A runner’s higher: What is it and how it impacts our partnership with operating?


If you are a runner the probabilities are you have felt a “runner’s high”. But what is it and how does it supply you a deeper understanding of your partnership with operating?

A state of optimism

A runner’s higher can be described as a feeling of euphoria coupled with decreased anxiousness and a lessened potential to really feel discomfort. Quite a few runners say this feeling final for hours immediately after a run. It delivers a euphoric feeling or state of becoming “high” immediately after operating injury-cost-free and effectively reaching the final location or finish line.

When it comes to coaching, the significance of optimism can’t be more than-emphasised. If you are filled with damaging feelings, pressure and stress, it can be considerably tougher to achieve your coaching ambitions. A runner’s higher can encourage you to go out for an additional run, even when you lack the motivation, simply because you know you will really feel improved afterwards.

That is why quite a few runners really feel achieved toward the finish of their coaching strategy and, most particularly, immediately after every little thing is completed. As a result, a “runner’s high” is a feeling of optimism when you have completed hill operating, carrying out an intervals session or a really hard track session.

A realisation of one’s prospective

According to one particular study post, a runner’s higher is defined as a exclusive appreciation of the atmosphere and realisation of one’s prospective. The manifestations differ from one particular individual to an additional. But the widespread ones include things like intense euphoria, shouting, crying, sprinting and throwing arms in the air.

A all-natural physique reaction

Anecdotal proof shows that these who seasoned a “runner’s high” describe this term as becoming like a mild head rush, which is commonly related with carrying out anaerobic physical exercise. Nevertheless, the feeling does not fade but builds up or increases in the subsequent five to 10 minutes. It is like a sugar or caffeine rush only a additional complete-on and satisfying feeling.

Like smoking weed

For decades, scientists had related this phenomenon of a runner’s higher with an improved level in the blood of β-endorphins, opioid peptides that had been believed to elevate mood.

Now, German researchers have shown the brain’s endocannabinoid method – the very same one particular impacted by marijuana’s Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – might also play a part in making runner’s higher.

According to Dr Arne Deitrich of the University of Beirut and Georgia Institute of Technologies, also a marathon runner, a runner’s higher is brought on by the release of anandamide. This all-natural chemical or neurotransmitter stimulates the brain the very same way that cannabis does.

In a 2004 study, Piomelli and Deitrich investigated the connection of runner’s higher with anandamide levels. The study entails 24 participants (college students) who bicycled or ran for 40 minutes at their 76 % maximum heart price. Blood samples had been drawn quickly immediately after working out.

Right here
are the findings of the study:

  • Each cyclists and runners had 80 % additional blood anandamide immediately after working out. The greatest percentage of higher anandamide levels was amongst the runners.
  • Respondents also reported a feeling of relaxation, improved appetite and regulated mood, which constitute the very same feeling immediately after cannabis intake.
  • Of all workout routines, tempo operating created the highest levels of

Rather like chocolate

Chocolates have the potential to make you really feel great. This is due to some of the chemical substances identified in chocolate. Caffeine is the most properly identified of these chemical components, and when it is present in chocolate, it can only be identified in little quantities. Theobromine, a weak stimulant, is also present, in slightly larger amounts.

A different chemical is anandamide (see the point above!). Researchers identified that the anandamide compounds in chocolate might be related with the great feeling you get from consuming chocolates.


Quite a few research and anecdotal proof attempted to define what a runner’s higher is. Nevertheless, the scientific rationale is nonetheless unclear. Nevertheless, quite a few people today who run do say they expertise a heightened state of feelings immediately after a great coaching run or race.


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