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The relative importance of training and social support for runners’ performance: A cross-sectional study

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-02, 08:43 authored by Mabliny Thuany, Douglas Vieira, Henrique de Paula, Pantelis T. Nikolaidis, Volker Scheer, Katja Weiss, Ivan Cuk, Beat Knechtle, Thayse GomesThayse Gomes

Background Running participation/performance is a complex system. Understanding the variables associated with these behaviors may help to increase population physical activity and improve performance. This study aimed to investigate social and training variables important for running performance using a network approach.

Methods This cross-sectional study sampled 1151 non-professional Brazilian runners of both sexes (women, 38.2%; men, 61.7%). A questionnaire was available for eligible participants using an online platform, and information regarding training (volume and running pace) and social variables (participation in a running event, participation in a running group, infuence on running, runners in the family, and childhood sport) related to runners’ performance was obtained. The Chi-square test and network model were estimated by sex.

Results Training characteristics tend to be clustered. For both sexes, the training volume node presented the highest expected infuence in the network (1.69 for women and 2.16 for men). Centrality indicators of social variables show that sports childhood participation and the presence of runners in the family were the most important nodes of network connection for women and men, respectively.

Conclusion Based on these fndings, it was concluded that sports participation during childhood and the practice of running by other family members were important factors to connect variables in the network. These fndings have practical applications for health policymakers, highlighting the need to develop educational programs to increase sports participation during childhood and within families.



Sports Medicine Open, 2023, 9 (17)



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