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Motivation in ultra-marathon runners

Authors Waśkiewicz Z, Nikolaidis PT, Chalabaev A, Rosemann T, Knechtle B

Received 28 September 2018

Accepted for publication 29 November 2018

Published 27 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 31—37

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S189061

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Zbigniew Waśkiewicz,1,2 Pantelis T Nikolaidis,3,4 Aïna Chalabaev,5 Thomas Rosemann,6 Beat Knechtle6,7

1Department of Team Sports, Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland; 2Department of Sports Medicine and Medical Rehabilitation, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russia; 3Exercise Testing Laboratory, Hellenic Air Force Academy, Acharnes, Greece; 4Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Nikaia, Greece; 5UFR APS, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France; 6Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, St. Gallen, Switzerland; 7Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Background: In ultra-marathon running the proper motivation of the athlete is one of the milestones, not only during the races, but also during the practice sessions, which are long and very exhausting.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of sport experience (expressed as number of finishes in ultra-marathons) with motivation characteristics of ultra-marathon runners.
Subjects and methods: The Motivation of Marathoners Scale examined the motivation of ultra-marathon runners compared to endurance runners of shorter distances (control group). Participants were 1,539 Polish runners, 382 women (24.7%) and 1,157 men (75.3%). Ultra-marathoners (N=425; 26.7%) finished at least one ultra-marathon, whereas the control group consisted of runners of shorter distances (N=1,114, 72.3%).
Results: Ultra-marathoners had higher scores in affiliation (3.55±1.60 vs 3.34±1.62, P<0.05), life meaning (4.20±1.40 vs 4.03±1.44, P<0.05) and lower in the areas of weight concern (4.33±1.68 vs 4.64±1.65, P<0.01), personal goal achievement (5.09±1.25 vs 4.64±1.65, P<0.001) and self-esteem (4.44±1.36 vs 4.68±1.38, P<0.01), than runners in the control group. The number of completed ultra-marathons was negatively related to the personal goal achievement, competition and recognition scale. The level of training experience was negatively correlated with the personal goal achievement scale in all participants, and with the self-esteem scale in the control group. In summary, ultra-marathoners had different motivations compared to runners of shorter race distance.
Conclusions: These findings should be considered by sport psychologists and other professionals to develop performance-tailored interventions for ultra-marathoners.

Keywords: psychological profile, questionnaire, survey, ultra-endurance

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