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.
"[Endurance Running] offers much insight into running as a cultural phenomenon. The book is interesting because it offers a scholarly contribution to a contemporary, socio-cultural practice, which for the most part is dominated by natural scientific perspectives that tend to quantify running into durations, intensities and frequencies."— Øyvind Førland Standal, www.idrottsforum.org
"It gives an interesting overview of the field of endurance running and relates it to history, psychology, sociology, and many other academic disciplines. Although it is an academic volume, the authors’ use of stories and personal experiences in most chapters makes the volume a fairly easy read. I think it will appeal to a wide audience." - Diane Finley, PsycCRITIQUES, September 2016
1. Critical Considerations of Runners and Running (William Bridel, Pirkko Markula, & Jim Denison) Part 1: Running Beginnings 2. "Astounding Exploits" and "Laborious Undertakings": Nineteenth-Century Pedestrianism and the Cultural Meanings of Endurance (Mary Louise Adams) 3. On the Entangled Origins of Mud Running: "Overcivilization," Physical Culture, and Overcoming Obstacles in the Spartan Race (Gavin Weedon) 4. Charting the Development of Contemporary Endurance Running Training Theory (Joseph P. Mills & Jim Denison) 5. Beyond Boston and Kathrine Switzer: Women’s Participation in Distance Running (Laura Chase) Part 2: Running Because 6. Foot Trouble: The Minimalist Running Movement (Pirkko Markula) 7. Disrupting Identity: An Affective Embodied Reading of Runner’s World (Richard Pringle) 8. Boston Strong: Sport, Terror/ism, and the Spectacle Pedagogy of Citizenship (Michael D. Giardina, Ryan King-White, & Kyle Bunds) 9. Lopez Lomong: Enduring Life (Theresa Walton-Fisette) 10. Enduring Disability, Ableism, and Whiteness: Three Readings of Inspirational Endurance Athletes in Canada (Danielle Peers) Part 3: Running Bodies 11. "My hormones were all messed up": Understanding Female Runners Experiences of Amenorrhea (Holly Thorpe) 12. Ultrarunning: Space, Place, and Social Experience (Maylon Hanold) 13. An Interdisciplinary Conversation About Running Between Two Academics Who Run (M. J. Perrier & William Bridel) 14. Hitting a Purple Patch: Building High Performance Runners at Runtleborough University (P. David Howe) 15. Digging In: The Sociological Phenomenology of "Doing Endurance" in Distance-Running (John Hockey & Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson) 16. Enduring Ideas (William Bridel)