Research

(R)Evolutionary Endurance

Why does psychology matter?

Physical endurance training and ultra-marathon competition require considerable commitment and provide a challenge to both human mental and physical capacities.  Ultra-marathons are recognised as extremely difficult events to complete, and successful endurance runners typically undergo several years of dedicated training, and personal sacrifice, to enhance the physiological characteristics necessary to success in distance running events. Key psychological…
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3.67 million-year-old – first to walk?

It’s taken twenty years to fully uncover ‘little foot’, and an impossibly rare, almost complete, australopithicus skeleton. The work was performed, painstakingly, by Ronald Clarke and team, who are well aware of the huge importance of this small hominin believed to walk bipedally (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/11/29/481556). Hard data is likely to follow, and potentially shed light on a hominin…
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Challenges for Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychology is nothing more than psychology viewed through the lens provided by evolutionary biology, based on the fact that psychological systems are part of the brain and therefore both physical and biological. According to Johnson (2017) adopting an evolutionary approach to understanding human psychology has been extremely fruitful in answering the ‘why’ questions, and…
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What is Flow?

The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as the ‘state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter – the experience is so enjoyable that people will do it at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it’. If the ultra-marathoner didn’t love the immersion of running in the…
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High Intensity, and Supramaximal Intensity, Interval Training

Sometimes its tempting to just keep banging out the extra miles. But what you’ve always done to prepare for an event, may not be the right thing, or even the best way to make use of limited training time. A number of recent physiological studies have found that greater endurance returns can be made from…
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What are the 4 c’s?

According to many researchers Mental Toughness is key to success in all sports. Defined by Crust and Clough (2005) as The 4 C’s, challenge, commitment, control and confidence.  Mentally Tough individuals are said to:  View negative experiences as challenges  Be influential and control negative life experiences  Be deeply involved and committed to achieving goals Be confident…
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Does Evolutionary Psychology help us understand Endurance?

Evolutionary biology suggests that endurance running was important in the pursuit of prey, and instrumental in the evolution of hominins. According to fossil evidence, key physiological adaptions may have evolved approximately two million years ago to benefit long distance running. The relatively new field of evolutionary psychology, like cognitive science, identifies the human mind as…
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