Runner’s High

Good morning !

Yesterday after work, I went on my new 3 mi routine around my complex.  I tried to run the majority of the time and decrease the amount of walking breaks.  I also really tried to start out slow and negative split, but I ended up really dragging during the last mile.  However… I didn’t come home and feel like falling face first onto my couch.  Mild improvement, I guess.

Runner’s High


I can honestly say the only time I ever felt runner’s high was when I ran on the beach in Pacific Beach, San Diego.  Sand, warm breeze, palm trees… it wasn’t hard to achieve a runner’s high.  I was in the zone.  I haven’t felt like that in quite some time.  And I am pretty sure that I will NEVER reach that bliss while trucking along on the treadmill.  I’m a visual person, and looking out at the parking lot from my gym just isn’t going to cut it.

Let me back up a bit.  Runner’s high is a state of bliss that athlete’s get during and immediately after prolonged intense exercise.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be from running.  The Endogenous Opioid Hypothesis states that endorphins are released during intense physical exercise.  These endorphins bind to opioid receptors in the brain helping to decrease pain, increase dopamine, and act in reward-related areas of the brain– such as the nucleus accummbens.

Researchers in Germany recently found that the folk belief is true: Running does elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain.  The endorphins are associated with mood changes.  Therefore,the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect.

Tell me about when the last time you got runner’s high.

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6 comments on “Runner’s High

  1. Katera on said:

    I get runner’s highs all the time! I think they happen most for me during 5 mile runs. I don’t know why but lately 5-6 miles have been my favorite training distance. It’s long enough to push yourself but not enough to make your legs cry.

  2. Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl on said:

    I got a pretty good workout high after my 5K and soccer games on Saturday. It was a good three hours of solid activity and I felt AMAZING when I got home. Love it. Don’t fret, even small runner’s highs feel fantastic! :)

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