Runner's High: 5 Science-Based Tips to Achieve a Euphoric Rush Every Time

The moment every runner lives for.

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By Inverse Video
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Filed Under Energy, Exercise, Food, Health & Video

Want to feel that sweet rush of adrenaline when your feet hit the pavement? It’s called a runner’s high — that euphoric feeling that takes over your entire body when you run long distance.

This high takes your endorphins to a whole other level. It’s not just a feeling of happiness; your body also feels lighter and pain-free. It’s that moment when you feel like you can run forever with endless energy, almost like you’re flying and your feet are barely touching the ground.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen every time you run, but in this Inverse original video, celebrity trainer Jenna Willis breaks down the science behind a runner’s high — and shares some tips to help get you there.

5. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Dress for the runner you want to be! When your body and feet are comfortable, and you’re not distracted by your running gear, you’ll be more likely to go the distance needed for a runner’s high. (Cue Hercules soundtrack.)

4. Fuel Your Body

You’ll also need to give your body fuel, which means loading up on carbs, protein, and potassium at least 30 minutes before your run. Carbs will give you energy; protein repairs and rebuilds your muscles; and potassium helps with any potential muscle cramps.

3. Stretch It Out

stretching

Stretching your upper and lower body is key, as it makes your body looser and lengthens your muscles, prepping them for the long distance ahead.

2. Find Your Pace

running

Avoid burning out quickly by starting your warm-up at a quick pace. Then, decrease your speed by about 50 percent your normal pace for at least 10 minutes to build endurance. Once your body is fully warmed up, you can pick up the pace — but don’t go into a full sprint just yet. You’re going to want to get to 70 percent of your full pace first. This helps you stay consistent.

1. Don’t Lose Focus

It’s also important that you don’t lose focus at this steady pace. You want to keep a consistent stride that’s between 60 to 70 percent of your full speed, and that you’re comfortable maintaining. If you’re feeling tired but not cramped up, that’s actually a good thing. Push yourself just a little bit more until you’re at least 45 minutes into your run. Once you get through this hurdle, your body should feel lighter, your legs will stop burning, and that feeling of euphoria will settle in — aka the runner’s high.

To learn more about the science behind a runner’s high, check out the video above.

After a long run, be sure to take time to relax and recover. Check out Jenna Willis' post-workout recovery tips.