Passion and pacing in endurance performance

Lieke Schiphof-Godart*, Florentina J. Hettinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Endurance sports are booming, with sports passionates of varying skills and expertise battering city streets and back roads on their weekly or daily exercise rounds. The investments required for performing in endurance exercise are nevertheless considerable, and passion for their sport might explain the efforts endurance athletes are willing to make. Passion may be defined as a strong motivational force and as such might be related to the neurophysiological basis underlying the drive to exercise. A complex relationship between the brain and other systems is responsible for athletes' exercise behavior and thus performance in sports. We anticipate important consequences of athletes' short term choices, for example concerning risk taking actions, on long term outcomes, such as injuries, overtraining and burnout. We propose to consider athletes' type of passion, in combination with neurophysiological parameters, as an explanatory factor inunderstanding the apparent disparity in the regulation of exercise intensity during endurance sports. Previous research has demonstrated that athletes can be passionate toward their sport in either a harmonious or an obsessive way. Although both lead to considerable investments and therefore often to successful performances, obsessive passion may affect athlete well-being and performance on the long run, due to the corresponding inflexible exercise behavior. In this perspective we will thus examine the influence of passion in sport on athletes' short term and long term decision-making and exercise behavior, in particular related to the regulation of exercise intensity, and discuss the expected long term effects of both types of passion for sport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

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