Marjon News

Marjon academic in search for fledgling runners for research study

Released: 15.01.19

New runners are being sought out by Plymouth Marjon University Psychology Lecturer Dr Alister McCormick for his study looking at the experiences of people who take up running.

As new year’s resolutions come in to full flow, Dr McCormick is launching a study on the processes of committing to running and is looking for people who are new to running to be involved in his research.

Participants in the study must be older than 18 and be relatively new to running as a hobby.

“The research aims to learn how people commit to running,” said Dr McCormick.

“Lots of people start running as a new year’s resolution, some of those may go on to keep running for months while others will drop out. What I want to learn from a psychological point of view is what leads to some people keeping running up and what leads to others stopping altogether.”

The research would involve monthly chats over six months with Dr McCormick to discuss how the new commitment to running is going for participants. This would act as a reflective opportunity for runners to look at their own motivations for continuing to run.

“I’m keen to learn about people’s experiences and how they change over time,” said Dr McCormick.

“I want to work out what changes from month-to-month and what’s changing about their attitude to running. Participants may be willing to keep a diary where they write short notes on their experiences. They may also be willing to let me come on a few runs with them so I can see for myself what their experiences are like.”

Dr McCormick, who has been a keen runner for over five years, hopes that the results from the research will have an impact on the running community and will help enable more new runners to stick to their hobby.

Dr McCormick continued: “The purpose of the research is to have real life impact. In the future I want to run events and initiatives that involve new runners to help them to learn psychological strategies to help keep them running.

“I want Marjon to become a place where people can receive advice and information on things they can do to keep running regularly. This research will help me to learn how we can do that effectively.”

With previous research experience on psychology’s effects on endurance athletes’ performance, Dr McCormick now wants to turn his attention to helping those at the very start of their exercise journey.

Anyone interested in taking part in Dr McCormick’s research should email to discuss the study further.

Find out more about studying Psychology at Marjon. 

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