Category: In brief

(R)Evolutionary Endurance

Motivated to run

Motivation refers to an individual’s ability to focus, and energise behaviour over time (Ryan & Deci, 2017; Tsigilis, 2005), and is widely accepted as crucial to successful performance within sport, where success can be the result of an individual’s willingness to achieve excellence through both mental and physical effort. The ability of the ultra-marathoner to…
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Stress – an adaptive response?

Stress is an adaptive response to an external action or event, mediated by characteristics including personality, age, fitness and mental toughness. Researchers to date have suggested that adaptations are largely specific to the stressor, and they assist a timely return to homeostasis.  A protracted programme of endurance exercise training stresses the human body, often resulting in…
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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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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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