Professor's Latest Study Featured in National News Outlets

September 9, 2015

Dr. Ashley Samson


Kinesiology professor Dr. Ashley Samson has long been interested in what goes through runners' heads while on those long runs. A runner herself, she can attest to the myriad of thoughts that pass through as the miles go by. "Anything, from what do I need to buy from the grocery store, to my leg turnover and my pace," she says. Samson was really driven to understand this process better and to figure out how it might lead to better or worse performance in runners so she decided to take it to the research lab. She and fellow researchers fitted runners with small recording devices and sent them on long runs of 8 or more miles. She told them to simply spew out any thought that came through their head on the run and then researchers analyzed the recordings to determine patterns in runners' thoughts. The study was recently published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and has been receiving much attention in mainstream media. Samson was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition and Runner's World Magazine also wrote a feature about the study. To listen to the NPR feature or to read the full Runner's World Article, click the links below: