Emotion regulation strategies used in the hour before running

Authors Organisations
  • Damian M. Stanley(Author)
    University of Wolverhampton
  • Andrew M. Lane(Author)
    University of Wolverhampton
  • Christopher J. Beedie(Author)
  • Andrew P. Friesen(Author)
    University of Wolverhampton
  • Tracey J. Devonport(Author)
    University of Wolverhampton
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-171
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date05 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2012
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An online survey was used to explore emotion regulation strategies used by runners (N = 506, mean age = 37.69 years, SD = 8.84 years) in the hour prior to training or competition. Content analysis of responses identified 28 categories of emotion regulation strategy, with the most popular being goal setting (23%), distraction (12%), recall of past performance accomplishments (12%), and anticipated pleasant emotions after running (10%). Participants reported greater use of cognitive strategies than behavioural ones, with responses suggesting that emotion regulation and performance management are closely related. Given this cognitive focus, and given the performance aspect inherent to running, it is suggested that individuals' approaches to emotion regulation in sport and exercise contexts differ somewhat from those involved in general daily activities reported in the social psychology literature.


  • emotion, mood, affect, self-regulation, psychological skills