An investigation of the different motivations of marathon runners with varying degrees of experience. Authors
Masters, K. S.; Ogles, B. M.
Journal of Sport Behavior 1995 Vol. 18 No. 1 pp. 69-79
The factors which motivate someone to initiate an activity are often different from the factors which motivate the individual to continue in that activity. In addition, these factors are likely to vary from activity to activity. Consequently, the motivations for marathon running of first time participants, those with mid-levels of experience, and veteran marathon runners may differ. In this study, the motivations of 472 marathon runners of various levels of experience were compared through discriminant analysis. Two significant discriminant functions were obtained. The results indicated that veteran marathon runners were primarily motivated by a 'marathon social identity' that included elements of competition, recognition, and health concern. Mid-level experience marathon runners found an 'internal focus' characterized by psychological rejuvenation and personal performance enhancement to be most influential. First time marathon runners were less motivated by these functions than other marathon runners but seemed to be influenced by health and weight concerns along with goal achievement and self esteem. -------------------------------------------------
Theories of Motivation in Sport and Exercise Psychology
As stated, cause-based endurance-training programs often claim that the cause automatically motivates participants to meet their training commitments. However, actual research on the specific relationship between cause and motivation is sparse (Havenar & Lochbaum, 2007; King, 2006; Nettleton & Hardey, 2006). This section examines three major theories of motivation in sport and exercise psychology: selfefficacy theory (Bandura, 1997), achievement goal theory (AGT) (Duda, 1989; Duda & Hall, 2001), and self-determination theory (SDT) (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2008). Self-efficacy theory. Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to accomplish a specified task or achieve a specified goal (Bandura, 1991). Self-efficacy theory defines motivation as “a general construct that encompasses a system of self-regulatory mechanisms” (Bandura, 1997, p. 228). Harter (1978) describes motivation in terms of a related concept, perceived competence.
Motivation can be inferred from three behavioral components: the selection, activation, and sustained direction of specific behaviors toward a goal Bandura (1991). Thus if a novice runner selects, joins, and then adheres to a cause-based marathontraining program, this behavior indicates a high level of motivation. According to selfefficacy theory, the runner’s motivation stems from the belief that he is capable of such adherence.
Wright, Ding, and Li (2005) studied the relation between self-efficacy and motivation for physical activity in 46 urban teenagers. Their results indicated that teenagers were more motivated to exercise if they had higher perceptions of their 42
physical ability, that is, of their physical self-efficacy. These results suggested that interventions helping adolescents increase physical self-efficacy might be effective in increasing their levels of physical activity.
However, self-efficacy theory does not explain all aspects of participant behavior in cause-based training programs. For example, according to Duda and Treasure (2006), self-efficacy considers previous performance to be a significant factor. Therefore, since cause-based training programs frequently recruit what Masters and Ogles termed “rookie” athletes (1995), other factors must account for the ways in which novice participants build confidence in their...