Endurance Performance in Sport : Psychological Theory and Interventions book cover
1st Edition

Endurance Performance in Sport
Psychological Theory and Interventions

Edited By

Carla Meijen

ISBN 9781138053212
Published May 14, 2019 by Routledge
248 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Athletes participating at all levels of endurance performance can relate to the impact of psychological factors. Whether it is motivation, self-belief, feeling nervous before a race, exercise-induced pain, sticking to a pacing strategy, or thoughts around what to focus on, there are a vast number of psychological factors which can affect endurance performance.

Bringing together experts in the field from around the world, this is the first text to provide a detailed overview of the psychology of endurance performance where there is a research and an applied focus looking at both main theoretical models as well as how interventions can support an athlete’s efficacy and well-being. The authors look at regulatory processes around pain, decision-making, self-belief, emotions, and meta-cognition, before examining a range of cognitive strategies, including the use of imagery, goals, self-talk, and mindfulness techniques. With a final section of the book outlining issues related to mental health that are relevant to endurance performance, the book shows that the future of research and application of psychological theory in endurance performance in sport is bright and thriving.

Aimed at researchers, students, coaches, and athletes themselves, this is essential reading for anyone wishing to better understand how our minds experience endurance in performance arenas, and what psychological techniques can be used to make us more efficient.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: An introduction to Endurance Performance in Sport: Psychological Theory and Interventions

Carla Meijen and Samuel Marcora


PART I: Determinants of endurance performance

Chapter 2: Psychobiology of fatigue during endurance exercise

Samuele Marcora

Chapter 3: Exercise-induced pain: A psychophysiological perspective

Alexis Mauger

Chapter 4: Decision-making, pacing and performance in endurance sport

Dominic Micklewright

Chapter 5: Regulating emotions to go faster!

Andrew M. Lane, Daniel T. Robinson, and Ross Cloak

Chapter 6: Metacognitive processes in the self-regulation of endurance exercise

Noel Brick, Mark Campbell, and Christian Swann

Chapter 7: Self-efficacy and endurance performance

Paul Anstiss


PART II: Psychological interventions in endurance performance

Prelude: interventions for endurance performance

Carla Meijen

Chapter 8: Attentional focus and cognitive strategies during endurance activity

Noel Brick, Tadhg MacIntyre, and Linda Schücker

Chapter 9: Goal striving and endurance performance

Wanja Wolff, Maik Bieleke, and Julia Schüler

Chapter 10: The theoretical and applied implications of using imagery to improve the performance and well-being of endurance performers

Sheree McCormick, Francesco di Gruttola, and Maurizio Bertollo

Chapter 11: Self-talk and endurance performance

Alister McCormick and Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis

Chapter 12: Mindfulness in endurance performance

Emilie Thienot and Danielle Adams

Appendix 12.1

Appendix 12.2


PART III: Future directions for research and practice

Chapter 13: Clinical issues in endurance performance

Jennifer E. Carter and James Houle

Chapter 14: Application to recreational settings: working with the public, psyching team activities, and suggestions

Chelsi Day

Chapter 15: Pursuing the next challenges: directions for research on the psychology of endurance performance

Carla Meijen and Alister McCormick


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Carla Meijen is a chartered sport and exercise psychologist and a senior lecturer in applied sport psychology at St Mary's University, UK. She has a keen interest in endurance performance inspired by her work providing brief mental support at running events. She researches and teaches in sport psychology, and also works as a sport psychology practitioner.


"As both an exercise scientist and a runner, I have always been intrigued by the interaction between physical and psychological performance during endurance activities. In this innovative text, Carla Meijen explores the psychology of human endurance including pain management, decision-making, self-belief and motivation. Drawing on expertise from a range of world-leading specialists, Meijen clearly articulates the scientific and cognitive basis behind many of the psychological factors that influence endurance performance, whilst providing self-help guidelines that will be of benefit to both coaches and athletes. The text should be of interest to scientists and practitioners who have an interest in endurance sport, or to anyone who wishes to better understand their own body, and how best to cope with the mental challenges that are an integral part of human endurance performance." - Professor John Brewer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Buckinghamshire New University, UK.

"With athletes regularly questioned to why they are not able to maintain their performance throughout the entirety of an event, this text provides a useful insight to understand why. Having assembled an international cast of leading academics and practitioners involved in the psychology of endurance performance, the text presents some of the most contemporary theoretical positions, evidence-based interventions, future research and applied suggestions. The text is an essential resource for anyone working within endurance activities, especially if they are prepared to see beyond traditional psychological approaches." - Richard Thelwell, Professor of Applied Sport Psychology, University of Portsmouth, UK.