Scientific Lecture

Organizer of a symposium at the 14th European Sports Psychology Congress, Bern, Switzerland

Symposium: Flow, motivation and performance in long-distance running

Contributors: Michele Ufer (chair), Karolina Chlebosz, Alan Chu, Oliver Stoll


Symposium overview:

Significance of the topic

Running is one of the most popular physical activities worldwide. Although road-race marathons are still very popular and attract countless athletes each weekend anywhere in the world, there is a huge increase of interest in trail and ultramarathon running as well as in remote multiday adventure races often taking place under extreme conditions.

Purpose

The purpose of the symposium is to present and discuss latest research and applied aspects of flow experience and motivation taking into consideration different areas of long-distance running, such as marathon/road-race running, trail running and multi-day adventure running.

Overview of the presentations

In a study with participants of the Poznan marathon, Karolina Chlebosz found a correlation between motivation and flow. We revealed that running has its very own unique facilitators and inhibitors of flow and will discuss how to manipulate them to enhance flow experience.

Based on the “Motivations of Marathoners” questionnaire, which is focused on road-race running, Oliver Stoll developed a modified version with trail runners in mind and applied the “Trail-MOMS” in a first pilot study at the “Zugspitz Trail-Challange”. Results, differences to road-race runners and implications will be discussed.

Alan Chu explains the “Psyching Team” approach and the “quick-fix” for coaches and consultants to help runners achieve the flow state on the race day. Some evaluation data with various mental skills, such as positive self-talk and imagery will be discussed.

Michele Ufer assessed -among other- flow data of participants during and after a 238km multiday race in the Kalahari Desert and analyzed the relationship between perceived skills and flow experience as well as the impact of flow on performance and satisfaction. Results, implications for future research and coaching will be discussed.

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