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Title:The Effects of a Psychological Skills Training Program on Treadmill Performance of Male Collegiate Distance Runners
Author(s):Simons, Jeffery Philip
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gould, Daniel
Department / Program:Kinesiology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Animal Physiology
Abstract:Male middle- and long-distance runners (N = 18) competing for a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I track team were studied to evaluate the efficacy of a psychological skills training (PST) program on treadmill running performance. Baseline data were collected on a multi-stage treadmill test at speeds estimated to require 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 98% of each runner's aerobic capacity (VO$\sb2$max). The first three stages each lasted 6 min, and the next two stages each lasted 4 min. After 1 min at the final speed, the grade was raised from 0% to 2% and time to volitional termination (TVT) was recorded. Oxygen consumption (VO$\sb2$), heart rate, and ventilation were sampled continuously, and self-report measures were collected before, during, and after the test. Subjects were randomized into three equivalent groups. Psychological Skills Training (PST) subjects (n = 6) participated in a six week program based upon cognitive-behavioral techniques and expressly designed to address psychological aspects of high intensity running. Specific techniques included relaxation, cognition training, coping skills training, and attention/concentration training. Education Control (EC) subjects (n = 6) received information about each of the techniques employed with the PST group, but were neither given specific applications nor encouraged to practice any of the techniques. No Treatment Control (NTC) subjects (n = 6) received no intervention. At the end of the six week period, all subjects performed a treadmill test identical to the pre-test and the same measures were collected. Statistical analyses of pre- to post-intervention change scores indicated that PST subjects significantly reduced VO$\sb2$ in comparison to EC and NTC subjects (p $<$.05) at speeds estimated to elicit 50, 60, and 70% VO$\sb2$max. No statistical differences were indicated for any of the other physiological data. The PST group also displayed a significantly greater increase in TVT in comparison to the two control groups (p $<$.001). No other measures revealed significant group differences. This investigation provides clear evidence that psychological skills training can significantly influence objective parameters of distance running performance.
Issue Date:1988
Description:231 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908848
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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