Runners have a lot of code words. At this point, we should have a dictionary for all the things that apply to running. Until that book is written, I'm here to help you break down all things running. First things first, you MUST know what a runner's high is and how you can get one. So let's get to it.


Here's what a runner's high means

A runner's high is a phrase for a sudden euphoric feeling or boost of energy experienced with long-duration exercise. This is credited to when endorphins are released from the body. Endorphins are the "feel-good" chemicals that are released from our bodies during physical activity. So, with the combination of running long-distances like a half or full marathon, and the passion to enjoy running, you too can experience runner's high.

Distance isn't all that matters

Of course, running exactly 13 miles or plus isn't the only way to feel runner's high, but it has been shown to promote the best endorphins. Many runners - myself included - have felt runner's high on a simple 6-mile run. Aside from research, if you enjoy running and you listen to your body when it wants to run, you'll always be in that euphoric state of mind when you hit the pavement.

Intensity matters, too. Thankfully this doesn't mean you have to sprint your heart out to feel the high. Running moderately intense, exerting yourself at about a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, will do the job. On the flip side, running too slow won't amp up your receptors enough to get in that groove. Don't push past your maximum heart rate and ride the runner's high with a collective stride.

The more you run, the more you feel

This is not contrary to what I said earlier. The more you run refers to how often you run. For new runners, this may be sad news after how exciting I made runner's high feel, but don't shy away! After a few weeks or months of running and building endurance, when you no longer dread a run, you may encounter the endorphins. Keep in mind, like anything else, if you have a positive attitude about running, you're sure to experience this feeling in no time.

Experience is key because if you're new to the game, you're not likely to run for hours on end. It's also because throughout the duration of a run, your mental focus and energy are on higher alert. This takes away from the feel-good chemicals. Your brain is managing other aspects to get you through a run rather than enjoying it to its full potential. Therefore, the more you run, the more you'll feel.

Once you start, you'll never stop

I'll be the first to admit (as the passionate runner that I am) that once I start running longer distances, I refused to run anything less. Many marathon runners agree with this statement. Once training gets to a certain level and the endorphins are enticed regularly, it's hard to feel satisfied by a shorter run.

Fortunately and unfortunately, runner's high isn't something you'll feel every time you hit the pavement. Fortunately because, if so, runners would never stop running and racking on those kinds of miles daily does a number of horrible things to your body. Unfortunately, well, simply because we love to run and we wish we could never stop feeling that runner's high. Everything in moderation right?

And the best news of all

You don't have to be a runner or even run to feel runner's high. You read that right! It can come from many regular workout routines. Running, biking, lifting, HIIT; really any endurance related activity can produce the endorphins.