Ultrarunners participate in running events that exceed the 26.2-mile marathon distance (e.g., 50k, 50-100 miles). Very little research exists on ultrarunners, especially women. This study is a descriptive study detailing the motivation, goal orientation, demographic characteristics (e.g., age, job demands, family structure), training habits (e.g., hours per week of training), and coach utilization of women ultrarunners. Participants (N = 344) were recruited via the Ultra List serve and 4 popular ultrarunning websites, and they completed a questionnaire on motivation, goal orientation, training, and coaching using Survey Monkey. General health orientation (mean ± SD) (4.71 ± 1.06) and psychological coping (4.71 ± 1.03) were the 2 strongest motivational factors. Participants were higher in task orientation (1.38 ± 0.68) (e.g., finishing the race or accomplishing various goals) than ego orientation (3.38 ± 1.01) (e.g., placing in the top 3 overall or beating an opponent). Women trained an average of 12.49 h·wk -1 and spent 64% of their time training alone. Training information came from their own experience, blogs, websites, and the Ultra List Serve. Over three-fourths of the participants (80%) did not use a coach because of cost and a perceived lack of necessity. Women ultrarunners in this study were task oriented, internally motivated, health, and financially conscious individuals. With additional information about women ultrarunners, coaches will be better prepared to work with this population and ultrarunners can improve their performance by learning about current participants' practices.
- Female distance runners
- Female endurance athletes
- Long-distance running
- Ultraendurance events
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation