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Bethan Taylor-Swaine - PhD candidate and feminist sociologist of sport

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Bethan is committed to challenging the way we talk about running to encourage as many people as possible to find joy in the experience. She’s an advocate for pace inclusion, spending time outdoors and living well in the world.

Bethan in her own words:

“I live in South London with my husband Mike, our daughter Evie and Loki the Brussels Griffon in a flat that has views over the whole city.

A few years ago I quit the city and went back to university to work on my PhD and I spend my days researching the representations and identities of women in ultra running in the Sport Business Research Centre at Birkbeck, University of London.

I’ve struggled with my wellbeing and mental health for most of my life. Over the years I’ve found things that have helped make things more manageable and I’m passionate about sharing what I’ve learnt to help other people ‘Live Well In The World’.”


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Listen to Bethan Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Bethan?

  • Being a feminist sociologist of sport

  • Her academic approach to her insights

  • Having a post modernist feminist perspective

  • Being an activist with an agenda

  • Asking questions and wanting to learn and develop her thoughts

  • Sharing about her life on social media

  • Her manifesto and how it came about

  • Managing her mental health

  • Wanting to live well in the world

  • Managing the physical and mental stress, rest and energy

  • Wanting to be content and to enjoy herself

  • Mindset, gratitude and connection

  • The benefits of movement and why it always has a place in her life

  • Feeling better in nature and spending time outside

  • Starting her running journey 10 years ago

  • Being in her late 20s, in a difficult relationship and a stressful job

  • Running in the dark in her old school t-shirt

  • Knowing that running would change her life

  • Feeling good and capable

  • Entering her first race and starting to run with other people

  • Running her first half marathon and being inspired to run a marathon

  • Doing her masters part time while working and how running had to take a backseat

  • Running her first post baby marathon in April

  • Finishing up her PhD and running 30mins here and there to keep things ticking over

  • Spending time around the running community

  • Having an emergency c-section and returning to physical activity at 6 weeks

  • Working with a postnatal specialist

  • Doing couch to 5k NHS App

  • Starting running too soon and getting injured and needing to postpone the October London Marathon

  • Finding joy in running (Tina Muir) and why London was her ultimate Joy PB

  • Using a run walk strategy and having a detailed plan in advance

  • Doing her long runs during the week as that’s when she’s got childcare available

  • Doing her PhD studying the representations and identities of women in ultra marathon

  • Quitting her job and becoming a full time academic

  • Wanting more women to take part in sport and physical activity

  • Why sports are not just a boy thing

  • Post feminist narratives around participation in sports

  • Will women outrun men?

  • Black Trail Runners

  • The million dollar question!! (When will the PhD be finished?)

  • What’s changed over the years and starting to understand post feminism more

  • The costs of running and why it’s not free

  • Reductionist ideas and why we need to be mindful of what’s said and seen

  • Why you can’t “just do it”

  • The pressure for women to do a lot and to excel at what they do

  • You can have it all….

  • Working with her partner to balance the challenges of life

  • Why your priorities can’t be everything

  • How to connect with Bethan on the socials

  • Final words of advice

  • Examine what your privileges are when it comes to sport and physical activity

  • Avoid platitudes and how you can understand your journey better


Social Media



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