Chasing a runner’s excessive? Right here’s all the things you’ll want to know

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

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

On this article, we’ll reply any questions you may 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 offer you an in-depth evaluation of the doable causes of a runner’s excessive, supplying 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 generally 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 profitable Lotto ticket in your pocket.” However the bodily sensations that every individual experiences are completely different, with some individuals by no means experiencing a runner’s excessive in any respect!

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

Which means there is no such thing as a magic recipe for these questioning, “how do you set off a runner’s excessive?” That being stated, understanding the doable causes of the runner’s excessive can assist those that wish to expertise this euphoric state lastly attain their goal.


There are two colleges of thought concerning the runner’s excessive. Initially, researchers believed that the runner’s excessive was triggered by the discharge of neurochemicals known as endorphins, that are answerable for minimizing the ache of intense bodily train.(2)

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


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

When your physique experiences ache, endorphins – which perform as pure ache relievers – are launched to dam the ache receptors answerable for receiving ache indicators. Excessive-intensity train executed for prolonged intervals triggers the discharge of endorphins to assist our our bodies adapt to emphasize. Making these chemical substances a believable explanation for a runner’s excessive. 

Nonetheless, new proof means that these molecules are too massive to move by means of the blood-brain barrier. Leaving researchers searching for one other doable explanation for this euphoric feeling.(5)


Beneath additional investigation, researchers additionally found excessive quantities of molecules known as endocannabinoids which might be launched throughout high-intensity train.(6)

Endocannabinoids are molecules just like the cannabinoids you discover in THC, the energetic ingredient in marijuana, however are naturally produced by your physique. They’ve been proven to provide euphoric sensations, scale back nervousness, and improve emotions of calm, all of that are necessary parts 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 to be able to expertise a launch of beta-endorphins – one of many chemical substances regarded as answerable for a runner’s excessive.(7)

One examine 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 could’t count on to really feel the results of a runner’s excessive for longer than a few hours.(8)


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

Listed below are a few of our favourite suggestions for serving to you run longer and sooner.


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

Though there is no such thing as a such factor as “the most effective food regimen 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 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 respiration is a key ingredient in high-intensity train. With out sufficient oxygen, your muscle tissues received’t have the gas wanted to maintain your motion.

When working, attempt to give attention to respiration into your stomach to make sure you’re getting all of the oxygen you may in your lungs. You may additionally select to practice rhythmic breathing as a strategy to enhance your consciousness of your breath.


Should you’re unable to achieve your working objectives 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 expertise and a tracker that can assist you comply with your progress.

Utilizing the adidas Running app can offer 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 generally accompany long-distance or high-intensity train – however not all the time. It’s unclear whether or not a runner’s excessive is attributable to endorphins, endocannabinoids, or a mixture of the 2. 

Many specialists imagine that not less than 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 objective 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 guidelines outlined on this article, like switching up your pre-run snack, altering your respiration patterns, or downloading a working app.

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