You could ask 100 different runners what is runners high and you may just get 100 different answers.
Runners high, to me, is feeling at ease and in control in the race.
I broke the 2.20 marathon barrier at the California International Marathon in 2007.
It was months of well-planned training that came to fruition that day.
When I am asked what is runners high from co-workers or people who are just getting involved in the sport I bring up that race.
I was on 5.11 per mile pace through 20 miles in that race and it felt no different than any long run I had done prior.
In addition to that, I had a similar feeling on Sunday. I did a fartlek run averaging 4.57 mile pace for 6 miles.
Lower Heart Rate
My heart rate was low and my leg turnover felt smooth even. Ironically, I was running at 4.27-44 mile pace during the hard segments of that workout.
It is a unique feeling and hard to describe.
Ever find it hard to understand how some days we feel like crap and the next day we are rolling along at quick clip feeling effortless?
Physicians say that when you feel like this it is due to a cannabinoid neurotransmitter called anadamide.
What is runners high can be answered very quickly as you begin to gain fitness and start to feel effortless on runs that normally gave you a hard time.
Less Stress On The Heart
It is when your heart doesn't have to pump as much blood as it once did when you first began training.
Some runners experience it while running and others after a hard workout.
Researchers at the University of Arizona found that runners high is created in post workouts.
There are brain chemicals called endocanabinoids that are in the reward sections of the brain.
The studies showed that exercise or any other activity that promotes health creates in our bodies positive feelings and energy.
I would recommend that athletes run at moderate efforts for at least 20 minutes.
You don't have to be a national or world-class athlete to experience a runners high. You simply have to be willing to get out and challenge your body.
It is a great feeling to back off pace, look down at your watch and still see you are running fast splits even during your easy segments.
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