Tag: distance running

Long Distance Running is more in the mind than anything else

Committed runners take it as a sweet challenge to travel through long trails.  A two-hour non-stop run is a great way to relax and to stay toned and fit.  It is a great cardio but it also is one that requires good stamina and determination.  Now, when you think about running for two hours, you are probably thinking, “well, that is way too much for me!”  You see, your body is perfectly capable of taking it.  Very long trails are traveled by runners every day.

Running Marathons

 

Think about marathons, the pretty long ones. There is always a winner in the many categories.  But the main race involves several kilometers taken in no less than at least one hour.  So you come to ask yourself what it is that they have that you do not.  Yes, a trail of, say, 10 kilometers, is a very long way to go. However, as stated before, your body is perfectly fit for it if you are a regular runner.

This leads to the conclusion that the one thing that is probably keeping you from running long distances is inside your mind.   Now, it does require more than confidence, granted.  It also requires some work.  Probably your worst fear is that you will be stuck in the middle of the trail and will have no strength to go back.

If you are having this kind of fears, then you should probably train a little.  Actually, start little by little.  Ideally, put yourself a goal for every training session.  Start the first day with a mere 3-kilometer run.  Then, little by little, push yourself a bit more every day.  You will be able to identify what is the maximum distance you can run.

With this information, you must find a program or diet that will allow you to build resistance to push your boundaries.  Work on this aspect before taking your running any further. Very importantly, do not halt on your regular running routine.

Running Trails

You should be able to collect enough performance to go over longer trails now.  There is an inherent satisfaction in the success of running through a long trail.  You can see that it is more about determination.  The success of such endeavor depends on your mind more than in anything else.

Your mindset is the most important factor affecting whether you succeed or not.  Throughout times we have seen how the power of the mind has enabled people to complete feats others might think impossible to complete.  Once you have set your mind into doing something, you have gone halfway already.

Long-distance trails are not for the faint of heart.  They are for people who love running and who believe that they can do it anytime, anywhere.  Learn how to get psychologically fit for doing those things that your body “thinks” it cannot do.  Psychotherapy can help you overcome your fears and help you be the best you can.  Rely on them to help you meet your goals.  There is a long distance trail waiting for you, challenging you.  Reach that goal and enjoy the satisfaction of delivering your best work.

Does the “runner’s high” really exist?

Runner’s High – My Personal Experience

My name is Mike, I was a member of the Tickhill Running Club for almost 10 years until I was forced to relocate for my job. I feel I can provide a unique perspective on this topic, as I went from being completely out of shape (was technically considered obese), to a recreational runner, and now I love to compete in many different types of endurance races.

Given that I’ve been fortunate enough to have the resources to maintain this lifestyle change, lots of people are curious to know about different aspects of this change. One question I often get, but have trouble answering quickly, is if I have ever experienced the runner’s high that new or prospective runners often hear about.

Runner’s High Definition

Merriam-Webster defines runner’s high as the following:

a feeling of euphoria that is experienced by some individuals engaged in strenuous running and that is held to be associated with the release of endorphins by the brain.

Although the feeling of euphoria may be a more extreme experience of the runner’s high, people often report more specific feelings, such as losing sense of time (in a good way), extreme stress relief, decreased levels of physical and mental pain, etc.

While the endorphin explanation is logical, it has yet to be proven. In fact, the science behind the runner’s high is likely way more complex, with various other chemicals/molecules likely being involved, as well as external factors that affect each individual in a unique matter.

So what do we know?

While the jury is still out on what the runner’s high actually is from a scientific perspective, many runner’s report common effects. These include, but are not limited to

  • Physical and mental stress relief
  • Feeling of invincibility
  • Loss of sense of time
  • Sense of euphoria

I’ve experienced all of these, and it’s part of what keeps me motivated for running. However, to be honest, I’ve given up on trying to understand and focus on this, and now just think about the longterm benefits of running.

We know that running is good for you. There are an array of physical benefits, such as lower triglyceride levels, a higher HDL:LDL cholesterol ratio (which is good), decreased fat mass, lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, higher fitness levels, etc. Given these facts, it’s hard to think that some of this isn’t involved in the runner’s high, and perhaps we’re over complicating things. Perhaps these inherent benefits ARE the runner’s high.

In terms of mental benefits, I’ve noticed a huge change in my mood, ability to focus on work, general clarity (i.e. reduced “brain fog”), and more energy overall. When I run, it’s like all of these things are enhanced, and some of my most effective thinking gets done on the trail, ultimately benefiting every aspect of my life.

Now, it wasn’t that long ago that I was considered obese. I remember how I felt then, and sometimes I wonder if the sheer difference in how I feel between now and then is tricking me into thinking I’m experiencing the runner’s high, when really it’s just natural science-proven benefits of running that I should have been expecting all along.

So what does this all mean?

In my opinion, don’t even think about the runner’s high. Simply do your best to stay motivated to your health and fitness goals, and eventually you will experience it in one way or another. Setting a series of small attainable goals can help with this, as well as constantly tracking your improvement through distance ran, time to cover a particular distance, weight loss, whatever helps you keep track.

I really so think the runner’s high is simply a state-of-mind that anyone can achieve if they buy in to their health and fitness goals. Although I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a state of euphoria while running (I think a lot of others would laugh at that too), I’ve definitely experienced some mental and physical sensations, and more importantly, I’ve experienced the long term benefits of running as well.

At the end of the day, all I can say is try it for yourself. It will take a while. If you’re new to running, you may become frustrated or discouraged at first, or feel you don’t have the motivation, but once you get into it and start seeing your own personal progress, it will become easier and easier to be the person you want to be.

Lastly, if you are still reading this, thank you very much. The simple decision to go running one day truly changed my life for the better, and I hope you and anyone else can find this type of success as well. Happy running!