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The aim of this study was to examine deeply the experiences of women’ who prefer long distance running as a serious leisure activity within the framework of Self-Determination Theory. According to the theoretical framework, it is aimed to understand how participation in a serious leisure activity affects individuals' basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness. The research was designed in the phenomenological paradigm in the qualitative research method. The study group was determined by maximum variety sampling method. The study was conducted with 14 women including independent running groups in Ankara. The data were collected through semi-structured interview form using individual interviews. The data analyzed by thematic analysis method. As a result of the analyzes, three main themes were formed in accordance with the theoretical framework. The first theme was “Running as a part of life” the second theme was “Meaning of leisure” and the third theme was “Construction of social environment”. The results revealed, although the participants see the running as a part of their lives, they hesitate to define themselves as long distance runners. They emphasized that the running had a huge impact on the happiness of believing that it was an easy way to set a goal and see what they have accomplished. In terms of their socialization and psychological relief, they considered the groups of participants to be important. As a result, according to the participants opinion, it was seen that the basic psychological needs of the autonomy, competence and relatedness satisfy by long distance running as a serious leisure activity. Therefore, it is important that women are directed to serious leisure activities.

Serious leisure, physical activity, woman, self-determination theory


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