Influence of Psychological Factors on the Success of the Ultra-Trail Runner

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 8;18(5):2704. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18052704.


The aim of this study was to analyze the psychological variables of runners of ultra-trail mountain races and their association with athletic performance and success. The sample was made up of 356 mountain runners, 86.7% men and 13.2% women, with a mean age of 42.7 years and 5.7 years of experience. Using pre- and post-race questionnaires, data were collected regarding mental toughness, resilience, and passion. The performance of each runner in the race was also recorded. The results showed very high values in the psychological variables analyzed compared with other sports disciplines. Completion of the race (not withdrawing) and the elite quality of the runners were presented as the most relevant indicators in the processes of resilience, mental toughness, and obsessive passion. Differences were noted between the pre- and post-race results, suggesting that the competition itself is a means of training those psychological factors that are essential to this sports discipline. It can be concluded that psychological factors are decisive to athletic performance and race completion in mountain ultra-marathon races.

Keywords: mental toughness; passion; resilience; trail running; ultra-marathon.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marathon Running
  • Running*