A Runner's Guide to Sport Psychology and Nutrition Available AMAZON
Andy Lane, Tracey Devonport, Wendy Nicholls, Chris Fullerton, Marcia Blake, and Chris Sellars Meet the authors
How can I make time for running?
Tracey J. Devonport and Wendy Nicholls
During casual conversation with family, friends and colleagues about exercise, do you find that often people (possibly you)
first express an intention to exercise and then in the next sentence talk of the barriers stopping them?
Now take a moment to reflect on your personal experiences as a runner or aspiring runner. What are the common barriers
that have prevented you from going out for a run? Can you remember when you intended to run (or do exercise) and talked
yourself out of doing it; why was that? Read more
Why can’t I deliver my race plan? Using psychological strategies to help you deliver your
Christopher L. Fullerton
“I ran too fast at the start; I missed the break at halfway; I left myself too much to do in the final mile; I let nerves get the better of me!”
I suspect you have heard runners use these excuses to explain a sub-standard performance or failure to achieve their race goal -you may
have even used them yourself! In order to achieve your race goal, you will likely set a race plan designed to help you commit to your goal.
Delivering this plan requires the ability to manage how you think, feel and act. For example, a runner who experiences high levels of anxiety
before a race because they have arrived at the competition late might be worried they are not going to be able to complete their normal
warm-up. The implication is that if she (or he) is not able to complete her warm-up she will feel under-prepared and less confident that she
is ready to perform well. For the runner to be able to stick to her race plan, such as following a certain pacing strategy, she will need to
manage the way she responds to situations that may be out of her control. In situations such as those described above, a runner needs to
have good self-control. However, changing how you think, feel or act is challenging, particularly if the perceived effort required outweighs
the perceived benefits associated with achieving the goal. Read more
Why am I so harsh on myself? Examining your self-talk when running on the limit!
Andrew M. Lane
“You can do this”, “hold on in there”; “just concentrate”; “if they can do it, so can I”, “one step at a time”.
The above messages are examples of what runners say to themselves when racing and training. They are all positive and offer
encouragement to try to run harder or focus concentration so that you run faster.
However, the things you say to yourself; or your self-talk may not always be positive. It is common for runners to chastise themselves and
be their own fiercest critique; “too slow; you are useless”, “c’mon you can go faster than this”; “he/she is getting away and you can’t keep up
with her/him”, “clump, clump, clump – sound of a baby elephant” are examples of negative messages runners say to themselves.
The effects of such messages are felt on your emotions; positive messages bring pleasant emotions as these messages are broadly saying
“all is well”. Negative messages bring unpleasant emotions, as in effect they are saying “all is not well and action is needed”.
Why do runners speak to themselves like this? Read more
What do you think about when you run? Applying mindfulness to the games our minds play
Wendy Nicholls and Tracey J. Devonport
Growing numbers of individuals are entering ultra-marathon running suggesting that recreational and competitive runners are increasingly
searching for bigger endurance challenges (Sehovic, Knechtle, Rüst, & Rosemann, 2013). An ultra-marathon, also called ultra-distance or
ultra-endurance, is any sporting event that involves running and/or walking distances longer than the traditional marathon length. There are
two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during specified time (with the winner
covering the most distance in that time). The most common distances are 50 kilometers (31mi), 100 kilometers (62.1mi), 50 miles (80.4 km
and 100 miles (160.9 km). The most common time limitations are 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours (www.ultramarathonrunning.com).
Given the amount of time involved, it may be of little surprise that one question often asked of someone who has completed an ultra-
distance event is….…what do you think about during an ultra-endurance run? Read more
Should I use a GPS watch or heart rate monitor to pace my effort?
Developing a sense of feeling for intensity
Christopher L. Fullerton
“I’m running too quickly! That last mile was too slow; I can’t seem to get my heart rate high enough today!” Turn up at most races and you
will inevitably see masses of runners either waiting for their watches to pick up a GPS signal or mid-race clock watching in an attempt to
pace their efforts. Whilst there are undoubted benefits to using such technology to help you run at your desired race pace, becoming over-
reliant on your watch to pace your effort poses a number of potential problems. Read more
Will my diet get me through the race? Examining fuelling strategies used by runners
Nutrition can be a challenging part of any training strategy. Having a good nutrition strategy can improve running performance and overall
health. To run well and control body weight, a holistic approach is now being encouraged by leading academics and scientists (including
Tim Noakes and other practitioners from the American College of Sports Medicine, 2013; Noakes, 2012).
Unfortunately, there is an ocean of contradictory and sometimes misleading information available and it can be surprisingly difficult to make
choices about how to fuel before, during and after running (Jeukendrup & Killer, 2010). This seems an unexpected comment to make given
the amount of research that has been done, but the decision on how best to fuel your running has never been harder to make.
This chapter is a general guide about fuelling strategies. It intentionally steers a route that keeps clear of controversy. If we start getting
close to the controversial issues, we will say so. The idea behind this approach is to help make you aware that there are multiple views on
the matter and that some caution is needed. The amount of food and drink you will need to consume before, during and after running will
depend on how much you weigh (and your body composition), your running experience, your current fitness level, the weather and your
personal goals. Read more
How did I become an “old jogger”?
Christopher N. Sellars
What follows is a personal account which may help to illustrate a numbe of issues associated with changes to your running status over time,
and offer a few tips to help you manage these ‘transitions’.
I never really thought I would get to this point! I am seriously considering quitting regular running. My love affair with running began in
earnest at the age of 15. Prior to this, I had been good at running events at school sports days and flirted with competing a few times for the
local running club. But at 15 I started to train regularly, re-joined the running club, and regular competing for club and school ensued.
Within my first year of ‘serious’ running I had started competing for the county, finishing 12th in the English Schools Cross Country
Championship at my first attempt and become someone who got regular mentions on a Monday morning in the whole-school assembly
(seemed a big deal at the time!).