Running-related demands and vigor in long-distance runners: The moderating role of resources and recovery

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Long-distance running is a demanding sport and runners use a variety of coping strategies to deal with these demands. In this study, we investigated running-related demands, resources, and recovery and, as an indicator of well-being, vigor. Specifically, following the Demand-Induced Strain Compensation Recovery Model, we tested to what degree the relation between running-related demands and vigor was moderated by two coping strategies available in running: running-related resources (e.g., training control, running mate/coach support) and running-related recovery (i.e., detachment from running). Demands, resources, recovery, and vigor were all surveyed across three separate dimensions (i.e., physical, cognitive, emotional) in a cross-sectional sample of 623 recreational long-distance runners. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to determine to what degree the demands-vigor relation was moderated by resources and recovery. Evidence for moderations was found for the cognitive and emotional dimensions of vigor, revealing four significant moderating effects of resources or recovery on the demands-vigor relation. Three of these effects involved emotional resources or recovery. Contrary to expectations, results also showed that in two cases higher recovery was associated with lower vigor, rather than higher, when runners experienced high demands. In all, we found modest support for the role of resources and recovery in altering the nature of the demands-vigor relation in recreational long-distance runners. This study highlights the importance of the emotional dimension of demands, resources, and recovery, as those facets were most important in predicting vigor in runners. Practical implications are addressed with regard to emotional resources and recovery for long-distance runners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3873-3887
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number6
Early online date8 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • DISC-R model
  • Detachment
  • Emotion
  • Long-distance running
  • Vigor


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