my supervisory team there is a range of expertise, which means all aspects of my research are covered and supported.

Since beginning my research I have been given the opportunity to lecture, which is something I really enjoy, so I am now considering a career in academia. When my PhD is complete I’m hoping to graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education, which will be a fantastic starting point for this particular aspiration. Working with elite athletes to improve their performance or with military personnel to aid fatigue-induced symptoms are also of real interest, so these are also potential career options.”