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The Psychological Indicators of Success in Ultrarunning-A Review of the Current Psychological Predictors in Ultrarunning


Owen R. Thornton*, Ly S, Colon I, Cole H and Li W

Ultrarunning has grown over 345% in the last ten years alone. During these events, which typically last between 6 hours and multiple days, athletes of varying experience and ability must cope with the psychological means of endurance while managing intense emotions and fatigue. Despite rapid growth in the sport, research on ultrarunners psychology has yet to be performed. No review has analyzed the psychological advantages indicating success in ultra-running. This review summarizes the current literature on the psychological indicators of ultrarunning success. Four databases were electronically searched between December 1, 2022, and January 1, 2023, to help coaches, physicians, sports therapists, athletes, and everyday people understand how to cope with and overcome psychological challenges amidst life and racing while identifying research gaps. Successful ultramarathons had higher levels of self-efficacy, mental toughness, emotional intelligence, and lower mood variability. These findings suggest that having cognitive strategies to maintain mood stability and a common total mood disturbance may be vital to success in ultra-running. Although existing literature investigates ultra-athletes’ mindsets, further research, specifically on psychological traits of success in endurance sports, are warranted to gain greater depth on each psychological indicator that constructs successful ultrarunners' great mindset.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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