If you’re a hard-core runner you know all about the runner’s high. It makes a run feel euphoric. But why doesn’t it happen every time we run? What’s actually going on in our body and why do we sometimes get it and other times we don’t?What gives you that euphoric feeling?
Endorphins are chemicals made in your body and are attributed to that feel-good effect you get when you’re having fun or doing something exciting. The runner’s high actually happens when your body is physically stressed and your body begins releasing endorphins at a higher rate. The more endorphins surging in the brain, the more euphoric the feeling. Scientists have found that long runs produce this endorphin spewing effect from the brain, giving you the runner’s high.
How can I get the runner’s high?
You get the runners high by pushing yourself – but not too hard. Endorphins are used by the body for more than just a feel-good sensation. They’re also used as a natural painkiller produced in times of physical discomfort. This is why when you have the runners high it feels like you can just keep going and going. But, that doesn’t mean you should. Pushing yourself to the brink will kill your endorphin surge, fast. To achieve the perfect endorphin rush you need to find the sweet spot where your run is challenging but not excruciating.
Why don’t I ever feel it?
It may be that you’re pushing yourself too hard or that your body just simply doesn’t have the capacity to do a long enough run to get the rush (yet!). Newbies to running often don’t feel the runner’s high for sometime until their endurance is high enough to get in a couple of miles at a time. Pushing yourself too hard can also keep you out of the feel-good zone by creating too much physical discomfort.
Train hard and push yourself to find your sweet spot where running becomes a euphoric and enjoyable experience. Remember, the runner’s high doesn’t happen every time but it’s something to look forward to next time you hit the pavement.