The elusive state that is called the Runners High
Only awarded to those who engage in jogging at a continuous moderate pace for a set period of time. This euphoric state has been likened to an intoxicated substance induced trip, or a big lottery win, maybe even a deep spiritual experience – often described by the converted as a feeling of being ‘totally alone yet completely connected’
Research has shown that the Runners High may be the brain’s way of rewarding you for working hard and to keep you coming back for more of the same.
Scientist state that endorphins are behind this ‘neurochemical state’ called the Runner High.
Anthropologist David Raichlen, from the University of Southern California goes one step further and identifies the brain chemicals endocannabinoids as the crafty characters that contribute to the high. Just as their name implies, their effect on the runner is similar to that of cannabis or marijuana – they take away the pain and boost the mood, stress disappears, time slows down, and all senses are heightened.
Endocannabinoids are not only ‘the happy place’ chemicals they also help us to feel more inclined to want to socialise and be closer to others.
How often do you hear regular joggers admit to being a better person when they are safely following a training program?
What an amazing side effect from the seemingly simple pastime of jogging!
How to achieve the euphoric state
It is interesting to note though, that this so called ‘reward’ is only given to those who jog at a continuous and moderate pace and not necessarily to the walkers or to the elite who run at a breakneck pace. The secret for landing in this place of pleasure is a persistent moderately difficult pace that you can comfortably stay with for at least 30 minutes
The runners villain
But, as with most pleasurable and habitual past times there is a downside – the roadblock, the antagonist that likes to steal your fun, and with runners this ‘Villain’ as we like to call it is Injury:
- Persistent Injury
- Sudden Injury
- Chronic Injury
- OR even the Fear of Injury
Whichever way that injury choses to identify itself to you, the nasty outcome is mostly the same – an abrupt halt or at the very least a change to your running program, and with that comes feelings of frustration, even anger of being robbed of your happy place.
At New Body Physiotherapy we teach runners to protect yourself from losing that euphoria of running and instead to learn to listen to your body to identify the warning signs of injury. Or to adopt new methods and techniques to bypass injury to help you to stay on track and help yourself to a regular dose of that happiness
If you would like to know more feel free to call us on 02 9958 2277