The rewarding effect of flow experience on performance in a marathon race

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SCHÜLER, Julia, Sibylle BRUNNER, 2009. The rewarding effect of flow experience on performance in a marathon race. In: Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 10(1), pp. 168-174. ISSN 1469-0292. eISSN 1878-5476

@article{Schuler2009rewar-37184, title={The rewarding effect of flow experience on performance in a marathon race}, year={2009}, doi={10.1016/j.psychsport.2008.07.001}, number={1}, volume={10}, issn={1469-0292}, journal={Psychology of Sport and Exercise}, pages={168--174}, author={Schüler, Julia and Brunner, Sibylle} }

2009 The rewarding effect of flow experience on performance in a marathon race 2017-02-07T12:17:58Z Schüler, Julia Schüler, Julia 2017-02-07T12:17:58Z Brunner, Sibylle Brunner, Sibylle eng Objectives<br /><br />This research aimed to shed light on the relationship between flow experience and performance in sports using a marathon race as an example. We hypothesized that flow influences the marathon race performance by an indirect rewarding effect.We assumed that the positive quality of flow experience rewards the pre-race running activity and thereby enhances training behavior which again leads to high race performance. A methodological issue of the this was to compare the retrospective with the experience-sampling measure of flow.<br /><br />Design<br /><br />Three studies with marathon runners (Ns ¼ 109, 112, 65 for Studies 1, 2, and 3, respectively) were conducted.<br /><br />Method<br /><br />They measured flow experience four times during a marathon race either retrospectively (Studies 1 and 2) or using an experience-sampling method during the race (Study 3). Additionally race performance and future running motivation (Studies 1, 2, and 3), pre-race training behavior (Studies 2 and 3) and flow experience in training (Study 3) were measured.<br /><br />Results<br /><br />The results confirmed the hypothesis showing that flow during a marathon race is related to future running motivation, but is not directly linked to race performance. Instead, race performance was predicted by pre-race training behavior (Studies 2 and 3) which again was fostered by flow during the training (Study 3). The descriptive flow courses of the retrospective and the experience-sampling flow measures were comparable but also showed important differences.<br /><br />Conclusions<br /><br />We critically discuss the practical implications of the rewarding effect of flow on performance and the advantages of the retrospective and experience-sampling measure of flow.

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