How I get the runner’s high.

Posted: September 12, 2011 in Running

To my surprise after doing a ton of Google-fu on the internet there are not many articles that say how to get a runner’s high other than running for at least 30 minutes. Some articles tell you tempo running is the best and others say run for about 40 minutes and you feel euphoric as you run.

Well speaking from my experience of running daily for 15 years it takes more than that. I never really feel euphoric or high during a run. I can sometimes get into the “zone” where you simply forget your doing some type of running motion and your brain simply stops focusing on the physical aspects of a run. This could be so called “runner’s high” people describe, but for me it’s not. I don’t feel euphoric, high, or reach a state of altered enlightenment while I run. It’s after the run.

There has been times where I swear to you I feel like I am completely high off marijuana after a run. It has come to me several times but only once I’ve completed a run under these circumstances:

1. I break a good sweat, at least five minutes or so. Mileage doesn’t matter.
2. I’m rested, not moving around at all after a run.
3. I have to be completely cooled off, then take a shower.
4. A slightly cold shower.
5. Sip on anything cold, particularly a non-carbonated drink.

The high can only be described as a marijuana high and it lasts for about 30-45 minutes sometimes a hour or more. When I say I feel high I mean straight up high. There have been several studies shown that endorphin’s are actually released into your brain and you’re brains receptors receive the response just as it was marijuana after a good run. So the science is there, but understanding what triggers the high besides just running isn’t.

So that is how I get a runner’s high. In short it’s breaking a really good sweat, cooling yourself off and keeping yourself cool while resting. If I run before work I’ll go through these steps and then sip on some green tea with the AC blasting in the car and I’m high to the gills the whole time I’m driving. The running part for me is not as important as what you do afterwords to achieve that high.


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