The main purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between self-report measures such as mood state, emotional recovery, and perceived exertion for a runner during a continental run. Second, the purpose was to examine psychological factors that enable an ultra-distance runner during an event. A case study report from a 49-year-old female ultra-distance runner, running a 3641 kilometre adventure event during a 10-week period was made. Data were collected during 15 weeks with three self-report questionnaires – more specifically, an initial report 3 weeks prior to the run, a weekly report during the 10 weeks of running, and, finally, a report 2 weeks after the run. In addition, a follow-up narrative interview was performed nine months after the run was completed. The main result showed that perceived exertion level had a statistically significant negative relationship with negative mood and a positive statistically significant relationship with positive mood. Results also showed a statistically significant difference between the three measurement points based on the variable perceived exertion level. In addition, the runner's narration suggested four main categories of psychologically assisting attributes: motivation, group cohesiveness, self-awareness, and mental stamina. The findings highlight the complex balance between extreme physical load and feelings of comfort and elevated mood. Another finding is that the joint effect of different psychological factors – especially the runner's high self-awareness, strong-minded attitude, and ability to use humour in problematic situations – was helpful during the run. Practical and methodological implications, as well strategies for further research, are provided.
2016. Vol. 14, no 1, 72-84 p.