Runner's "High" - Fact or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by swedishpimple, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. swedishpimple

    swedishpimple Barefooters
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    I have read a few debates in the past discussing the existence of the runner's "high"... some voices on the topic even go so far as to suggest that it is a myth.

    Since my own limited newbie running experience is devoid of anything I would deem to be a true "high"... at least in comparison to my own exploration into the topic during my college years. ;) I personally an unable to confirm or deny the existence of this state as it relates to running. So I'll open it up here for debate...

    Runner's "High" - Fact or Fiction?

    THX.

    S. Pimp.
     

  2. saypay45

    saypay45 Chapter Presidents
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    I guess it depends on what

    I guess it depends on what you're expecting the "high" to feel like. Every time I run my stress goes away and my mood improves. I wouldn't equate that to a "high", except that it's a positive benefit that I will actually have withdrawal symptoms from when I taper or quit running for periods of time.

    I guess the closest that I come is when I do a long run, and about 3-6 miles into it I get a surge of energy and feel like I can run forever. I'm not expecting euphoria or anything from my running high, but I think those things are close enough.
     
  3. Barefoot Gentile

    Barefoot Gentile Barefooters
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    100% fact!    It's hard to

    100% fact! It's hard to explain but once it hits, you will know it. I experience a serious runners high during my marathon. I entered the marathon completely beatup with a bad IT issues and a horrible case of achilles tedonities. By mile 14, i was in serious pain.

    I hit mile 15 and I entered a different state. All my pain left me and for the next 6 miles everything just clicked, breathing, motion, cadance, and my pace got faster. Then it left at mile 21 and it was a death march to the end, but I loved every minute of it! The runners high got me through the marathon.
     
  4. SillyC

    SillyC Barefooters
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    Like saypay, my mood is

    Like saypay, my mood is generally improved. But I've never experienced a runners high.
     
  5. jschwab

    jschwab Barefooters
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    I've only had it happen

    I've only had it happen twice, but it was very real - very definitely an altered state.
     

  6. hmduey

    hmduey Barefooters
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    I have to say that every time

    I have to say that every time I do a "hard" run (meaning either longer or faster than usual) I get a runner's high. My husband can attest to that because when I come in, he can't shut me up! He knows when I've had a really good run based on my chatter when I come in.

    I don't always get them, and I've found that they're harder and harder to achieve as my fitness improves. But the trick I learned was to do something like a 5k "as fast as I can" and that will often do it for me. Often they kick in right when I need them, too.
     

  7. Shacky

    Shacky Barefooters
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    I believe in it.  It's kind

    I believe in it. It's kind of a state of euphoria where everything feels like it just falls into place and running becomes almost effortless.

    If I'm in the zone, I tend to start thinking about it too much and find some way to screw it up.
     
  8. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    i seem to get into mine

    i seem to get into mine faster when i'm barefoot than when i wear my biks.
     

  9. barefoot.zumba.runner

    barefoot.zumba.runner Barefooters
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    +1, I don't get a runner's

    +1, I don't get a runner's high every time I run, though it happens relatively regularly. It's the kind of run where I can't, no matter how hard I try, to wipe the smile from my face. Such a cool amazing feeling.
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I've had this happen just

    I've had this happen just twice and both times while barefoot. The first time I was between 8 and 9 miles. I was pumping on along when all of a sudden I realized I was riding on a conveyor belt. I was experiencing no fatigue and my breathing was very, very calm. I watched my surrounding passing me as though I were cutting through the landscape with no bounce, no movement from me of any kind. It was bizarre. I felt completely out-of-body yet remained present.

    Anything that has come close would be the times I ran through the pouring rain, splashing like an utter fool, enjoying being a child once again.
     
  11. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Yes I have felt it mulitple

    Yes I have felt it mulitple times before, now my question is how do you get it to last till your done?
     
  12. Blind Boy

    Blind Boy Barefooters
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    I've had this happen to me a

    I've had this happen to me a couple of times but it was a long time ago. I remember the feeling though, effortlessly floating along and feeling like I could go on forever.
     
  13. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Yes, but it only lasted a few

    Yes, but it only lasted a few minutes, not even 10 solid minutes.
     
  14. ewheeldrive

    ewheeldrive Barefooters
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    For me, its an absolute.  I'm

    For me, its an absolute. I'm getting it on a regular basis as the weather cools off. I really have to reel myself back in when I feel it b/c I'll get lost in it and before I know it, I'm sprinting and still have half a dozen miles back to the trail head. I definitley get an effortless, floating feeling. After a brutally hot summer and crappy training times, I fall into that state pretty often lately during cool weather, morning trail runs. Get some!!!
     
  15. stomper

    stomper Guest

    swedishpimple wrote:I have

    I'm not sure what you mean, about skeptics saying it is a myth. The whole idea that somebody else's experience does not exist is bizarre. If I came home from a workout and said "Hey I felt like I was floating and could go forever," would one of these skeptics say "No you didn't. You didn't feel that way. You felt heavy and sad and were actually considering switching political affiliations." ?

    I guess one could debate the mechanism behind that feeling, whether it comes from endorphins or serotonin or God or whatever. Perhaps it's "universe juice" (as Kung Fu Panda would say).
     
  16. Last Place Jason

    Last Place Jason Barefooters
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    I found the "high" to be part

    I found the "high" to be part of a cycle. If you run far enough, you begin cycling through high points and low points. At the high points, everything is effortless and you feel great. At the low points, you feel like death. So far, I haven't found a good exit strategy for the lows...
     

  17. jeffacoon

    jeffacoon Barefooters
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     I get a runners high almost

    I get a runners high almost every time I run more than six miles. It lasts for a couple of miles, so I have hold myself back if I'm running a lot further. I get a sort of body hum every time I have a hard run that lasts for a couple of days. I think of it in terms of my body thanking me. I start desiring a run if I haven't been out for three days.
     
  18. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Now that's some serious high!

    Now that's some serious high!
     
  19. Codeblue

    Codeblue Barefooters
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    Last Place Jason wrote:I



    This is magnified so much in an ultra. Deep into a race, facing a long, uphill climb, I find myself in the worst sort of depression. I'll crest a false peak, thinking the whole time it's the top of the mountain, and I'll be on the verge of tears, wanting to crawl off the trail and die. And then, once I see the true peak, all of a sudden a wave of euphoria hits me and I end up sprinting up the last couple hundred feet. The same happens toward the end of an ultra, at that point when you realize you only have a couple of miles to go. It's like running on a cloud and, no matter how tired I just felt, I get so wired after the finishing sprint that I can't get to sleep for hours.

    My exit strategy is to remember my high school coach, who used to say "the moment you quit is the moment you fail". That reminds me that even though I feel like absolute crap and want to just crawl into a corner, I still have not failed. Then, of course, I remember the $100+ entry fee and ask myself if I want to get my money's worth :p
     
  20. barefoottyler

    barefoottyler Barefooters
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    I've had runners zen(that's

    I've had runners zen(that's what I call it). High... well I have never felt high from running.



    Run some rocky trails or on gravel for 10+minutes. Endorphins will kick in. This is when I feel it.
     

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