Psychological strategies to resist slowing down or stopping during endurance activity: An expert opinion paper

C. Meijen, Noel Brick, Alister McCormick, Andrew Lane, David Marchant, Samuele Marcora, Dominic Micklewright, Daniel Robinson

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Within this paper, we provide an expert opinion on five evidence-based psychological strategies that could help endurance participants overcome slowing down and stopping during performance: goal setting, motivational self-talk, relaxation, distraction, and pacing. We argue that these strategies are well-suited for delivery as brief-contact, educational interventions that could be accessible to large numbers of participants who do not have access to a sport and exercise psychologist. These interventions could be delivered using websites, online videos, workshops, or magazine articles. We propose a novel use for implementation intentions (i.e. if-then planning) to develop endurance participants’ conditional knowledge of when to use specific strategies. In addition, although research evidence suggests that these psychological strategies may be efficacious for overcoming thoughts of slowing down or stopping, there are important limitations in the research evidence. In particular, there is a dearth of ecologically valid, field-based effectiveness studies. Finally, we consider situations where attempts to resist slowing down or stopping during endurance activity may not be advisable. Scenarios include when there is an increased likelihood of injury, or when environmental conditions increase the risk of life-threatening events
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-37
Number of pages34
JournalSport and Exercise Psychology Review
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jun 2023


  • Brief-contact interventions
  • endurance performance
  • If-then planning
  • Psychological skills training
  • Self-regulation


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