Opinions of Veteran Runners on The Influence Between Long-Distance Running and Holistically Interpreted Health

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The objective of the research was to determine the cognitive basis, the classification and evaluation of the long experience of long-distance runners in the senior category in relation to the perception of running as a factor in their overall health and wellbeing. Research was conducted with a sample of male and female long-distance runners with long experience in domestic and foreign longdistance running events in veteran categories. Oral and written interviews with the same questions were used to acquire information on the correlation between holistically understood health and long-term participation in long-distance running. The interview design allowed respondents to express their opinion on the questions in more detail through additional notes. A quantitative analysis of the acquired data was conducted using standard mathematical operations and the incidence of responses in percentage terms. The hypotheses were tested using a test on the parameter p of a binomial distribution and a median test. Senior-age long-distance runners’ decision to take up running was found to have both heteronomous motivation (encouragement by a sports teacher, admiration for other runners, persuasion by colleagues) and autonomous motivation (an internal need to run, a means for overcoming mental stress and restoring internal balance, the need to lose weight, elimination of health problems, the desire to compete). The majority of runners agreed that long-distance running had a positive effect on their overall health and physical condition. Long-distance runners rated the effect of long-distance running on their social and personal wellbeing to be greater than three on a five-point scale did. There is no statistically significant difference between the number of runners who think that long practice of running has some negative effects on their health and the number of runners who think that it has no negative effects. The majority of runners think that their health is better than that of their peers who do no sport.

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