Over the weekend, I had a fantastic 9 mile run. It seemed like the stars were perfectly aligned to make this run outstanding. It was so great that I can’t even tell you why. Have you ever been in the running zone where you just GO and don’t even have any thoughts? That’s what this run was like for at least a few miles. My knee felt great. I wasn’t thinking of my ‘to-do’ list. My foot falls were rhythmic. I was just running and it felt right.
After my run, I started to think about the so called Runner’s High. We’ve all heard about it – the rush of endorphins you get while exercising. I would call my run over the weekend one of the closest things to a Runner’s High. It was damn near euphoric! Or a brilliant run since I was wearing my Mizuno’s. 😉 But anyway…
Over the last few years that I’ve been more seriously into running, I can name at least a handful of runs where I’ve felt that high. The most memorable would be during my first half marathon in 2007. At one point the race came out to the ocean. As I turned onto the road following the water, the sun came out from behind the clouds and hit me full on in the face. The water looked absolutely breathtaking as the sun made it sparkle and shine. At that point it hit me.
I‘m running a half marathon! I’m doing it!
Tears started streaming down my face. I was just so happy to be able to run, to set a goal, train for it and achieve it. Even now thinking back to that race, I get shivers.
The other instances also involved intense emotions. It’s always been during or after a long run that I’ve felt that high. That “It’s all good!” feeling. When I took my month long hiatus from running due to my knee injury, I struggled with not having that feeling. Cycling or any other exercise didn’t give me that rush of endorphins and feeling of clarity. Don’t get me wrong, I felt good but not that same good. I have a friend who was a runner for years but had to stop from too many injuries who agrees with me. She turned to cycling and says that it takes much, much longer to get an equivalent high on the bike. She always tells me she would get back to running if she could in a heart beat just to get that high again.
So how do you get a Runner’s High? Is there an actual technique to achieve it? I’m Jonesing for more, man! I actually Googled it to see what came up. Surprisingly, there were no mentions of smoking weed and then running. Hahaha. However, I did find an interesting article from Runner’s World that ran back in 2004. According to a researcher, the best way to get it is “when you run just a little slower than your 10-K race pace, also called tempo pace.” If you run any slower, you aren’t producing enough stress. Faster and it’s too demanding and taxing. Interesting, no? If you want to read the whole article, click HERE. I think I’ll be scheduling more tempo runs in my weekly rotation just to test the theory out and to get my fix.
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Question of the Day
Have you ever experienced a Runner’s High from exercise?