Kenyan and Spanish long distance runners and their deliberate practice

Arturo Casado-Alda, Luis Miguel Ruíz-Pérez


Within the context of expert performance and the deliberate practice approach, the present study analysed the subjective perceptions about the training tasks of a group of international long distance runners from Spain and Kenya. To do so the athletes fulfilled a questionnaire based on taxonomy of training activities that assessed four dimensions: Relevance, Effort, Concentration, and Enjoyment. Thirty eight male runners participated in this study split into two groups according to their nationality as Kenyan (n= 20) or Spanish (n= 18). All the athletes were long distance runners (10,000 meters, Half Marathon and Marathon). The results showed that training activities such as Competition or tests, Long and short interval training and Tempo runs, were considered the tasks that best characterized their deliberate practice. In addition, these tasks produced more enjoyment and demanded more concentration and effort. The most important differences between groups were that Kenyan runners did not practice some training activities that Spanish runners did such as weights and physical fitness training, running technique or alternative trainings. Also, the Kenyan runners gave more importance to Tempo runs, activity which involved them more concentration than to the Spanish runners.


Expert performance; Self-perceptions; Long distance runners; Track and field

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