Feeling good, sensory engagements, and time out: embodied pleasures of running

Patricia C. Jackman, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, Noora Ronkainen, Noel E. Brick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Despite considerable growth in understanding of various aspects of sporting and exercise embodiment over the last decade, in-depth investigations of embodied affectual experiences in running remain limited. Furthermore, within the corpus of literature investigating pleasure and the hedonic dimension in running, much of this research has focused on experiences of pleasure in relation to performance and achievement, or on specific affective states, such as enjoyment, derived after completing a run. We directly address this gap in the qualitative literature on sporting and exercise embodiment by contributing novel insights on the mind-body pleasures of running via focusing analytic attention towards the pleasures recalled by runners as experienced during positive, rewarding running experiences. Applying conceptual insights drawn from sociological phenomenology, we analyse data from an in-depth, event-focused interview study with distance runners who reported positive, rewarding experiences in recent recreational runs. Through reflexive thematic analysis, we present findings in relation to three themes: (1) ‘running feels like it should’; (2) sensory engagements; and (3) time out. The study contributes fresh perspectives, both conceptually and in relation to data-collection approach, to a small literature on the lived experience of pleasure in sport, exercise and physical cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Issue number4
Early online date23 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 23 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Health (social science)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociological phenomenology
  • digital
  • enjoyment
  • sport and embodiment
  • exercise


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