Scientists have found that runners, especially those who go out for long runs, can experience a brief, deeply relaxing state of euphoria thanks to the endorphins our bodies produce. For some runners, it’s what they live for. Have you ever experienced it and, if so, what was it like for you? Is it easy (or hard) for you to recapture it?
yep, two kinds. there's what I call "the zone," where you hit your perfect rhythm, your biomechanics are good, the flow is easy but strong and you feel like you could sustain it forever, great pace, maybe helped along by some good music if you like to run with it, which I do. that's a kind of runner's high, and the endorphins are already in play. and then there's the more dramatic runner's high that hits after a run is finished, and if you pushed harder, worked harder, the high tends to be especially rewarding, you just feel blissed out and satisfied. mondo endorphins there. when I'm stretching on my yoga mat post-run, sometimes I just sit there and kind of zone out and let it wash over me. it'd be interesting to have scientists who study recreational drug users also take a look at the brains of runners and determine how long after the run the increased rates of endorphins are present in the brain (I don't know, maybe someone's already done this study), because to me it feels like the high has a nice gradual comedown that lasts well into the next day. and one recovery day doesn't bum me out. but if I go multiple days without running, I don't feel quite like myself and definitely am lacking that glow.
At age 85, after running for 44 years, I still experience what I believe to be endorphins permitting me to keep going, albeit slower and slower!
I think so... but most of the time it is not "euphoria" per say for met but the calm I feel after I finish running. It's a joy in distance, but I can also feel my brain embracing the restful state it leasves me with. I've struggled with anxiety for a long time so these few peaceful moments are precious.
No. But I have experienced many many lows, usually when facing an uphill stretch around the 11.5 mile point of a half marathon.
I have experienced the runners high many times but I usually have to run for an hour or more to feel it. It is a very peaceful and calm feeling which can last for 3-4 hrs after the run. The effect will also decrease any aches or pain I may be having, but the discomfort returns later. Running gives me peace of mine and it is the main reason that I run. And at age 64 the runners high is the best high I have experienced.
I experience a runner’s high 99.9% of the time I run. It is like floating when I run. My mind relaxes & my body just flies when I run & it feels so amazing!!! It is fairly easy for me to recapture. If I don’t feel the runner’s high on a run, I have let things worry me too much or physically I have something negative going on.
Yes of course, every time I run.
I've been running for over 20 years... Maybe once or twice did I feel euphoric during the run - or just maybe a bit buzzed. After the run I feel great. Right up until I listen to the news!
I have many times. Sometimes after a run I feel great, optimistic and singing a song. It can be a while after a run and it doesn't always dawn on me why I feel so great. It makes me feel even better when I do realize it's a runner's high.
The first time I felt the high was one of the first times I went to a gym. A buddy of mine put me through the paces for about an hour. When I got in my car I actually felt drunk.
Had it happen a few times. Maybe 3. It is hard to describe, but the word “peace” keeps popping in to my head. Being at total peace? Like, this is exactly where I want to be and what I want to be doing. One of the times, I had to lift my arms up in the air in thanks. And, it happens after I have been struggling to continue, and it doesn’t last terribly long. But I’ll take it!
I have and its awesome! However, I have only been able to achieve it when I'm firing on all cylinders, meaning, I am properly rested, eaten properly and kept up with my training. When I get that high, I feel like I can keep on running and I have to tell myself to stop at the 12, 14 etc miles that I planned on running.
The first time I experienced it, I didn't have a clue what it was. I had run track in high school and took running back up to get in shape years later. I'd never heard what a "Runner's Hight" was. I was just out for a nice, casual, Sunday morning, long run that turned into a LONG run. I felt like I could have run forever! YEARS later it happened again... I've logged more miles than I can count. There have been great runs and horrible days that I question my sanity for lacing up my shoes and going out on a not so nice day. If it could just be bottled, I'd pay almost anything to feel it when I look at my watch and wish time could somehow speed up. The few times it's happened the last thing I want to do is stop, not knowing if I'd ever experience it again. It's my brain giving me a gift when sometimes I need it the most.
I’ve felt it several times. A few times it just happens; running in the dark on a gravel road during Hood to Coast was one time. I think the long run makes you more vulnerable, more open to emotions. Different things can trigger that release; a piece of music, something on a podcast, the sun and the moon both in the sky at opposite horizons. One time I was deep into a trail run and I rounded a corner and Mt. Hood was just glowing in front of me. It’s probably all just chemical but I’d like to think the feeling is what Yeats meant by the “unity of being”.
It happened around my 2nd year of training. I had decided to try a 2nd 6.5 mile loop as I was becoming a stronger runner. I got to the last 200 feet of my 13 mile run . Where I could ease up a little and suddenly I got that euphoric feel that filled me up. I had never felt so good. I knew exactly what it was. It lasted a good four hours or more. What a great day that was. Maybe someday as I train for further distances i will get it again. It's not a goal or something I strive for, but definitely an added benefit.
Actually I did experience a high one time and I have been chasing it ever since. I felt completely at peace and one with the world. It’s very hard to articulate the total feeling of well being.
Yes! I would say it probably happens a few times a year for me.
It usually feels like a combination of extreme happiness coupled with really easy movement, like I'm just floating along. I've had it happen during races & workouts where my effort is pretty high, but also on really easy runs too.
I've learned it's impossible to recreate so I just keep chasing for the next time I get to experience it. 🌞
Definitely have had this a few times...in fact just a couple of weeks ago running 13...doesn't last the whole run (wish it did) but getting into that zone even for a few minutes is quite something. It feels like everything is aligned, working, good, nothing can go wrong
A few times, and it has been a very long time. (Been running 54 years). There is the every day good feeling when you finish, but this was different. It was a very intense and rather sudden feeling, followed by emotional swings.
When it happened for me, I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness. At first, I wasn't sure why I felt so wonderful; I just kept moving through the road and felt so good. When I stopped, it occurred to me that this may have been the "runner's high" I had heard so much about. It hasn't happened like that again, but it's come close a time or two during long walking treks.
I don't believe that I have. On the other hand I have experienced runners insanity. That is where halfway through a marathon you think "I don't think that I will do this again," but days later sign up for a marathon lottery (and then end up getting selected).
I've experienced what I'd call a true "runner's high" only a couple of times -- once, on a run in my hometown while visiting my parents, I was running up a hill and it took me by surprise. I just felt absolutely wonderful -- I really did feel different. What was interesting is how different it felt from most of my runs -- which do make me feel good and relaxed; this was something extra. But it's only happened one other time since then, so 🤷♂️
I believe this happens for me when I hit the wall and persevere. That feeling when everything in your body is telling you to quit but you keep moving forward. That is what I live for. PS- I cried like a baby when I finished my first marathon (probably some endorphins going on there lol).