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Psychological Demands Experienced by Recreational Endurance Athletes

McCormick, Alister, Meijen, Carla, Marcora, Samuele Maria (2016) Psychological Demands Experienced by Recreational Endurance Athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 16 (4). pp. 415-430. ISSN 1612-197X. E-ISSN 1557-251X. (doi:10.1080/1612197X.2016.1256341) (KAR id:58384)


This study aimed to identify psychological demands that are commonly experienced by endurance athletes so that these demands could inform the design of performance-enhancement psychological interventions for endurance athletes. Focus group interviews were conducted with 30 recreational endurance athletes of various sports (running, cycling, and triathlon), distances, and competitive levels to explore the psychological demands of training, competition preparation, and competition participation. An inductive thematic analysis was used to identify psychological demands that were experienced across sports, distances, and competitive levels. Seven themes captured demands that were commonly experienced away from the competitive environment (time investment and lifestyle sacrifices, commitment to training sessions, concerns about optimising training, and exercise sensations during training), preceding an endurance event (pre-event stressors), or during an event (exercise sensations, optimising pacing, and remaining focused despite adversity). Interventions that could be delivered to recreational athletes, who do not typically have access to a sport psychologist, are suggested. Experimental research examining the efficacy of interventions that help endurance athletes to cope with the reported psychological demands is encouraged.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/1612197X.2016.1256341
Uncontrolled keywords: cycling, focus groups, qualitative research, running, stressors, triathlon
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > Sports sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: C. Meijen
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2016 17:02 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:02 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Meijen, Carla.

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Marcora, Samuele Maria.

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