What keeps them running? The ‘circle of commitment’ of long distance runners

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25 Scopus citations


Analysis of commitment in long distance running has developed rapidly over the past decade. No attention has been devoted, however, to different commitment patterns of runners. This paper identifies the commitments of ‘professional level’, ‘semi-professional level’ and ‘amateur level’ long distance runners. Discriminant analysis reveals that those of amateur level have relatively weaker personal and structural commitment in comparison with the professional level runners. Semi-professional level runners are in a marginal position: While they have the same personal commitment as the more serious runners, they do not have the parallel structural commitment. The implications of this position are analysed. The preliminary formulation of a theoretical model of sport and leisure commitment is presented, in terms of ‘a circle of commitment’. This involves commitment profile, self-concept, activity levels and achievements.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)257-270
Number of pages14
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992


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