Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Mindful Endurance Athlete Study: Part 1a, Descriptive Stats

At the very beginning this year, I began collecting pilot data for a new study examining the intersection between psychology - particularly, mindfulness skills - and endurance sports. This will be the first in a series of posts describing preliminary results, starting with descriptive statistics. If you'd like to link back to the initial study, take a look here.

Descriptive Stats: Who Are You?

 For starters - a total of n=326 people are represented in this data set. A pretty even distribution of triathletes and individual sport athletes (with some overlap - counting triathletes who also compete in single-sport events).

Average training hours/week is also fairly evenly distributed - the largest chunks fall between 7-13hrs/week, although sizable groups for 5-7hrs and 15+ as well.

Note also that long-time endurance athletes are highly represented in this sample - almost 1/3 have been at it for over 10 years.

Approximately half identify as age-group competitive, although there are a fair number at the pointy end - this will be interesting to break down between groups when we start looking at psychological skills!

You're loners. Well, almost 2/3 of you are. Whether out of necessity or a predominance of introverts is another question.

You're not all plugged in. Again, this will be a really interesting question to correlate with mindfulness skills - are the media consumers also less attentive and aware or not?

Gender and age brackets - a reasonably distributed random sample.

But...will mental skills be more a function (if a function at all) of real age or training age?

A lot of you are really stressed.

And that's not taking into account the physical stress of all those training hours.

In terms of regular mind-body practice, most people don't do it. Because of the "leave blank if none" option, the percentages shown are skewed a bit - the take-away is that a small handful of you practice yoga a few times per week (44/326, or 13.5%) or meditate (about 11%), with an impressive 15 daily meditators.

But is exercise in of itself a sufficient "moving meditation"? Maybe...stay tuned.


  1. i myself am a psychology student and i agree to this blog completely! there is most definitely a really big connection between psychology and endurance sport!

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