How to en­joy that elu­sive run­ner’s high

How to feel the true joy of the run

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue - BY JEFF GALLOWAY

MOST of us have heard tales of the ‘run­ner’s high’, a feel­ing of eu­pho­ria that de­vel­ops in the mid­dle of a run. Be­gin­ners might find the idea hard to be­lieve – it’s com­mon for new run­ners to push them­selves too hard, which stresses the body in a neg­a­tive way and so leaves run­ning joy far out of reach. How­ever, it’s a fact that ex­er­cise stim­u­lates the pro­duc­tion of en­dor­phins, mood-boost­ing brain chem­i­cals. A few tweaks to your rou­tine can help you feel the good vibes.

SCHED­ULE WISELY

Make your run an es­cape from stress in­stead of one more thing that adds to the pressure. Many run­ners find the morn­ing to be the best time to fit in the miles, be­fore other obli­ga­tions de­mand at­ten­tion. But if you fret about the day to come dur­ing early runs, try go­ing later. Find your most peace­ful time to go run­ning and stick to it.

RUN EASY

It’s hard to feel good when you’re re­ally huff­ing and puff­ing. Ease into each run to al­low your body and mind to warm up, and take walk breaks to keep your ef­fort level steady and to pre­vent aches and fatigue.

CHECK IN

Ev­ery mile or so, as­sess your form: keep your pos­ture up­right and your foot­falls light, and shake out any ten­sion in your neck and shoul­ders. It’s also wise to re­peat a mantra such as ‘I feel good’, whether or not you ac­tu­ally do. The body fol­lows the mind, so neg­a­tive think­ing will dampen your en­joy­ment.

TUNE IN, OR OUT

Some run­ners have a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence when they fo­cus on their breath­ing and their sur­round­ings. Oth­ers pre­fer to day­dream or lis­ten to mu­sic. You should do what­ever helps you main­tain a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude through­out your run. (But if you do wear head­phones, keep the vol­ume low to stay alert to your sur­round­ings.)

A com­fort­able pace is key for a feel­good run. Beau­ti­ful scenery helps, too.

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