THE BLOG
07/11/2014 12:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Working Too Hard for The Runners High

Epinephrine (or adrenaline) is likely the hormone responsible for the 'high' from running, as it's the same feeling adrenal junkies live for. As was illustrated in a 1990 research study from the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, this same high can be experienced with much less effort. More importantly, we can achieve this happy or euphoric feeling without the negatives that come with exercising for too long that I layout in Eat Meat And Stop Jogging.

Interestingly, the endorphin levels from running remain unchanged at any intensity less than 70 percent for one hour, which one could argue is the typical effort and duration most recreational runners operate in. Therefore, to say you run for the high would be a lie, unless you're going for longer than 1hr or at a speed that exceeds 60-percent intensity. And if you do exceed that intensity and duration, you're working way too hard for your high and doing far too much damage:
  • Free radical accumulation = oxidative damage
  • Cortisol secretion = muscle loss
  • Excessive lactate production = acidic pH
  • Chronic repetitive movements = injury
So how do you get your fix?

Go Hard and Go Home!

As the chart above illustrates, when you select an activity that give you the ability to operate at full capacity, you get a far bigger runners high in less than 5 to 10 percent the time commitment... and without the damage that comes with duration.

Try this:

30 seconds of burpees (for speed).
30 seconds of rest.
Repeat.

Let me know how you feel after 10 minutes.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike