1

votes

Hack my running endorphin buzz?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

I BLOODY HATE RUNNING: I'm training for my first half-marathon, and did my first ever 13 mile run on Tuesday. I had to do a five mile run this morning, and it was everything I could do to pull myself out of bed. My legs ached, and the first couple of miles just made me feel super-miserable.

It seems clear to me that my body is sending me pretty strong signals to say "stay in bed fatty, don't do that stupid running thing again!".

So why is it that...

I BLOODY LOVE RUNNING: I've been buzzing all day, had an incredible sense of happiness, wellness and euphoria. Since I finished runnning, my body has been saying "I love this exercise shit, c'mon, lets go out and do it again, you super-fit bastard!"

Why the conflicting signals? It's a bit like the reverse of sex (which feels great when you're doing it, and feels pretty shit just after you've finished).

What is the evolutionary sense of my brain telling me not to do exercise, but then rewarding me when I ignore it, and go out and abuse my body for an hour or two?

The buzz is biggest after a long endurance run. I run a 5k race every Saturday, which hurts more, and although I'm proud of myself when I've finished, I usually just want to go to sleep, with no feeling of euphoria.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 24, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Ie they are an adaptive response, not a reward signal (like say shock, or endophins from fear or pain versus sex, touch or food)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 24, 2012
at 12:54 PM

The endocannabinoids released during an endurance activity are released to enhance your level of endurance, and lower your pain. They are not really supposed to be a reward signal at all.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 24, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Why did you quit Wayne?

  • B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

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3 Answers

3
Ec1503cf03b008d572a067a55050a490

on August 23, 2012
at 07:01 PM

A runner's high typically needs a longer duration than a 5k if you're a regular runner. I feel the same way. I don't have that feeling unless I do at least 6 miles a a tough enough intensity. Typical runners aren't depleting their glycogen stores during a 5k run, and that's what's needed to trigger "the rush".

Evolution-wise, we get that feeling when our glycogen stores are up to keep us going so we can get away from danger safely.

It feels like shit because long distance running is a big stress on the body, unfortunately.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 24, 2012
at 12:54 PM

Your brain is not telling you to not exercise. You are pushing yourself to new levels -- your body will get sore. It's no different than weightlifting, it takes effort to get up each day and hit the gym or the road -- if it were easy everyone would do it.

Your brain is telling you to keep it up, that's why its giving you the endorphin response.

It's great that you did the 5 miler this morning (hopefully at a super low pace). The recovery run is one of the most important parts of training. Getting the blood oxygen pumping to your muscles to help repair them, while staying low enough to prevent lactate build up.

Your body is responding to proper training. Hard, long run, body gets worn down; short, low intensity, body starts to repair itself.

Keep it up, and good luck in the marathon. My best training tip, mix protein powder with coconut water after your workouts -- carbs, sodium, protein, potassium, magnesium -- perfect way to replenish your systems.

0
01adafcb4dd4147c6af543f61eee60a8

on August 24, 2012
at 10:39 AM

I miss running,i used to love the high I got after a long slow sunday morning run. Sadly I have quit at 33 years of age. I walk a lot now but it doesn't give me the same buzz ,however it is far less stressful on the body.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 24, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Why did you quit Wayne?

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