Chasing a runner’s excessive? Right here’s every little thing you could know

A runner’s excessive is a rare sensation that many train fans try for. It’s described as a deeply stress-free and even euphoric state that, when skilled, will maintain you coming again for extra.

Whereas for some runners, it’s a relentless of their athletic lives, others solely expertise it now and again, and a few under no circumstances. 

On this article, we’ll reply any questions you might need about this elusive feeling, like how do you get a runner’s excessive and what precisely does it really feel like?

Most significantly, we’ll give you an in-depth evaluation of the attainable causes of a runner’s excessive, providing you with a greater shot at lastly experiencing this distinctive pleasure for your self.


A runner’s excessive is a comparatively short-lived state of euphoria that typically accompanies extended high-intensity train.(1)

Triathlete Scott Dunlap describes a runner’s excessive as “Two Purple Bulls and vodka, three ibuprofen, plus a $50 successful Lotto ticket in your pocket.” However the bodily sensations that every particular person experiences are totally different, with some folks by no means experiencing a runner’s excessive in any respect!

The excellent news is you don’t have to run an ultramarathon to expertise a runner’s excessive. The dangerous information? What precisely creates these euphoric sensations isn’t utterly understood.  

Which means there isn’t a magic recipe for these questioning, “how do you set off a runner’s excessive?” That being mentioned, understanding the attainable causes of the runner’s excessive may help those that wish to expertise this euphoric state lastly attain their goal.


There are two faculties of thought relating to the runner’s excessive. Initially, researchers believed that the runner’s excessive was triggered by the discharge of neurochemicals referred to as endorphins, that are chargeable for minimizing the ache of intense bodily train.(2)

Nonetheless, new analysis means that endocannabinoids could also be chargeable for this extremely fascinating feeling. In actuality, it’s attainable that endorphins and endocannabinoids work in unison to create a runner’s excessive.(3)


Endorphins are “feel-good” chemical compounds which can be launched throughout each pleasurable and painful experiences, comparable to getting a therapeutic massage or doing high-intensity train.(4)

When your physique experiences ache, endorphins – which operate as pure ache relievers – are launched to dam the ache receptors chargeable for receiving ache indicators. Excessive-intensity train finished for prolonged durations triggers the discharge of endorphins to assist our our bodies adapt to emphasize. Making these chemical compounds a believable reason behind a runner’s excessive. 

Nonetheless, new proof means that these molecules are too giant to go by means of the blood-brain barrier. Leaving researchers in the hunt for one other attainable reason behind this euphoric feeling.(5)


Below additional investigation, researchers additionally found excessive quantities of molecules referred to as endocannabinoids which can be launched throughout high-intensity train.(6)

Endocannabinoids are molecules much like the cannabinoids you discover in THC, the lively ingredient in marijuana, however are naturally produced by your physique. They’ve been proven to supply euphoric sensations, scale back nervousness, and improve emotions of calm, all of that are vital elements of a runner’s excessive.(1)

Triggering the discharge of endocannabinoids is simply one of many benefits of running every day, together with enhancing cardiovascular well being, psychological readability, and boosting your temper.


Most runners might want to bear 60 minutes of regular cardio train with a purpose to expertise a launch of beta-endorphins – one of many chemical compounds considered chargeable for a runner’s excessive.(7)

One research on beta-endorphins exhibits that the degrees of those hormones within the physique lower by 50% inside 40-90 minutes of train. This implies you can’t count on to really feel the consequences of a runner’s excessive for longer than a few hours.(8)


If you wish to expertise the consequences of a runner’s excessive, step one will seemingly be to increase your running stamina so you may keep 60 minutes of higher-intensity train.

Listed here are a few of our favourite ideas for serving to you run longer and quicker.


The best snack eaten earlier than your run has the potential to gasoline a private finest or depart you feeling sluggish and sick. 

Though there isn’t a such factor as “one of the best weight loss plan for runners,” there are some foods that you would benefit from eating earlier than a run. A banana with peanut butter is an instance of a really perfect pre-snack as a result of it’s excessive in carbs, potassium, and protein.

Nonetheless, simple-carb meals like white bread and heavy animal-based protein snacks are foods that are best to be avoided earlier than high-intensity train.


Your respiratory is a key ingredient in high-intensity train. With out satisfactory oxygen, your muscle groups received’t have the gasoline wanted to maintain your motion.

When working, attempt to deal with respiratory into your stomach to make sure you’re getting all of the oxygen you may in your lungs. You may also select to practice rhythmic breathing as a technique to improve your consciousness of your breath.


For those who’re unable to achieve your working targets by yourself, you may think about using a working app, just like the adidas Running app. In it, you’ll discover exercises designed to problem your working abilities and a tracker that can assist you observe your progress.

Utilizing the adidas Running app can give you most of the similar advantages as hiring a working coach – at a fraction of the value.


The runner’s excessive that means is elevated euphoria and a sense of rest that typically accompany long-distance or high-intensity train – however not all the time. It’s unclear whether or not a runner’s excessive is brought on by endorphins, endocannabinoids, or a mixture of the 2. 

Many consultants consider that at the least 60 minutes of intense train is required to set off a runner’s excessive. However the reality is, there’s no magic recipe for inducing this elusive feeling. 

In case your purpose is to expertise the euphoric feeling of a runner’s excessive, discovering methods to extend your stamina will assist. You can begin by utilizing the ideas outlined on this article, like switching up your pre-run snack, altering your respiratory patterns, or downloading a working app.

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