Effects of cognitive strategy and exercise setting on running performance, perceived exertion, affect, and satisfaction

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Objective:To investigate the effects of cognitive strategies, exercise setting, and participants’ gender on performance, perceived exertion, affect, and satisfaction in recreational runners.Methods:A 3×2×2 mixed experimental design with Exercise Setting (i.e., treadmill, indoor track, and outdoor route) as a within-groups independent variable and Cognitive Strategy (association vs. dissociation) and Gender as between-groups factors. Dependent measures were performance time, Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE), Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory (EFI) scores, and course satisfaction following a 5 km run.Results and conclusions:Strong effects were found for Exercise Setting. The treadmill setting was rated as least satisfying, while resulting in the highest RPE and slowest performance time. Alternately, the outdoor route resulted in the highest levels of positive engagement, revitalization, tranquillity, and course satisfaction, while also yielding the lowest levels of physical exhaustion and RPE. There were no overall differences in RPE or course satisfaction between the Cognitive Strategies; however, the association group ran faster and experienced lower levels of tranquillity than the dissociation group. The only statistically significant difference found for Gender was that males ran faster than females.

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