A discrete-time hazard model of hitting the wall in recreational marathon runners

Matthew P. Buman, Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Recent literature has begun to describe and identify predictors of hitting the wall among recreational marathon runners. Our purpose was to extend previous findings by exploring the relative probability of when runners of various risk profiles hit the wall and to describe the overall functional form of risk over the course of a marathon. Method: Survival methods and discrete-time hazard modeling were used to model self-reported hitting the wall occurrence data among 324 recreational marathon runners from four Eastern Seaboard marathons. Results: The combinative effects of male gender, running 20 miles or less in training, and expectancy, showed the greatest probability of hitting the wall at any timepoint of the marathon. The shape of hitting the wall risk appeared to most closely fit a cubic form with a dramatic incline of risk peaking at mile 21 followed by a precipitous decline. Conclusion: These findings further clarify under what circumstances recreational marathon runners are most and least likely to hit the wall and contributes to the formation of a conceptual definition of the phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-666
Number of pages5
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Recreation & leisure
  • Running
  • Sport psychology
  • Sports
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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