I was asked recently if there was really such thing as a runner’s high.
You know — that euphoric feeling that runners supposedly can get that makes them want to run forever and ever amen.
Short answer: Yes; there is such a thing.
Long answer: Achieving it depends on what you’re doing.
Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter “E.” As in endorphins. As in the things that induce the so-called runner’s high. Woo Hoo!
What are endorphins? Basically, endorphins are hormones produced from your spine that act as natural pain killers. mmmmmmmmyessss. Free meds!
The trick of it all is reaching the point of making that switch go off. And I don’t think there’s one way to do it. Similar to, well, just about everything in this world, a runner’s high is different for everybody.
And similar to other things, you may have experienced the high without knowing it. Or you may have felt like you achieved runner’s high, but really were experiencing more of a placebo effect.
If you’ve never had it before, it can take some time to know what it is. So chances are good that you have already had it and didn’t recognize it, or maybe you’ve had just a little bit of it!
Either way, people often want to know how to get the runner’s high. For me, it was never about just getting a runner’s high. Sure it sounded fun and amazing, but if I could perform and run and be happy and healthy, then I felt like I was being successful. If I had a little medicinal help along the way, even better!
But for those of you looking for a tip, I do have one recommendation. Push yourself.
I know when I first experienced the high, I was running long-distance. And I was outside of my comfort zone. Try going a little bit longer. If you’re training for a 10k and you’re up to 4, push out 5 one day and see what happens.
If you’re doing a training program like Couch-to-5k, you’re never really stepping outside of your boundaries. Get crazy one day and just keep going until you feel like you physically can’t any more. if you’ve been doing 3 miles or whatever — go for six. Maybe you don’t get to 6, but at least you aren’t telling yourself when to stop. Hey – maybe you get to 7!
In many other instances which endorphins are released (excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm), we’re out of our element. We’re getting caught off guard. It isn’t planned or rehearsed or dwelled on. Many of those things just end up happening.
Getting out and pushing yourself beyond your usual “planned” boundaries will help your body react naturally.
You all know a watched pot never boils. Stop trying to get the runner’s high, get out, run, and enjoy yourself and you just might be pleasantly surprised.
In other news, the 2013 Peachtree Road Race registration is just around the corner!!!! Who’s excited? This girl! Be on the lookout for a brand-spankin’-new PRR blog post for 2013’s race.
So tell me, have you experienced the runner’s high? What did it take for you?