Injury occurrence and mood states during a desert ultramarathon

S.M. Graham, M. McKinley, C.C. Chris, T. Westbury, J.S. Baker, L. Kilgore, G. Florida-James

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22 Citations (Scopus)


To describe injuries and illnesses presented and profile mood states and sleep patterns during a desert environment ultramarathon.
DESIGNProspective study gathering data on mood states and injury patterns.
Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
PARTICIPANTSEleven male competitors (mean mass, 83.7 ± 7.1 kg; body mass index, 24 ± 1.79 kg/m; age, 33 ± 11 years).
Injuries were clinically assessed and recorded each day.
Mood state was assessed using the Brunel Mood Scale.
All subjects presented with abrasion injuries, dehydration, and heat stress. Vigor decreased over the first 6 days while fatigue increased (P < 0.05). Fatigue and vigor recovered on the final morning. The observed recovery was set against increasing levels of depression, tension, and confusion, which peaked at days 5/6 but returned to day 1 levels on the 7th day morning (P < 0.05). Mean sleep duration (6:17 ± 00:48 hours:minutes; lowest on day 6, 4:43 ± 01:54 hours:minutes) did not vary significantly across the 7 days but did correlate with mood alterations (P < 0.05). Increased anger and fatigue correlated strongly with sleep disruption (r = 0.736 and 0.768, respectively). Vigor and depression displayed a moderately strong correlation to sleep (r = 0.564 and -0.530).
Injury patterns were similar to those reported in other adventure/ultradistance events. Consistent with previous work, data show increased fatigue and reduced vigor in response to an arduous physical challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


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