Runners High: What Is It?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses what runners high is, what causes it, and how to get it.

Ever wonder what runner’s high is, what causes it, and how to get it more frequently?

  • Runner’s high is that euphoric, almost effortless motion feeling you’ll get sometime when you are running.
  • Research suggests the ability to get runners high might be hard-wired within us.
  • Survival of our ancestors depended on chasing down food. The desire to live was possibly their motivation run fast, and chemicals released when they ran may have helped them achieve the speed and distances required.
  • The runners high served (and serves today) as a natural painkiller to help them mask pain and fatigue.
  • The two chemicals that produce runner’s high are endorphins and endocannabinoids.
  • Endorphins are painkillers produced in response to physical stress or discomfort.
  • Endocannabinoids are a naturally synthesized version of THC, the chemical responsible for the buzz and feeling of calmness that marijuana produces.
  • Research suggests to get runner’s high more frequently you should exercise at 70-85% of max heart rate, run with others, or run with music.