Motivation refers to an individual’s ability to focus, and energisebehaviour 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 focus on training and competition is often restricted in terms of both time and resources and relies on a state of heightened intrinsic motivation and enthusiasm, to balance dedication towards sport, against pressures from family commitments, illness, injury, and work. Though research has identified both training intensity, and running volume, as predictors of race time in endurance athletes, little is known in relation to the motivation required to take part in ultra-marathons, its impact on adherence to training, or its role in ultra-marathon race success.
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Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Press.
Tsigilis, N. (2005). The influence of intrinsic motivation on an endurance field test. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 45(2), 213-6.