Running is a fundamental human activity and holds an important place in popular culture. In recent decades it has exploded in popularity as a leisure pursuit, with marathons and endurance challenges exerting a strong fascination. Endurance Running is the first collection of original qualitative research to examine distance running through a socio-cultural lens, with a general objective of understanding the concept and meaning of endurance historically and in contemporary times.

Adopting diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to explore topics such as historical conceptualizations of endurance, lived experiences of endurance running, and the meaning of endurance in individual lives, the book reveals how the biological, historical, psychological, and sociological converge to form contextually specific ideas about endurance running and runners. 

Endurance Running is an essential book for anybody researching across the entire spectrum of endurance sports and fascinating reading for anybody working in the sociology of sport or the body, cultural studies or behavioural science.

chapter 1|15 pages

Critical considerations of runners and running

ByWilliam Bridel, Pirkko Markula, Jim Denison

part |59 pages

Running beginnings

chapter 2|16 pages

“Astounding exploits” and “laborious undertakings”

Nineteenth-century pedestrianism and the cultural meanings of endurance
ByMary Louise Adams

chapter 3|15 pages

On the entangled origins of mud running

“Overcivilization,” physical culture, and overcoming obstacles in the Spartan Race
ByGavin Weedon

chapter 4|11 pages

Charting the development of contemporary endurance running training theory

ByJoseph P. Mills, Jim Denison

chapter 5|15 pages

Beyond Boston and Kathrine Switzer

Women’s participation in distance running
ByLaura Frances Chase

part |83 pages

Running because

chapter 6|16 pages

Foot trouble

The minimalist running movement
ByPirkko Markula

chapter 7|16 pages

Disrupting identity

An affective embodied reading of Runner’s World
ByRichard Pringle

chapter 8|16 pages

Boston Strong

Sport, terror/ism, and the spectacle pedagogy of citizenship
ByMichael D. Giardina, Ryan King-White, Kyle S. Bunds

chapter 9|16 pages

Lopez Lomong

Enduring life
ByTheresa Walton-Fisette

chapter 10|17 pages

Enduring disability, ableism, and whiteness

Three readings of inspirational endurance athletes in Canada
ByDanielle Peers

part |89 pages

Running bodies

chapter 11|18 pages

“My hormones were all messed up”

Understanding female runners’ experiences of amenorrhea
ByHolly Thorpe

chapter 12|15 pages


Space, place, and social experience
ByMaylon Hanold

chapter 13|16 pages

An interdisciplinary conversation about running between two academics who run

ByMarie-Josée Perrier, William Bridel

chapter 14|15 pages

Hitting a purple patch

Building high performance runners at Runtleborough University
ByP. David Howe

chapter 15|16 pages

Digging in

The sociological phenomenology of “doing endurance” in distance-running
ByJohn Hockey, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

chapter 16|7 pages

Enduring ideas

ByWilliam Bridel, Jim Denison, Pirkko Markula