How to get high while you run

Runners High, Bianca Cheah
Photography by Chantel Cheah |

Have you ever heard of the runners high? Plainly put, it’s that state of euphoria you get when your mid way through a long (or longish) run.

I have! In my case, it happens at that point I’m in my own world, not thinking about anything at all, while I enjoy a feeling of mid-exercise ecstasy. Everything becomes easy, nothing really hurts and your stride feels like you’re gliding on clouds. You honestly feel like you could keep running all day. Some people relate to the feeling to the strong emotions of love.

We have endorphins to thank for all of this. Our bodies produce more of these natural ‘happy’ chemicals when we run, but the big question is how long does it take and how can we get more?

Well, it’s about pushing yourself (but not too hard) until you find that sweet spot. My runner’s high usually kicks in at about the three or four kilometre-mark if I’m jogging at a faster tempo. I can spot it through the sensation that air never felt so damn good in my lungs. I won’t be out of breath and my body will be pain free.

According to“endorphins are painkillers produced in response to physical discomfort,” says Matthew Hill, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute.”

But don’t just assume that you can achieve a runners high on your first long jog… It usually happens once you’re a seasoned regular putting in the kilometres.

So, my best advice is to start running a few days a week, then gradually build up your distance. And trust me, you’ll know when the high hits you: before you’ve untied your trainers, you’ll be planning your session for the next day!

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