ORCID

Abstract

Objectives This study evaluates ultra-marathon runners’ use of goal-setting, self-talk, and imagery as strategies to help them through the challenge of long-distance running. Methods In stage one, thirty-one self-professed non-runners were recruited and received motivational interviewing (MI) in a group setting, examining their motivation to get healthy. In stage two, five months later, participants were asked if they would consider running an ultra-marathon, and fifteen (M age=39.47, SD=5.84) agreed. At this point participants were randomly split into an MI or Functional Imagery Training (FIT) group. FIT teaches participants how to master goal centred imagery by controlling attention and elaboration. Groups received similar contact hours and completed four measures that assess grit, resilience, self-efficacy, and imagery ability at baseline and after the race. Results We found no significant differences between measures for finishers and non-finishers or between groups or over time. However, the likelihood of completing the ultra-marathon was five times as likely in the FIT group, than in MI (RR=5.25). Grit and resilience scores were strongly correlated. By receiving FIT, there was a significant association (p=0.04) to complete the ultra-marathon. Conclusions FIT is a relatively cost-effective method to increase exercise adherence through multi-sensory elaboration of goal setting and overcoming barriers or challenges.

DOI

10.1515/jirspa-2021-0011

Publication Date

2021-08-04

Publication Title

Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity

Volume

16

Issue

1

ISSN

1932-0191

Embargo Period

2022-08-16

Organisational Unit

School of Psychology

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