Article

Hitting the wall in the marathon: Phenomenological characteristics and associations with expectancy, gender, and running history

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Abstract

ObjectivesThis study was designed to identify salient characteristics of hitting the wall in the marathon and to assess the frequency of self-reported occurrence of the wall as a function of expectancy, gender, and running history.DesignA correlational research design was used.MethodParticipants (218 men and 97 women) from three Eastern Seaboard marathons in the United States responded to items regarding general demographic information and expectation of the wall prior to the marathon. After the marathon, participants were asked to report the occurrence of the wall, whether they experienced each of 24 potential characteristics of the wall, and the impact of these characteristics on performance.ResultsApproximately 43% of participants reported that they hit the wall during the marathon. Logistic regression analysis indicated that generalized fatigue, unintentionally slowing pace, desire to walk, and shifting focus to survival were salient characteristics of the wall. Logistic regression analyses indicated that male gender, expectancy of hitting the wall, shorter distance of longest training run, and previous episodes of hitting the wall were associated with reports of hitting the wall.ConclusionsSeveral robust characteristics of the wall were identified. Occurrence of the wall phenomenon appears to be more prevalent among men than among women and may be influenced by expectancy.

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... While most marathon runners are familiar with the notion of hitting the wall-many even claim to have experienced it in person [1,2]-it should be recognised that truly hitting the wall is not the same as the feeling of generalized fatigue and discomfort that is part and parcel of running the marathon distance [3][4][5]. The conventional wisdom is that runners hit the wall when their glycogen stores become depleted, usually as a result of poor race nutrition [6][7][8][9], which can be exacerbated by aggressive pacing [7,10,11], and there is thought to be an important cognitive component too [12,13]. While experienced marathoners understand how to avoid hitting the wall, it remains a significant risk among recreational marathoners, especially novices and first-timers. ...
... The central objective of this work is to explore the nature of these slowdowns by analysing more that 4 million race-day records; the scale of this study distinguishes it from much of the work on hitting the wall that has come before [1,2,11,14,15]. We identify runners who suffer significant and sustained slowing during the latter stages of the marathon, and examine the characteristics of these slowdowns (frequency, start, duration, degree, finish-time cost) in relation to sex, age, and ability. ...
... We find male runners to be much more likely than female runners to hit the wall [11,14], regardless of age or ability, and we find that slowdowns occur more frequently in the years immediately before and after a recent personal best. Moreover, when males hit the wall, they slow more than female runners, and over longer distances. ...
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Introduction In the marathon, how runners pace and fuel their race can have a major impact on race outcome. The phenomenon known as hitting the wall (HTW) refers to the iconic hazard of the marathon distance, in which runners experience a significant slowing of pace late in the race, typically after the 20-mile mark, and usually because of a depletion of the body’s energy stores. Aim This work investigates the occurrence of significant late-race slowing among recreational marathoners, as a proxy for runners hitting the wall, to better understand the likelihood and nature of such slowdowns, and their effect on race performance. Methods Using pacing data from more than 4 million race records, we develop a pacing-based definition of hitting the wall, by identifying runners who experience a sustained period of slowing during the latter stages of the marathon. We calculate the cost of these slowdowns relative to estimates of the recent personal-best times of runners and compare slowdowns according to runner sex, age, and ability. Results We find male runners more likely to slow significantly (hit the wall) than female runners; 28% of male runners hit the wall compared with 17% of female runners, χ ² (1, N = 1, 928, 813) = 27, 693.35, p < 0.01, OR = 1.43. Such slowdowns are more frequent in the 3 years immediately before and after a recent personal-best (PB) time; for example, 36% of all runners hit the wall in the 3 years before a recent PB compared with just 23% in earlier years, χ ² (1, N = 509, 444) = 8, 120.74, p < 0.01, OR = 1.31. When runners hit the wall, males slow more than females: a relative slowdown of 0.40 vs. 0.37 is noted, for male and female runners, when comparing their pace when they hit the wall to their earlier race (5km-20km) pace, with t (475, 199) = 60.19, p < 0.01, d = 0.15. And male runners slow over longer distances than female runners: 10.7km vs. 9.6km, respectively, t (475, 199) = 68.44, p < 0.01, d = 0.17. Although, notably the effect size of these differences is small. We also find the finish-time costs of hitting the wall (lost minutes) to increase with ability; r ² (7) = 0.91, p < 0.01 r ² (7) = 0.81, p < 0.01 for male and female runners, respectively. Conclusions While the findings from this study are consistent with qualitative results from earlier single-race or smaller-scale studies, the new insights into the risk and nature of slowdowns, based on the runner sex, age, and ability, have the potential to help runners and coaches to better understand and calibrate the risk/reward trade-offs that exist as they plan for future races.
... The salient characteristics of ''The Wall'' were described by the 43% of participants who reported HTW during the marathon; subjective reports of ''generalized fatigue, unintentionally slowing pace, desire to walk, and shifting focus to survival'' were strongly correlated with the phenomenon. 12 These were the first researchers to formally define The Wall during a marathon. In a follow-up study, Buman et al 13 determined that The Wall occurred with increasing probability up to 32 km of the marathon distance and with decreasing probability from 33 km to 42 km. ...
... Racers were sent the postrace questionnaire 48 hours after the marathon. The postrace questionnaire was used to ascertain symptoms of HTW, as identified by Buman et al, 12 and delivered via a Google Form (Google LLC, Mountain View, CA) link (Table 1). ...
... They were instructed to report whether they experienced any of the 4 symptoms: generalized fatigue, unintentionally slowing of pace, desire to walk, or shifting focus to survival. 12 They were deemed to have experienced HTW if they reported any 3 of the 4 symptoms described by Buman et al. 12 We retrieved the times for all marathon finishers (10 672 men, 5537 women). Using their race numbers, we identified the subset of respondents to the postrace questionnaire and extracted their in-race split and overall finish times. ...
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Context Many runners report “hitting the wall” (HTW) during a marathon (42.2 km). However, the performance manifestation of this subjectively experienced phenomenon remains unclear. Objective To identify a pace-based classification for HTW by integrating subjective reports of fatigue and runners' pacing profiles during a marathon. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Public race event (2018 Dublin Marathon). Patients or Other Participants Eighty-three runners (28 [34%] women, 55 [66%] men, age = 41.5 ± 9.1 years, height = 1.73 ± 0.09 m, mass = 70.2 ± 10.1 kg). Main Outcome Measure(s) The pacing profiles for respondents to our postrace questionnaire that concerned the phenomenon of HTW were evaluated. Receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed on discretized outcomes of the time series of marathoners' paces during the race. Results Using the receiver operating characteristic analyses, we observed that runners could be classified as having experienced HTW if they ran any 1-km segment 11% slower than the average of the remaining segments of the race (accuracy = 84.6%, sensitivity = 1, specificity = 0.6) or if the standard deviation of the normalized 1-km split times exceeded 0.0532 (accuracy = 83%, sensitivity = 0.818, specificity = 0.8). Similarly, runners could be classified as having experienced HTW if they ran any 5-km segment 7.3% slower than the average of the remaining 5-km segments of the race (accuracy = 84.6%, sensitivity = 1, specificity = 0.644) or if the standard deviation of the normalized 5-km split times exceeded 0.0346 (accuracy = 82%, sensitivity = 0.909, specificity = 0.622). Conclusions These pace-based criteria could be valuable to researchers evaluating HTW prevalence in cohorts for whom they lack subjective questionnaire data.
... The "hitting the wall" (HTW) phenomenon is a much talked about but poorly understood phenomenological experience that regularly occurs in prolonged endurance exercise. HTW can be understood as a psychophysiological stress process characterised by (A) discrete and poignant onset and duration, (B) dynamic and complex interplay between physiological, affective, motivational, cognitive, and behavioural systems, and (C) unintended alteration of pacing behaviour and performance deterioration [1,2]. ...
... An alternative determinant of HTW is exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) caused by muscular exertion of unaccustomed exercise duration and/or intensity, especially when involving muscle lengthening contractions [7]. This notion is supported by length of longest training run predicting the likelihood of HTW [1,8] and correlations between deterioration in marathon running pace and indirect haematological markers of muscle damage [9]. ...
... Buman et al. [1] investigated the phenomenological characteristics of HTW in marathon runners and observed escalating generalised fatigue accompanied by unintentional slowing of running pace, increased desire to walk, and a shift from initially set performance goals to desire just finishing the race. Furthermore, runners experiencing HTW felt more negatively impacted by these events, and the authors interpreted the renegotiation of race aspirations as an adaptive behavioural response to exhaustion and performance deterioration as it did not per se increase the likelihood of race drop-out [1]. ...
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Article
Background: "Hitting the wall" (HTW) can be understood as a psychophysiological stress process characterised by (A) discrete and poignant onset, (B) dynamic interplay between physiological, affective, motivational, cognitive, and behavioural systems, and (C) unintended alteration of pace and performance. A preceding companion article investigated the psychophysiological responses to 20-km self-paced treadmill time trials after producing exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) via a standardised muscle-lengthening contraction protocol. Methods: A 5-step procedure was applied determining the extent to which the observed data fit the hypothesised cause-effect relationships. Running with EIMD negatively impacts performance fatigability via (A) amplified physiological responses and a non-adaptive distress response and (B) deterioration in perceived fatigability: increase in perceived physical strain precedes decrease in valence, which in turn precedes increase in action crisis, eventually dissolving the initially aspired performance goal. Results: First, haematological indicators of EIMD predicted increased blood cortisol concentration, which in turn predicted increased performance fatigability. Second, perceived physical strain explained 44% of the relationship between haematological indicators of EIMD and valence, which in turn predicted increased action crisis, which in turn predicted increased performance fatigability. The observed data fitted the hypothesised dual-pathway model well with good model-fit indices throughout. Conclusions: The hypothesised interrelationships between physiological strain, perception, and heuristic and deliberative decision-making processes in self-regulated and goal-directed exercise behaviour were applied, tested, and confirmed: amplified physiological strain and non-adaptive distress response as well as strain-perception-thinking-action coupling impact performance fatigability. The findings provide novel insights into the psychophysiological processes that underpin the phenomenological experience of HTW and alteration in pacing behaviour and performance.
... The current findings demonstrate that running with LMMF and mild EIMD causes medium sized physiological and large sized perceptual effects that are associated with discrete and poignant onset of unintended alteration in performance fatigability and observed pacing behaviour, thereby closely resembling defining characteristics of the "hitting the wall" phenomenon. 290,291 It is further suggested that much of the variance in response to running with LMMF and mild EIMD can be explained by the dynamic and complex interactions between the investigated psychophysiological determinants of pacing behaviour and performance during prolonged endurance exercise. Both physiological and perceptual pathways are proposed to impact performance fatigability during running with LMMF and mild EIMD via (1) amplified physiological strain and non-adaptive endocrinological distress response and (2) increases in perceived fatigability. ...
... HTW can be understood as a psychophysiological stress process characterised by (A) discrete and poignant onset and duration, (B) dynamic and complex interplay between physiological, affective, motivational, cognitive, and behavioural systems, and (C) unintended alteration of pacing behaviour and performance deterioration. 290,291 The sheer physicality of endurance sports, particularly long-distance running, ensures that HTW is tightly coupled to stimulus-driven processes resulting from extreme physical duress. The most popular physiological explanation for HTW is skeletal muscle glycogen depletion and hypoglycaemia. ...
... An alternative determinant of HTW is exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) caused by muscular exertion of unaccustomed exercise duration and/or intensity, especially when involving muscle lengthening contractions. 297 This notion is supported by length of longest training run predicting the likelihood of HTW 290,298 and correlations between deterioration in marathon running pace and indirect haematological markers of muscle damage. 287 The performance level dependent nature of HTW 299,300 points toward the importance of salient primary appraisals of physiological sensations. ...
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Thesis
Current models of exercise regulation almost solely rely on the Gestalt phenomenon of perceived exertion. This limits a more comprehensive understanding of how cause-effect relationships come to be and how perception-action coupling determines pacing behaviour and performance fatigability. A three-dimensional framework of centrally regulated and goal-directed exercise behaviour is proposed, which differentiates between sensory-discriminatory, affective-motivational, and cognitive-evaluative processes hypothesised to underpin perceived fatigability. In short: (A) perceived physical strain and perceived mental strain are primary regulators of pacing behaviour necessary to align planned behaviour with current physiological state, (B) core affect plays a primary and mediatory role in performance regulation, and (C) the mindset- shift associated with an action crisis plays a primary role in volitional self-regulatory control and decision-making. In study one, 23 cyclists of distinct performance levels engaged in 70-km individual and head-to-head competition time trials against a performance matched opponent. Sensory constructs were primarily associated with regulation of pacing behaviour. Affective and cognitive constructs acted as context-dependent modifiers and were primarily associated with regulation of performance. A five-step structural equation modelling procedure was applied to assess the extent to which the observed data fit the hypothesised cause–effect relationships under the constraint of psychological duress: valence deterioration was found to mediate the relationship between falling-behind and action crisis, which in turn predicted increased non-adaptive endocrinological distress response, which in turn predicted performance decrement. In study two, 22 highly trained runners completed two self-paced 20-km treadmill time trials in a tapered condition and with locomotor muscle fatigue and exercise-induced muscle damage. The latter was associated with medium increases in markers of physiological distress and large alterations in perceived physical strain, affective valence, and cognitive mindset. This indicates heuristic and rational antecedents in the goal-disengagement process. Structural equation modelling confirmed the hypothesised dual-pathway model under the constraint of physical duress: haematological indicators of EIMD predicted (1) amplified physiological strain and non-adaptive endocrinological distress response and (2) increase in perceived physical strain, which mediated and predicted decrease in valence, which in turn predicted an increase in action crisis; and both physiological and perceptual effects predicted performance fatigability. The proposed framework has the potential to enrich theory development in centrally regulated and goal-directed exercise behaviour by providing novel insights into and more complete account of the dynamic and complex processes in strain-perception-thinking-action coupling during prolonged endurance exercise.
... One potential stressor of particular concern is the anticipation of "hitting the wall", which normally occurs between miles 18 and 21 (29-34 km; Buman et al. 2008b;Masters and Lambert 1989;. "Hitting the wall" is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that is beyond normal fatigue (Buman et al. 2008b), said to consist of affective (e.g., discouragement, frustration), behavioural (e.g., pace disruption, running difficulties), cognitive (e.g., anxiety, trouble focusing), motivational (e.g., desire to quit/walk, decreased motivation), and physiological (e.g., general/leg-related fatigue, cardio-respiratory) dimensions (Buman et al. 2008b), and is experienced by approximately half of all marathon runners (Buman et al. 2008a;Morgan and Pollock 1977;Summers et al. 1982). Although it is predominantly those runners who anticipate "hitting the wall" that suffer from the experience of really hitting the wall, it seems that male runners are more susceptible to this experience than female runners (Buman et al. 2008a;. ...
... "Hitting the wall" is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that is beyond normal fatigue (Buman et al. 2008b), said to consist of affective (e.g., discouragement, frustration), behavioural (e.g., pace disruption, running difficulties), cognitive (e.g., anxiety, trouble focusing), motivational (e.g., desire to quit/walk, decreased motivation), and physiological (e.g., general/leg-related fatigue, cardio-respiratory) dimensions (Buman et al. 2008b), and is experienced by approximately half of all marathon runners (Buman et al. 2008a;Morgan and Pollock 1977;Summers et al. 1982). Although it is predominantly those runners who anticipate "hitting the wall" that suffer from the experience of really hitting the wall, it seems that male runners are more susceptible to this experience than female runners (Buman et al. 2008a;. Interestingly, at least one-third of affected athletes report a lack of coping strategies in order to deal with the phenomenon (Buman et al. 2008b). ...
... Alongside such mental preparations, athletes can organize their physical training in order to be prepared on the long distance they have to cover during the marathon. Current literature indicates that athletes who complete longer distances for their longest training run are less likely to experience hitting the wall than those athletes who complete shorter distances for their longest training run (Buman et al. 2008a). Hence, in order to prevent stress and negative impacts on cognitive, affective, behavioural, motivational, and physiological dimensions resulting from hitting the wall, athletes should complete longer distances during long training runs. ...
Chapter
To successfully finish a marathon, athletes have to deal with a variety of stressful situations and demands during a race. These stressors can have different detrimental effects on athletes’ pace, performance, or well-being. In order to support athletes to effectively cope with stressors during a marathon, the present chapter gives an overview of the development and effects of stress on endurance athletes, based on the transactional model of stress and coping (Lazarus and Folkman 1984) and the cognitive-motivational-relational theory (Lazarus 1991). Furthermore, several internal and external stressors that can occur during a marathon are pre- sented, as well as their potential effects on the athlete. In addition, several coping strategies from sport psychology literature are introduced and discussed in terms of their effectiveness in specific subgroups. Finally, a stepwise approach is presented to allow athletes to prepare themselves for, and to actively deal with, the potentially stressful situations and demands during a marathon.
... Various physiological factors might contribute to the sex difference in marathon pacing, although we did not measure these. For example, men are more susceptible to muscle glycogen depletion, which can contribute to greater fatigability and -hitting the wall‖ (HTW) or dramatic marathon slowing (4,9,30,33). Men may be more susceptible to slowing because, during endurance exercise, women generally have a lower respiratory exchange ratio indicating they utilize proportionately more fat and less carbohydrate at a given intensity of exercise (7,25,34,36). ...
... In general, women possess larger proportional areas of type I muscle fibers which are more fatigue resistant especially for long duration exercise (21). Supporting this hypothesis are studies finding that men are more likely than women to report dramatic slowing or HTW (4,33). ...
... There is consensus that even (or nearly even) pacing is best for optimizing performance in races that take several hours to complete, such as the marathon (1). Furthermore, dramatic pace slowing in the marathon is associated with considerable discomfort (4,33). Our results therefore imply that women are generally more effective than men in their marathon pacing. ...
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Unlabelled: Studies on nonelite distance runners suggest that men are more likely than women to slow their pace in a marathon. Purpose: This study determined the reliability of the sex difference in pacing across many marathons and after adjusting women's performances by 12% to address men's greater maximal oxygen uptake and also incorporating information on racing experience. Methods: Data were acquired from 14 US marathons in 2011 and encompassed 91,929 performances. For 2929 runners, we obtained experience data from a race-aggregating Web site. We operationalized pace maintenance as the percentage change in pace observed in the second half of the marathon relative to the first half. Pace maintenance was analyzed as a continuous variable and as two categorical variables, as follows: "maintain the pace," defined as slowing <10%, and "marked slowing," defined as slowing ≥30%. Results: The mean change in pace was 15.6% and 11.7% for men and women, respectively (P < 0.0001). This sex difference was significant for all 14 marathons. The odds for women were 1.46 (95% confidence interval, 1.41-1.50; P < 0.0001) times higher than men to maintain the pace and 0.36 (95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.38; P < 0.0001) times that of men to exhibit marked slowing. Slower finishing times were associated with greater slowing, especially in men (interaction, P < 0.0001). However, the sex difference in pacing occurred across age and finishing time groups. Making the 12% adjustment to women's performances lessened the magnitude of the sex difference in pacing but not its occurrence. Although greater experience was associated with less slowing, controlling for the experience variables did not eliminate the sex difference in pacing. Conclusions: The sex difference in pacing is robust. It may reflect sex differences in physiology, decision making, or both.
... It can be deduced that their previous experience with the sport or activity influenced their expectations of the task at hand. Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, and Petitpas (2008a) also found that individuals who had previous experience with -hitting the wall‖ were more likely to have expectations of hitting the wall than those with no experience of -hitting the wall.‖ Thus, it is likely that exposure to a novel exertion-pain experience will influence pain expectations. ...
... Recently, Buman et al. (2008a) found that expectations of -hitting the wall‖ were related to the actual experience of hitting the wall during a marathon race. Reports of prerace expectation of hitting the wall were associated with increased risk for hitting the wall during the race. ...
... Reports of prerace expectation of hitting the wall were associated with increased risk for hitting the wall during the race. Buman et al. (2008a) suggest that it is likely that the expectations about hitting the wall influence the way in which symptoms during the marathon were attended to and interpreted. In subsequent research, Bunam, Brewer, and Cornelius (2009), found that expectations of hitting the wall were the highest predictor for -hitting the wall‖ during marathon running. ...
Article
The aim of the present study was to further the conceptual understanding of exertion-pain anxiety. Specifically, the purposes were to induce exertion-pain anxiety, evaluate the effect of wait times on exertion-pain anxiety, and investigate the mechanisms of exertion-pain anxiety through the lens of Lazarus’ cognitive-motivational-relational (CMR) theory (1991). Eighty-one college students (40 females, 41 males) were recruited to participate in the study. As a catalyst for exertion-pain, participants assigned to the experimental condition were exposed to a modified Wingate Test on two occasions that were separated by either 15 or 30 minutes depending upon condition assignment. Control participants engaged in a moderate cycle ride. MANOVA analyses revealed significant differences among the experimental and control conditions on pain expectations, anxiety, and pain rumination. Significant differences were not revealed between wait time conditions. Results revealed that anxiety scores increased for participants in the experimental condition from time one to time two. These findings support the notion that anxiety can be induced by exposure to a pain-inducing exercise task. In testing the three components of Lazarus’ CMR theory, results indicated that pain expectations and self-efficacy, were predictors of anxiety prior to the first task. Pain expectations were the only significant predictor of anxiety prior to the second task. Coping was not a significant predictor at either time. Overall, it appears that exertion-pain anxiety may not be fully explained using Lazarus’ model. Discussion concerns the utility of implementing socially based models or theories to explain responses that are physically based.
... From a physiological point of view, the body produces feelings of discomfort to inform the brain that the body is being pushed to its limits (i.e., running relatively fast) and that negative consequences (e.g., passing out; long-term damage to muscles or organs) could occur if the workload is not decreased (Tucker and Noakes, 2009). Runners typically experience substantial discomfort toward the end of the marathon, particularly if they are slowing substantially (e.g., "hitting the wall") (Buman et al., 2008), and runners are generally aware of this possibility (Smits et al., 2014). Given this possibility and the trade-offs discussed in the RTP paragraph above, we predict that greater WSM will be associated with greater slowing. ...
... First, we assessed pacing by assessing first and second half split times, so we were unable to identify when slowing typically began. Other studies report that slowing becomes pronounced in the final 10-15 km of the marathon (Buman et al., 2008;Ely et al., 2008;March et al., 2011). Second, we did not account for the substantial pacing variation that may be associated with particular weather conditions and marathon courses (Ely et al., 2008;Trubee et al., 2014). ...
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Article
Much research has explored the physiological, energetic, environmental, and psychological factors that influence pacing in endurance events. Although this research has generally neglected the role of psychological variation across individuals, recent studies have hinted at its importance. Here we conducted an online survey of over 1,300 marathon runners, testing whether any of five psychological constructs – competitiveness, goal achievement, risk taking in pace (RTP), domain-specific risk taking, and willingness to suffer in the marathon – predicted slowing in runners’ most recent marathons. Analyses revealed that RTP – the extent to which runners agreed that they began the marathon at a pace that was so fast that it would jeopardize their capacity to maintain this pace throughout the event – was a robust predictor of marathon slowing. RTP proved a substantial predictor even in regression models controlling for the other psychological constructs, training, experience, and other known pacing correlates. This result suggests that marathoners consider trade-offs when making pacing decisions, and that individuals vary in their pacing decision making.
... Among endurance athletes, including distance runners, cyclists, and others, exhausting physiologic carbohydrate reserves is referred to as 'hitting the wall' or 'bonking,' and athletes engage in a variety of practices, collectively known as 'carbohydrate loading,' designed to avoid such catastrophic failure. A recent set of studies suggests that more than 40% of runners 'hit the wall' during a typical marathon (and that the primary risk factors for 'hitting the wall' are male gender, running a maximum distance of 20 miles or less during training, and expecting to 'hit the wall') [2,3] . Correspondingly , energy management has traditionally been perhaps the greatest area of physiologic uncertainty in marathon running: How much carbohydrate does a given runner require to complete the race, and how can a particular runner avoid exhausting his or her carbohydrate reserves, knowing that such depletion will result in a drastic, abrupt, and painful decrease in performance? ...
... The modal finishing time in large marathons open to all runners is between four and five hours.Figure 2 illustrates that the typical distribution of marathon finishing times, as presented by Sabhapandit and colleagues [27], is consistent with the population distribution of _ V VO 2max , which falls between approximately 35 and 45 mLO 2 min {1 kg {1 for men below the age of 50 ( _ V VO 2max is systematically lower among women, and declines with age in men and women) [28]. Typical levels of glycogen loading permit runners with _ V VO 2max between approximately 35 and 45 mLO 2 min {1 kg {1 to complete a marathon safely in between four and five hours, as indicated by the intersections of the corresponding curves with the lower border of the 'Glycogen Loading to Supercompensation' region inFigure 2. Buman and colleagues have shown that the likelihood of 'hitting the wall' during a marathon exhibits a peak around mile 21 (kilometer 33–34), followed by a sharp decline [2,3]. Popular accounts of endurance running often either argue through approximation that physiologic human glycogen reserves are insufficient to fuel a marathon (propagating the myth that 'hitting the wall' is inevitable), or imply that maximal glycogen loading is a universal requirement for runners attempting to complete a marathon. ...
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Article
Each year in the past three decades has seen hundreds of thousands of runners register to run a major marathon. Of those who attempt to race over the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometers), more than two-fifths experience severe and performance-limiting depletion of physiologic carbohydrate reserves (a phenomenon known as 'hitting the wall'), and thousands drop out before reaching the finish lines (approximately 1-2% of those who start). Analyses of endurance physiology have often either used coarse approximations to suggest that human glycogen reserves are insufficient to fuel a marathon (making 'hitting the wall' seem inevitable), or implied that maximal glycogen loading is required in order to complete a marathon without 'hitting the wall.' The present computational study demonstrates that the energetic constraints on endurance runners are more subtle, and depend on several physiologic variables including the muscle mass distribution, liver and muscle glycogen densities, and running speed (exercise intensity as a fraction of aerobic capacity) of individual runners, in personalized but nevertheless quantifiable and predictable ways. The analytic approach presented here is used to estimate the distance at which runners will exhaust their glycogen stores as a function of running intensity. In so doing it also provides a basis for guidelines ensuring the safety and optimizing the performance of endurance runners, both by setting personally appropriate paces and by prescribing midrace fueling requirements for avoiding 'the wall.' The present analysis also sheds physiologically principled light on important standards in marathon running that until now have remained empirically defined: The qualifying times for the Boston Marathon.
... The first urban tour marathon race was held in New York City in 1976, resulting in the spread of marathons throughout the region [6]. According to a USA Track and Field 2004 marathon report, in the United States alone, an estimated 400,000 people were completing marathon races yearly [7]. Marathons are one of the most popular sporting activities in Taiwan, with the number of participants increasing from year to year. ...
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Article
In this study, we applied an evaluation model of multiple attributes of sport-based tourism to the marketing strategy for a marathon event in Kinmen (Taiwan) based on a choice experiment methodology. We found that the participants appreciated the experience of authentic cuisine and the availability of marathon souvenirs. They also preferred engaging in ecotourism activities and supporting the establishment of a sport development fund. We applied market segmentation by dividing the participants into two groups. Those in the first group were primarily younger, had higher incomes, and had participated previously in the Kinmen Marathon. Those in the second group primarily had lower incomes, were over 40 years old, and were participating in the Kinmen Marathon for the first time. Both groups preferred entertainment, educational, and esthetic experiences, but only the first group desired an escapist experience. We propose three marketing strategies for sport tourism experiences as a reference for future practice in Kinmen sport tourism.
... However, ill-advised pacing remains the biggest problem for recreational marathoners as many runners continue to "hit the wall" late in the marathon due to their pacing strategies [8]. More than 80% of runners who "hit the wall" during a marathon report cardio-respiratory distress-increases and decreases in heart rate (HR) and feeling a general malaise and burnout after the 30th km [9]. The marathon is the ultimate exercise in both intensity and duration. ...
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Article
Exercise physiologists and coaches prescribe heart rate zones (between 65 and 80% of maximal heart rate, HRmax) during a marathon because it supposedly represents specific metabolic zones and the percentage of O2max below the lactate threshold. The present study tested the hypothesis that the heart rate does not reflect the oxygen uptake of recreational runners during a marathon and that this dissociation would be more pronounced in the lower performers’ group (>4 h). While wearing a portable gas exchange system, ten male endurance runners performed an incremental test on the road to determine O2max, HRmax, and anaerobic threshold. Two weeks later, the same subjects ran a marathon with the same device for measuring the gas exchanges and HR continuously. The %HRmax remained stable after the 5th km (between 88% and 91%, p = 0.27), which was not significantly different from the %HRmax at the ventilatory threshold (89 ± 4% vs. 93 ± 6%, p = 0.12). However, the %O2max and percentage of the speed associated with O2max decreased during the marathon (81 ± 5 to 74 ± 5 %O2max and 72 ± 9 to 58 ± 14 %vO2max, p < 0.0001). Hence, the ratio between %HRmax and %O2max increased significantly between the 5th and the 42nd km (from 1.01 to 1.19, p = < 0.001). In conclusion, pacing during a marathon according to heart rate zones is not recommended. Rather, learning about the relationship between running sensations during training and racing using RPE is optimal.
... These findings are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that a large amount of muscle activation impairments is obtained early on a self-paced exercise (Azevedo et al., 2019). The widely recognized critical point associated to fatigue in marathon race, known as "hitting the wall, " and characterized by a late-race slowdown (Buman et al., 2008), was not observed when performing group statistics in our study. The fact that a majority of our participants were not "hitting the wall, " shown by a reasonably stable running speed, might explain why we do not observe additional significant alterations of the biomechanical parameters during the second part (between S5 and S8). ...
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Understanding the influence of running-induced acute fatigue on the homeostasis of the body is essential to mitigate the adverse effects and optimize positive adaptations to training. Fatigue is a multifactorial phenomenon, which influences biomechanical, physiological, and psychological facets. This work aimed to assess the evolution of these three facets with acute fatigue during a half-marathon. 13 recreational runners were equipped with one inertial measurement unit (IMU) on each foot, one combined global navigation satellite system-IMU-electrocardiogram sensor on the chest, and an Android smartphone equipped with an audio recording application. Spatio-temporal parameters for the running gait, along with the heart rate, its variability and complexity were computed using validated algorithms. Perceived fatigability was assessed using the rating-of-fatigue (ROF) scale at every 10 min of the race. The data was split into eight equal segments, corresponding to at least one ROF value per segment, and only level running parts were retained for analysis. During the race, contact time, duty factor, and trunk anteroposterior acceleration increased, and the foot strike angle and vertical stiffness decreased significantly. Heart rate showed a progressive increase, while the metrics for heart rate variability and complexity decreased during the race. The biomechanical parameters showed a significant alteration even with a small change in perceived fatigue, whereas the heart rate dynamics altered at higher changes. When divided into two groups, the slower runners presented a higher change in heart rate dynamics throughout the race than the faster runners; they both showed similar trends for the gait parameters. When tested for linear and non-linear correlations, heart rate had the highest association with biomechanical parameters, while the trunk anteroposterior acceleration had the lowest association with heart rate dynamics. These results indicate the ability of faster runners to better judge their physiological limits and hint toward a higher sensitivity of perceived fatigue to neuromuscular changes in the running gait. This study highlights measurable influences of acute fatigue, which can be studied only through concurrent measurement of biomechanical, physiological, and psychological facets of running in real-world conditions.
... However there are no intergender differences in the dependence between neuroticism and motivation [Anshel, Kaissidis 1997; Anshel, Sutarso 2007; Twenge 1997]. There are differences in the engagement of women in contact sport which, to much extent, are a consequence of the stereotypization of the gender-related roles [Buman et al. 2008;Nien, Duda 2008]. Stereotypization affects the behaviours of parents and thus the convictions of young sportspeople of both sexes [Burnet, Sabiston 2009;Tenenbaum, Connolly 2008]. ...
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Background and objective. Differences in the psyche of sportsmen and sportswomen are ambiguous. However they can be seen in contact sports. This study has been an attempt at evaluating the personality profile of women practising contact sports. Material and methods. The study involved the best Polish female karate kyokushin competitors (n=30) and female handball players (n=30) aged 20-29. The method incorporated the use of the NEO-FFI questionnaire. The statistical analysis was made with Statistica 13.1 software. Results. The female karate kyokushin competitors and female handball players differ from each other (raw score) on the scales of extraversion, openness to experience and conscientiousness. In sten scores, on the other hand, the significant difference between the groups studied was only at the scale of openness to experience. Conclusions. The personality profile of the female contact sports competitors incorporates average neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience and compliance as well as high conscientiousness. The differences in the personality scales are a result of the specific nature of the sports discipline, individual or team sports, practised. The personality indicator which differentiates men from women is neuroticism.
... In this line, the metabolic demands, that produce a depletion of glycogen stores leading in runners to the famous "hitting the wall" and producing an increased avoidance behaviour which also precludes half-marathon runner to step into the distance of marathon (Buman, Omli, Giacobbi, & Brewer, 2008). This fact is also more prevalent among men than among women and may be influenced by expectancy, a fact that could also influence the gender differences in the number of finishers (Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Petitpas, 2008). ...
Article
The aim of the present study was to examine the number of finishers and performance trends in 10 km, half-marathon and marathon races in Oslo. Data (total 115,725 finishers; women, n = 50,595; men, n = 65,130) from 10 km, half-marathon and marathon races in Oslo from 2008 to 2018 were analysed considering number, sex, age and running speed of finishers. The total men-to-women ratio was the smallest in the 10 km race (0.60) and the largest in the marathon (3.86) (p < 0.01, φ = 0.28). In both women and men, the slowest running speed was shown in the older age groups (p < 0.01). Based on the findings of the present study, it was concluded that relatively more women finished a 10 km and less a half-marathon and a marathon. Our results indicated that the sex difference in performance was attenuated in the longer race distances and older age groups.
... Aforementioned sex differences could also have psycholo- gical background. Namely, men often have a tendency towards the fast start of the race (Deaner et al., 2015), thus increasing blood lactate level or exhausting muscle glycogen levels earlier in the race, often called "hitting the wall" (Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Petitpas, 2008;Coyle, 2007). Therefore, the further assessment of pacing in men and women, regarding both marathon and half-marathon, would be beneficial for sport scientists as well as coaches working with both marathon and half-marathon runners. ...
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The main aim of the present study was to examine differences in pacing between half-marathon and marathon in men and women. A total of 17,525 finishers in the marathon (n=4,807 men; n=1,278 women) and half-marathon race (n=7,624 men; n= 3816 women) in Vienna 2017 were considered.Their pacing was assessedthrough five race segments (0-23.7%, 23.7-47.4%, 47.4-71.1%, 71.1-94.8% and 94.8-100%) of the race. Compared to marathon, [where absolute average change of speed (ACS) was 5.46% and 4.12% in men and women, respectively], a more even pacing was observed in half-marathon in both sexes (ACS=3.60% and 3.36% in men and women, respectively). The more even pacing in women previously observed in marathon races was verified in half-marathon, too. However, the sex difference in pacing was smaller in half-marathon than in marathon. Since men and women endurance runners participate in both races, sport practitioners would have great benefit from these results, since they could establish sex based personalized race strategies and training programs. Keywords: aerobic capacity; endurance; gender; performance; running
... Based on theories of gender roles and stereotypes, Hanek, Garcia, & Tor (2016) showed that women, relative to men, prefer to enter smaller compared with larger competitions, and suggested that women and men do not differ in abilities but rather in their response to competition. Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Petitpas (2008) found that men were more likely to experience a "hitting the wall" phenomenon during the marathon, for which they speculated two possible explanations: the first one was physiological, lying on differences in fat storage; the second one was psychological, attributing the differences to men being more competitive, and therefore more likely to push the pace, in agreement with other studies cited here. The results are also in the line of some psychoneuroendocrinology research, where sex differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses have been found under stress conditions (Kudielka, Buske-Kirschbaum, Hellhammer, & | 2019 | ISSUE -| VOLUME --© 2019 University of Alicante Kirschbaum, 2004). ...
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Prior to a marathon race, we conducted a cross sectional study with 122 male and 18 female recreational runners at the Expo. Demographic information, running experience, competition level, training details, goal and finishing times, and PODIUM questionnaire on psychological state variables were collected. Motivation, training volume, experience, and relative performance were comparable between male and female marathon runners. However, men were more ambitious and perceived higher self-confidence and fitness, although overestimated their goals (Mdif = -10.4, SD = 16.7] minutes, p < .001). Women perceived higher social support, reported higher anxiety levels, were more accurate in their estimates (Mdif = -0.1, SD = 17.2 minutes, p = .988). Women were also more open than men to consult with (RR = 3.39, 95% CI [1.14, 10.11]) and to remunerate (RR = 1.47, 95% CI [1.18, 1.83]) sport psychologists. Differences in competitiveness might be explained by orientation to competition, personal identity, gender roles and stereotypes, or other physiologic mechanisms. Together with the tendency in men athletes to less likely seek help, been aware of these tendencies could be of help for both sport psychologists and coaches when working with marathon runners.
... The current findings demonstrate that running with LMMF and mild EIMD caused medium-sized physiological and large-sized perceptual effects that were associated with discrete and poignant onset of unintended alteration in performance fatigability and observed pacing behaviour, thereby closely resembling defining characteristics of the 'hitting the wall' phenomenon [77,78]. It is further suggested that much of the variance in response to running with LMMF and mild EIMD can be explained by the dynamic and complex interactions between the investigated psychophysiological determinants of pacing behaviour and performance during prolonged endurance exercise. ...
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Background: Locomotor muscle fatigue (LMMF) and exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) are common conditions experienced during long-distance running due to the pooled effect of mechanical and metabolic strain on the locomotor muscles. However, little is known about the instant effects of combined LMMF and EIMD on pacing behaviour and performance during the decisive final stages of 'real-world' long-distance running events. Methods: Twenty-two highly trained runners (11 females) completed two maximal self-paced 20-km treadmill time trials in a counterbalanced crossover design: (A) in a tapered condition and (B) with LMMF and EIMD. Indicators of muscle damage, muscle metabolic strain, and endocrinological stress were assessed to investigate the physiological effects, and a three-dimensional framework of perceived fatigability was applied to investigate the perceptual effects of running with LMMF and EIMD on performance fatigability. Results: LMMF and EIMD caused restrictions in work capacity and medium increases in blood leucocyte and neutrophil count, interleukin-6, and cortisol concentrations, collectively constituting a physiological milieu likely not conducive to high performance. LMMF and EIMD further caused large increases in perceived physical strain and large decreases in valence as well as large increases and decreases in action crisis and flow state, respectively. Conclusions: Under the constraint of amplified physical duress, findings are suggestive of heuristic and rational antecedents in the goal disengagement process. Dynamic changes in physiological and perceptual effects of LMMF and EIMD are hypothesised to underpin the observed alterations in pacing behaviour and performance fatigability during long-distance running. The applied three-dimensional framework provides a more comprehensive understanding of strain-perception-thinking-action coupling in centrally regulated and goal-directed exercise behaviour.
... in this case, knowledge obtained for athletic long-distance runners, including on tactics of running, is valuable for cross-country skiers. Studies of Buman et al. 43 suggest that more than 40% of runners experience exhausting of physiological carbohydrate reserves (referred to as 'hitting the wall') during a typical marathon. according to Matthew et al. 44 only in the united States during the period 2000-2009 there were 28 deaths during the marathon race and up to 24 hours after finishing. ...
Article
Background: Within several investigated endurance sport disciplines the distribution of load of the best competitors has a manner of evenly or slightly rising velocity values. Unfortunately many other competitors have usually diminishing values or when they are very poor they have evenly values. The aim of this study was to investigate distribution of velocity within 30-km cross-country female skiers. Methods: Cross-country skiing runs were investigated of Olympic Games 2002-2014 (Salt Lake City, Turin, Vancouver, Sochi). At every race two 15 km or three 10 km loops of the same vertical profile were taken into account. The competitors were divided onto: A - winners, B - medallists, C - competitors who obtained places 4 to 10 at the finish line (medium runners), D - competitors who obtained places 11 to 30 at the finish line (poor runners). Velocity data presented on the web pages of several institutions were utilized. Results: The competitors had their velocity distributed in a manner with usually diminishing values. While comparing velocity of sequential loops with the mean velocity the difference for the poor runners reached the value of almost 6 %, which was too high. There was significant (usually negative) correlation coefficient between values of velocity deviation for the first and second loops and the mean value of velocity for the entire distance for the better runners and mixed, i.e. positive and negative values for the poorer runners. Conclusions: It was postulated investigations of velocity distribution should be introduced in coaching in order to inform competitors about their running. This advise is especially important for the poorer runners. Up to now cross country skiers run for themselves. It should be discussed whether the tactics used by road and track runners, i.e. running with pace makers, can be introduced in cross country skiing. Also the use of a drone during training can be used in order to maintain proper pace.
... 38 As a result of males being more competitive, they have a 1.8 higher prevalence of " hitting the wall" in marathons. 39 This established sex difference in competitiveness and its influence on pacing could, together with the previously mentioned physiological factors, be a contributing factor to why males ski faster than females in the first half of the VSR. Generally, for any given level of talent and training, there is a 10%-12% sex-related difference in endurance performance. ...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate pacing-profile differences during the 90 km Vasaloppet ski race related to the categories of sex, age, and race experience. Skiing times from eight sections (S1 to S8) were analyzed. For each of the three categories, 400 pairs of skiers were matched to have a finish time within 60 seconds, the same start group, and an assignment to the same group for the other two categories. Paired-samples Student's t-tests were used to investigate sectional pacing-profile differences between the subgroups. Results showed that males skied faster in S2 (P=0.0042), S3 (P=0.0049), S4 (P=0.010), and S1-S4 (P<0.001), whereas females skied faster in S6 (P<0.001), S7 (P<0.001), S8 (P=0.0088), and S5-S8 (P<0.001). For the age category, old subjects (40 to 59 years) skied faster than young subjects (19 to 39 years) in S3 (P=0.0029), and for the other sections, there were no differences. Experienced subjects (≥4 Vasaloppet ski race completions) skied faster in S1 (P<0.001) and S1-S4 (P=0.0054); inexperienced skiers (<4 Vasaloppet ski race completions) had a shorter mean skiing time in S5-S8 (P=0.0063). In conclusion, females had a more even pacing profile than that of males with the same finish time, start group, age, and race experience. No clear age-related pacing-profile difference was identified for the matched subgroups. Moreover, experienced skiers skied faster in the first half whereas inexperienced skiers had higher skiing speeds during the second half of the race.
... In addition, literature specific to running was also covered in order to educate team members on "running basics." For example, the SC RPT members reviewed the physiological and psychological characteristics of "hitting the wall" (Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Petitpas, 2008) as well as the many different motivations that runners may have to participate in distance races (Newcomer, 2009;Ogles, & Masters, 2000). For example, the most important motivations for train- ...
... Ultra marathons such as the Comrades are classified as " endurance or ultra-races " (Jeffrey, 2010), that require perseverance, dedication and strenuous training programmes (Buman et al., 2008). Masters and Ogles (1995) and Stoll et al. (2000) found that the distance of the event trained for and participated in has a significant effect on athletes " reasons for running and McGehee et al. (2003) showed that individuals with high levels of enduring involvement in endurance running have an increase in the frequency of participation in running events, overnight travel to running events and spending on running related goods and services. ...
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Marathon runners' motives vary, and differ from marathon to marathon depending on the type of race. This study determined the motives of Comrades Marathon runners in order to identify and profile the market segments competing in this ultra-marathon. Intrinsic achievement, exploration and competitiveness, family togetherness and escape, socialisation and commitment were identified as the five main motives, and from these two distinct segments were classified: recreational runners and serious runners. The research showed that the typical (real) comrade of the Comrades Marathon is a person who combines the attributes of the two clusters, serious and recreational athletes, where intrinsic achievement and commitment are key motives. The study, the first of its kind at an ultra-marathon in South Africa, fills a gap in the existing literature and contributes to the literature not only on sport events but also on marathons and ultra-marathon participants in particular. It corroborates the finding that motives for participating differ according to the sporting event, and supports the view that marketers and sports event organisers must understand that participants have different motives and so should not be regarded as a homogeneous group. This type of research is valuable to organisers, as it assists in making informed and cost-effective marketing and product development decisions.
... In terms of psychological variables, researchers have examined the relationship between distance runners and self-esteem (Hulley & Hill, 2001;Shipway & Holloway, 2010), sport motivations (Krouse, Ransdell, Lucas, & Pritchard, 2011;Ogles & Masters, 2000), personality profiles (Deaner, 2013;Egloff & Jan Gruhn, 1996;Solanki, 2008), perceptions of "hitting the wall" (Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, & Petitpas, 2008;Buman, Omli, Giacobbi, & Brewer, 2008;Stevinson & Biddle, 1998), confidence (Donohue, et al., 2006;Martin & Gill, 1991), affective states (Vasilica, Cristina, Iulian, Georgeta, & Radu, 2013), body image (Karr, et al., 2013;Ryujin, Breaux, & Marks, 2000), perceptions of sensory experiences (Allen-Collinson & Hockey, 2011;Hockey, 2013), goal setting (Krouse, et al., 2011), and psychological skills/ strategies use (Kruger, Pienaar, Du Plessis, & Van Rensburg, 2012;Lind, Welch, & Ekkekakis, 2009). In general, findings from these lines of research conclude that runners who scored higher in variables such as positive affective states, motivation, and psychological skills use are more likely to perform better than runners who scored lower on those variables. ...
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Distance running is popular throughout the USA, and to date it has received much attention in the sport psychology literature. One limitation, however, is the retrospective nature of most current research. Subsequently, the present study examined real-time thought processes of runners recorded during a long-distance run. The think-aloud protocol was used with 10 participants ranging in age from 29 to 52 years old (M = 41.3 years, SD = 7.3). Qualitative analysis of the data identified meaning units, which were grouped into major themes. A final thematic structure revealed three major themes that characterised the participant’s thought processes: Pace and Distance, Pain and Discomfort, and Environment. Taken together, the present results extend previous research on running and provide a number of suggestions for sport psychology consultants working with runners.
... Often, ethnographical and qualitative methodologies dominate in descriptions of both the methods and the analyses used, and no reference is made to phenomenology as a practice of philosophical reflection (e.g. Shepherd et al. 2006, Buman et al. 2008, Grant 2008, Warriner and Lavallee 2008, Neiuwenhuys et al. 2011. We agree with Allen-Collinson that phenomenological insights must somehow be actualised and used in articles claiming a phenomenology-related approach. ...
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Based on a single case study of a Danish elite golfer, this article focuses on describing the different ways in which the golfer experiences the physicality of her body during training. The aim of the article is to explore how phenomenological insights concerning self-consciousness can be used actively in the analyses of the golfer’s descriptions to better understand how the embodied expertise is practised in her training. The descriptions of the elite golfer’s daily practice were generated using a combination of participant observations and interviews. Drawing on phenomenological insights, we suggest that the golfer’s experience of the physicality of her body can be considered in relation to three possible dimensions of self-consciousness: a pre-reflective subject-related dimension, a reflective object-directed dimension and a pre-reflective performative dimension. The pre-reflective performative dimension is to be understood as a non-objectifying dimension of subjects experience and, in the present case, appears central to how the golfer adjusts and reshapes her technical skills. The golfer exemplifies how a possible pre-reflective performative dimension reflects the overall ‘feeling’ of the moving body. From a methodological perspective, the analysis of the single case study also exemplifies how phenomenological insights might concretely influence the analysis of an actual practice and how the achieved understanding can be important to the further development of elite athletes’ expert training.
... Others (7,23,26) reported that women tended toward a lower respiratory exchange ratio (RER) than men during submaximal endurance exercise, suggesting a preference for oxidizing fat for energy whereas sparing glycogen. This, in turn, can delay "hitting the wall," a phenomenon where glycogen stores in the body are depleted (5,9,23,26), thus contributing to the characteristic precipitous decrease in run velocity. Women also tend to have a larger surface area-to-mass ratio than men (8,16,24), allowing them to dissipate a larger percentage of heat produced because of running. ...
Article
Recent research suggests that women tend to exhibit less of a precipitous decline in run velocity during the latter stages of a marathon than men when the covariates of age and run time are controlled for. The purpose of this study was to examine this sex effect with the added covariate of heat stress on pacing, defined as the mean velocity of the last 12.2 kilometers divided by the mean velocity of the first 30 kilometers. A secondary purpose of this investigation was to compare the pacing profiles of the elite male and female runners as well as the pacing profiles of the elite and non-elite runners. Subjects included 22,990 men and 13,233 women runners from the 2007 and 2009 Chicago marathons for which the mean ambient temperatures were 26.67 °C and 2.77 °C, respectively. Each 5 kilometer split time was measured via an electronic chip worn on the participants' shoe. Multiple regression analysis indicated that age, sex, heat stress, and overall finish time (p<0.01 for each) were simultaneous independent elements of pacing. Non-elite women were consistently better pacers than non-elite men in both marathons and this sex difference was magnified from cold to warm race temperatures. No difference (p<0.05) in pacing was found between elite male and female runners. Elite males and females had enhanced pacing over their non-elite counterparts. In hotter temperatures, coaches of novice runners should advise their athletes to implement a slower initial velocity in order to maintain or increase running velocity later in the race.
... The researchers also reinforced the assertions of Morgan (1978) that dissociative strategies are linked to more frequent reports of HTW. A recent study by Buman, Brewer, Cornelius, Van Raalte, and Petitpas (2008) found a somewhat lower frequency of HTW (43%) than previous research, yet did replicate the gender differences originally reported by Stevinson and Biddle (1998). Buman et al. also found that after controlling for gender and previous performance and training variation, expectation of HTW was positively predictive of actual reports of HTW in a given marathon. ...
Article
Little attention has been given to how endurance sport athletes cope with periods of extreme physical duress. This study explored behavioral and psychological characteristics and coping responses associated with “hitting the Wall” (HTW) using inductive grounded theory analytic procedures (Charmaz, 20005. Charmaz , K. 2000. “Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods”. In Handbook of qualitative research, Edited by: Denzin , N. K. and Lincoln , Y. S. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. View all references). Marathon runners (N = 57; M age = 41.79 yrs) were recruited from two online marathon listserves with members who are experienced, recreational marathon runners. Characteristics and coping responses of HTW included many physiological and psychological descriptors that led to race-related physical coping efforts (e.g., supplementation/hydration), emotion-focused coping (e.g., social support), and cognitive strategies (e.g., willpower, mental reframing). Extreme physical duress during endurance sport performance may provide an ideal context in which to study coping responses to physiological stress. Findings point toward the need to develop effective interventions that rely on multiple coping strategies in response to extreme physical challenges.
... mail after marathon completion. was used to obtain marathon performance data and occurrence ofHTW. Participants were asked whether they HTW. and if so. at which mile it occurred. This paper describes a secondary data analysis of previously published work. A full explanation of study procedures and participant characteristics is provided elsewhere (Buman. Brewer. et al.. 2008). ...
Article
ObjectiveRecent literature has begun to describe and identify predictors of hitting the wall among recreational marathon runners. Our purpose was to extend previous findings by exploring the relative probability of when runners of various risk profiles hit the wall and to describe the overall functional form of risk over the course of a marathon.MethodSurvival methods and discrete-time hazard modeling were used to model self-reported hitting the wall occurrence data among 324 recreational marathon runners from four Eastern Seaboard marathons.ResultsThe combinative effects of male gender, running 20 miles or less in training, and expectancy, showed the greatest probability of hitting the wall at any timepoint of the marathon. The shape of hitting the wall risk appeared to most closely fit a cubic form with a dramatic incline of risk peaking at mile 21 followed by a precipitous decline.ConclusionThese findings further clarify under what circumstances recreational marathon runners are most and least likely to hit the wall and contributes to the formation of a conceptual definition of the phenomenon.
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Background and aim. Kickboxing is a full-contact combat sport that has evolved from the knockdown formula characteristics of Kyokushin karate. The aim of the article was to attempt to determine the personality of people training in Kyokushin karate and kickboxing. Material and method. The study involved people practicing Kyokushin karate (n1 = 30) and kickboxing (n2 = 30) aged 18 to 29. There were 15 women and 15 men in each sample. The NEO-FFI Personality Questionnaire [Costa Jr., McCrae 2007] was the method used. Results. The personalities of the karate Kyokushin and kickboxing athletes were at a similar level in all personality dimensions: low neuroticism, high extraversion and conscientiousness, average openness to experience and agreeableness. But women (in general) were more neurotic, extroverted, and conscientious and less open to experiences in relation to men; agreeableness was at a similar level. Women training in Kyokushin karate were more neurotic and conscientious, and less open to experience than men from the same combat sports. Women training in kickboxing were more extroverted and conciliatory to men in the same combat sports. Conclusions. People competing in the knockdown formula are no different from those competing in the full contact formula and from athletes from other disciplines in all personality traits. Gender is an important personality determinant among combat sports practitioners.
Chapter
Appropriate nutrition is defined as the adequate and balanced consumption of basic nutritional elements for reasons such as supplying the energy needs of our body, protecting our health, realizing physical growth and development, treating diseases and/or injuries in our body, adapting to training and increasing the effectiveness of training (Zorba 1999). Proper nutrition has a very effective role in maximizing sportive performance, adaptating to highly intensive and intensity training, and recovery after this training. In short, optimal nutrition is regarded as one of the most important factors affecting success in sports (Rodriguez et al. 2009).
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For marathoners the taper refers to a period of reduced training load in the weeks before race-day. It helps runners to recover from the stresses of weeks of high-volume, high-intensity training to enhance race-day performance. The aim of this study was to analyse the taper strategies of recreational runners to determine whether particular forms of taper were more or less favorable to race-day performance. Methods: We analyzed the training activities of more than 158,000 recreational marathon runners to define tapers based on a decrease in training volume (weekly distance). We identified different types of taper based on a combination of duration (1–4 weeks of decreasing training) and discipline (strict tapers progressively decrease training in the weeks before the marathon, relaxed tapers do not) and we grouped runners based on their taper type to determine the popularity of different types of taper and their associated performance characteristics. Results: Kruskal-Wallis tests (H(7)≥ 521.11, p < 0.001), followed by posthoc Dunns tests with a Bonferroni correction, confirmed that strict tapers were associated with better marathon performance than relaxed tapers ( p < 0.001) and that longer tapers of up to 3 weeks were associated with better performance than shorter tapers ( p < 0.001). Results indicated that strict 3-week tapers were associated with superior marathon finish-time benefits (a median finish-time saving of 5 min 32.4 s or 2.6%) compared with a minimal taper ( p < 0.001). We further found that female runners were associated with greater finish-time benefits than men, for a given taper type ( ≤ 3-weeks in duration), based on Mann Whitney U tests of significance with p < 0.001. Conclusion: The findings of this study for recreational runners are consistent with related studies on highly-trained athletes, where disciplined tapers were associated with comparable performance benefits. The findings also highlight how most recreational runners (64%) adopt less disciplined (2-week and 3-week) tapers and suggest that shifting to a more disciplined taper strategy could improve performance relative to the benefits of a less disciplined taper.
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Every year millions of people, from all walks of life, spend months training to run a traditional marathon. For some it is about becoming fit enough to complete the gruelling 26.2 mile (42.2 km) distance. For others, it is about improving their fitness, to achieve a new personal-best finish-time. In this paper, we argue that the complexities of training for a marathon, combined with the availability of real-time activity data, provide a unique and worthwhile opportunity for machine learning and for recommender systems techniques to support runners as they train, race, and recover. We present a number of case studies—a mix of original research plus some recent results—to highlight what can be achieved using the type of activity data that is routinely collected by the current generation of mobile fitness apps, smart watches, and wearable sensors.
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The wall is an iconic feature of the marathon. If runners hit the wall, usually around the 30km (20mi) mark, their pace slows dramatically, leaving them to struggle to the finish-line. While the physiology of the wall is reasonably well understood – a critical combination of fatigue and a lack of available fuel as the body’s glycogen stores become depleted – its actual impact is less well studied. In this paper we present a large-scale data-driven study of how and when recreational marathon runners hit the wall. We do this by analysing the pacing patterns of almost 60,000 runners across more than 250 races. The main contributions are: (1) an operational definition of the wall by identifying its key pacing features; and (2) and analysis of hitting the wall for runners, based on their age, gender and ability, using this definition.
Article
Die vorliegende explorative Anwendungsstudie analysiert phasenbezogen die psychische Beanspruchung von Marathonläuferinnen und Marathonläufern, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des „Hitting the Wall“-Phänomens. Hierfür wurden weibliche und männliche Marathonläufer (N=178) in einer Querschnittsstudie mittels eines sportartspezifischen Fragebogens untersucht. Der 26 Items umfassende Fragebogen besteht aus vier Subskalen, welche die Phasen des Trainings, der Anreise und Vorbereitung, des Marathonwettkampfs und der Nachbereitung abbilden. Aus den Befunden gehen die Marathon-Phasen 35 bis 40 km und 40 bis 42 km mit der vergleichsweise höchsten psychischen Beanspruchung hervor. Der Geschlechtervergleich zeigt signifikante Unterschiede hinsichtlich der Belastungsbewertung einzelner Phasen wäh-rend der Anreise und Vorbereitung sowie während des Marathonlaufs. Die männlichen Marathonläufer bewerten die zweite Hälfte des Wettkampfs signifikant höher belastend. Die Ergebnisse dieser Studie können das „Hitting the Wall“-Phänomen in seiner bisherigen Annahme nicht bestätigen.
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In this article, we report the results of a study that was part of a five-study concept development project. Our goal was to learn about the nature of illness by exploring variations in the manifestations of fatigue, a symptom that is prevalent in both ill (cancer, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome) and selected nonill (recreational marathon runners, shift workers) populations. In this article, we report results of our study of recreational marathon runners, obtained from unstructured interviews with 13 runners between the ages 19 and 49 years using ethnoscience as the design. Key findings with implications for practice are the importance of planning recovery periods following large energy expenditures, the value of using dissociative strategies to manage tiredness, and the usefulness of associative strategies and support systems to manage fatigue. Future studies could explore whether these strategies would be useful for management of tiredness and fatigue in other populations.
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Psyching teams provide brief psychological support to participants before, during, and after long-distance running events such as marathons. Developed and refined over the past 30 years, psyching teams benefit runners themselves, provide mental skills training and hands-on experience to team members, and help de-mystify sport psychology. Using one particular model, this article is designed to describe both the content and process of psyching teams and offer information for others' development of similar volunteer programs.
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This qualitative phenomenological study focuses on the meaning of marathons for six women living in the Midwest. The women who participated in the study had completed five or more marathons and discussed the reasons why they repeatedly ran this distance. Few individuals will ever run a marathon; fewer women than men participate in the sport. Through in-depth interviews, six themes emerged including struggle, emotion, pride, intimate connections, preparation, and inspiration/transformation. For women who took part in this study, the essential invariant structure or essence of running multiple marathons is the creation of a transformative experience-physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Limitations and future research are also discussed.
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This chapter briefly introduces the concept of mindfulness as it relates to the treatment of affective disorders, and attempts to bridge conceptual gaps of mindfulness, attention, and Flow. It also attempts to provide a framework for using mindfulness in treatment of athletes. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) have been shown to be effective treatments for both anxiety and depression. These treatments could be adapted in athletes and extrapolated to their sport of choice. The rationale for this possibility is that the inherent experience of "being in the zone" or being in a Flow state shares attentional components with mindfulness and meditation. As a consequence, it may be useful for the athlete struggling with a psychiatric diagnosis to develop a mindfulness practice that is effective. Then, this might be transferable to the athlete's sport, potentially resulting in both improved performance and improved mood state.
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Background. In Poland, marathons are gaining in popularity among enthusiasts of running and healthy lifestyle in general. Universal participation of people in this extreme effort raises a number of questions about its effect on health, and consequently about the legitimacy to promote such events to the general public (to large sectors of society). The aim of this study was to identify the runners’ opinions based on their subjective feelings about the health aspects of participation in marathon races. Material and methods. This study included a group of 869 Polish amateur runners who declared at least one-year participation in running training. The research method was a diagnostic survey: a questionnaire developed by authors and implicit participant observation. Results and conclusions. Most of the runners claim that competing in marathon – and even longer distance runs – is a healthy way of spending leisure time, but skepticism is growing with the length of the training experience. Despite many injuries – arising from overload caused by exhausting trainings or competitions – the vast majority of runners believe that this form of activity is healthy. There is a need to inform about the negative health consequences of irrational training and participation in street runs.
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Despite the well established physical and psychological benefits derived from leading a physically active life, rates of sedentary behaviour remain high. Dropout and non-compliance are major contributors to the problem of physical inactivity. Perceptions of exertion, affective responses (e.g. displeasure or discomfort), and physiological stress could make the exercise experience aversive, particularly for beginners. Shifting one's attentional focus towards environmental stimuli (dissociation) instead of one's body (association) has been theorized to enhance psychological responses and attenuate physiological stress. Research evidence on the effectiveness of attentional focus strategies, however, has been perplexing, covering the entire gamut of possible outcomes (association and dissociation having been shown to be both effective and ineffective). This article examines the effects of manipulations of attentional focus on exertional and affective responses, as well as on exercise economy and tolerance. The possible roles of the characteristics of the exercise stimulus (intensity, duration) and the exercise participants, methodological issues, and limitations of experimental designs are discussed. In particular, the critical role of exercise intensity is emphasized. Dissociative strategies may be more effective in reducing perceptions of exertion and enhancing affective responses at low to moderate exercise intensities, but their effectiveness may be diminished at higher and near-maximal levels, at which physiological cues dominate. Conversely, associative strategies could enable the exerciser to regulate intensity to avoid injury or overexertion. Thus, depending on intensity, both strategies have a place in the 'toolbox' of the public health or exercise practitioner as methods of enhancing the exercise experience and promoting long-term compliance.
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Association and dissociation (A/D) have been identified as important cognitive strategies in the literature on running and exercise. This paper is a comprehensive review of the 20 years of research in the area. Specific topics addressed include historical context, definition and terminology considerations, measurement and design issues, and findings as they pertain to performance, injury, and pain. Several research recommendations are made including change from using the term dissociation, use of multiple measurement methods, diversity of research designs, and study of topics, such as injury, exercise adherence, and emotionality, as they relate to A/D. Finally, practical findings indicate that association relates to faster performance, dissociation relates to lower perceived exertion and possibly greater endurance, and dissociation is not related to injury but association may be.
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Investigated the relationship between expectancy of psychological benefits (e.g., less stress, more self-esteem, better mood) from exercise and acute mood change in 2 experiments. In Exp 1, 71 18–51 yr old college students reported their expectancies by completing an open-ended instrument and the Profile of Mood States before and after jogging. Results of a 2 (pre-, post-exercise) by 2 (gender) by 3 (class) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated that there were significant acute mood benefits for both women and men. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the relationship between expectancy of psychological benefits and mood change approached significance. In Exp 2, 68 18–45 yr old college students responded to an objective expectancy questionnaire (items appended) and again completed the mood scale before and after jogging. The MANOVA indicated a significant pre- to post-exercise mood change. Results of both studies show no conclusive evidence that expectancy was related to mood alteration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Employed the concepts of association and dissociation (e.g., W. P. Morgan and M. L. Pollock, 1977) to examine the cognitive strategies used by 30 male and 18 female runners (aged 13–55 yrs) participating in a Utah marathon. Measures of dissociation/association, performance time, injury, and reasons for running a marathon were taken. Ss showed a preference for the associative strategy (i.e., maintaining awareness of performance factors) while running in the marathon; however, they were more inclined to dissociate (i.e., block out sensory feedback) or use both strategies while in training. Association correlated negatively with Ss' performance time and positively with a drive/competition factor. Whether or not individuals associate while running may be primarily related to their reasons for running. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in Sport psychologist, published by and copyright Human Kinetics. Although expectancy has been shown to play a role in the effect of Anabolic Steroids (AS) on behavior, little research has been completed on the potential for parallel effects on performance. This is an important area for investigation because if expectancy effects can be shown to operate by improvements in performance through the administration of a placebo, arguments against the use of AS may be more successfully advanced. Accordingly, the present investigation used the administration of a placebo (saccharine) with competitive power lifters, using false information about the nature of the drug to delineate expectancy effects. The pervasiveness of these effects was further examined by disclosing the true nature of the drug to half of the participants, midway through the investigation. Notable improvements in performance associated with the belief that AS had been administered largely dissipated when athletes were informed as to the true nature of the drug. Results indicated that expectancy played a notable role in performance enhancement. Implications for this work include more effective use of such investigations in the fight against doping in sport.
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Presents a model arguing that affect and emotion are often formed in an expectation-driven fashion. A pilot study and 2 experiments manipulated undergraduate Ss' affective expectations (e.g., how funny they expected a set of cartoons to be) and whether Ss' expectations were confirmed (e.g., whether the cartoons really were funny). When the value of a stimulus was consistent with an affective expectation, people formed evaluations relatively quickly. Even when the value of a stimulus was discrepant from an affective expectation, people sometimes assimilated the value of the stimulus to their expectations. Other times, such as when making a more fine-grained evaluation of the cartoons, people noticed that they were discrepant from their affective expectations. Under these conditions, people appeared to have more difficulty forming preferences. They took longer to evaluate and spent more time thinking about the cartoons.
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This study reports the development of an instrument to assess the motives of marathon runners. The Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS) contains 56 items distributed across nine scales. Content areas covered included health orientation, weight concern, self-esteem, life meaning, psychological coping, affiliation, recognition, competition, and personal goal achievement. Adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha range .80 to .93), retest reliability (intraclass Rs range .71 to .90), and factorial validity of the scales were demonstrated. Assessment of the relationship between individual MOMS scales and other variables of conceptual relevance documents early evidence for the convergent and discriminant validity of the instrument. Future uses of the MOMS are discussed in light of theoretical, empirical, and practical considerations.
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To investigate whether runners' cognitions during a marathon are related to "hitting the wall". To test a new and more comprehensive system for classifying cognition of marathon runners. Non-elite runners (n = 66) completed a questionnaire after finishing the 1996 London marathon. The runners were recruited through the charity SPARKS for whom they were raising money by running in the race. Most runners reported that during the race their thoughts were internally associative, with internally dissociative thoughts being the least prevalent. Runners who "hit the wall" used more internal dissociation than other runners, indicating that it is a hazardous strategy, probably because sensory feedback is blocked. However, internal association was related to an earlier onset of "the wall", suggesting that too much attention on physical symptoms may magnify them, thereby exaggerating any discomfort. External dissociation was related to a later onset, probably because it may provide a degree of distraction but keeps attention on the race. "Hitting the wall" for recreational non-elite marathon runners is associated with their thought patterns during the race. In particular, "the wall" is associated with internal dissociation.
Article
The purpose of this study was to describe the operation of teacher expectancy effects within two instructional climates of elementary physical education classes. Specifically, high and low expectancy groups were compared during noncompetitive and competitive instruction in terms of teacher-student interaction and perceived expression of effort. Four alternating experimental phases of instruction were employed. Analysis of the interaction data revealed that low expectancy students received significantly more praise and encouragement during the first (noncompetitive) phase and the fourth (competitive) phase than did high expectancy students. They also received significantly more empathy from their teachers during both competitive phases of instruction. High expectancy students were perceived to exhibit significantly more effort than low expectancy students during all four phases.
Article
The purpose of this investigation was to test Kukla's attributional theory of performance and to address the mediating link between causal attribution and subsequent action in a competitive motor task. Two experiments were conducted: the first was designed to determine the effect of perceived task difficulty and attributional instructions on the ball-tossing performance of high achievers while competing against a standard of excellence. Results indicated that high achievers performed with greater intensity when receiving an effort rather than ability-oriented instructional set and when they perceive themselves to be behind a normative score of their classmates. To refine and clarify results found in Experiment 1, low as well as high achievers were added to the second study and were placed in face-to-face competition instead of a competition against a standard of excellence. Results from the performance data in Experiment 2 supported Kukla's theory in that high achievers performed best when they perceived themselves to be behind an opponent's score midway through the experiment, whereas low achievers performed best when they perceived themselves to be ahead. Results from the cognitive assessment procedure, however, failed to support the performance findings. Implications for the viability of Kukla's attributional theory of performance and problems related to the assessment of cognitive states are discussed.
Article
A survey of 363 middle-aged non-elite runners who were attempting a first marathon was conducted to assess their reasons for attempting a marathon, the perceived outcomes from running a marathon, and their experiences while running. While most runners began running to improve physical fitness, personal challenge was the main reason for attempting a marathon. Running the marathon was a very positive experience producing feelings of deep personal awareness and satisfaction. Information was obtained relating to the concept of “positive addiction” and the cognitive strategies employed while running.
Article
Little attention has been given to how endurance sport athletes cope with periods of extreme physical duress. This study explored behavioral and psychological characteristics and coping responses associated with “hitting the Wall” (HTW) using inductive grounded theory analytic procedures (Charmaz, 20005. Charmaz , K. 2000. “Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods”. In Handbook of qualitative research, Edited by: Denzin , N. K. and Lincoln , Y. S. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. View all references). Marathon runners (N = 57; M age = 41.79 yrs) were recruited from two online marathon listserves with members who are experienced, recreational marathon runners. Characteristics and coping responses of HTW included many physiological and psychological descriptors that led to race-related physical coping efforts (e.g., supplementation/hydration), emotion-focused coping (e.g., social support), and cognitive strategies (e.g., willpower, mental reframing). Extreme physical duress during endurance sport performance may provide an ideal context in which to study coping responses to physiological stress. Findings point toward the need to develop effective interventions that rely on multiple coping strategies in response to extreme physical challenges.
Article
Following the review of a number of motivational systems, the author contrasts an expectancy-value theory with a drive-habit theory of motivation. The emphasis is on human motivation. Harvard Book List (edited) 1971 #354 (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Investigated the relationship between associative thinking and perception of training intensity among marathon runners, using light-weight microcassette recorders to document the verbalized thought processes of 12 novice, 10 average, and 9 superior marathoners during training runs. 10 theme categories incorporating the broad association/dissociation classification, as well as attentional style foci, were developed to analyze the mental strategy recordings for content. Results show a direct relationship between associative mental strategy and perception of effort regardless of the running status of the athlete. Findings reveal distinct qualitative differences within the associative thought categories across the 3 groups. It is suggested that a mental strategy training program to optimize the runner's performance output without the risk of injury at high effort would be feasible. (French, Spanish, German & Italian abstracts) (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The purposes of this investigation were to compare the psychological characteristics of world class middle-long distance and marathon runners; contrast their psychologic profiles with those of non-world-class runners and athletes from other sports; examine the perceptual processing of 'effort sense' information in these runners; and attempt to delineate the factors responsible for involvement in competitive running, as well as adherence across time. The runners who served as subjects in this investigation consisted of a group of world class athletes (n=19) and a group of college middle distance runners (n=8). The latter runners, while outstanding by college standards, were not of world class caliber. The world class group was further divided into middle-long distance (n=11) and marathon (n=8) subgroups for comparative purposes. It is concluded that elite marathon runners are very similar from a psychometric standpoint to middle-long distance runners as well as world class athletes in other sports such as wrestling and rowing. It is also concluded that elite marathon runners are characterized by positive mental health from an affective standpoint, and this positive affect is regarded as a consequence of training and competition since these world class athletes resemble the general population on most psychological traits It is further concluded that the major distinguishing psychological dimension of the elite marathoner is in their 'effort sense' in that these runners employ an associative cognitive strategy during competition.
Hitting the wall: If you understand the scientific reasons behind "the wall
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Toward an understanding of marathon induced fatigue and, the phenomenological motives and meanings of perseverance under duress (Doctoral dissertation
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Stress und Stressbewaeltigung im Leistungssport: Kognitionspsychologische und handlungskontroll-thematische Ueberlegungen Stress and coping with stress in competitive sport: Cognitive psychological and action control thematic considerations
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Stoll, O., & Ziemainz, H. (2003). Stress und Stressbewaeltigung im Leistungssport: Kognitionspsychologische und handlungskontroll-thematische Ueberlegungen Stress and coping with stress in competitive sport: Cognitive psychological and action control thematic considerations. Sportwissenschaft, 33, 280–290.
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