Self talk characteristics during running trials of different intensities

Callum Aitchison, Fran Longstaff, Les Ansley, Kevin Thompson, Alan St Clair Gibson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Objectives: The study aimed to investigate the nature of and differences between self talk characteristics during low and high intensity running. Design: A mixed method design was used. Methods: The study involved the collection of five male and three female runner’s thoughts at semi-random time points as the participated in a 40-minute low intensity and a 40-minute high intensity run on a treadmill. The trials were performed separately one week apart. Runners were asked to place their thoughts into one of 10 themed categories, which incorporated a broad association/dissociation thought classification. The runner’s rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was also measured during both trials. Results: Chi-squared and correlational non-parametric statistical methods were used to assess the data. A significant difference was found between running intensities for quantity of self talk in the different themed categories. The type of self talk was also related to RPE category, with a strong relationship between high intensity exercise and associative self talk, and low intensity exercise and dissociative self talk, although non-associative self talk occurred at RPE levels of up to 16/20. Conclusions: Self talk characteristics differ during high and low intensity running, perhaps related to the more urgent need to self-monitor physical changes and sensations during high intensity running. However, even at relatively high RPE levels, not all self talk was associative, which indicates that multiple streams of conscious thought may be occurring even during participation in high intensity exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2008
Event2008 Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Inaugural Conference - London
Duration: 11 Dec 2008 → …


Conference2008 Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Inaugural Conference
Period11/12/08 → …


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