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The New Science Behind Runner’s High

Original Article : The New Science Behind Runner’s High
by : MOLLY HURFORD
From : blog.mapmyrun.com

Ever get that elusive feeling on a run where your legs suddenly feel weightless and you feel like you’re floating from step to step, smashing PRs along the way — and loving absolutely every person and every thing? Welcome to the runner’s high, the reason why running is so addictive.

The good news: It’s not just in your head. The bad news: Science doesn’t really know how to explain it, either.

In 1990, one scientist came close. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi published his landmark book on the concept of the flow state, which is similar to runner’s high. Flow state can happen anytime, but it’s most commonly referenced in sports. Being in the flow state means feeling “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities,” he wrote. Sounds a lot like how you would describe runner’s high, right? And to get to that flow state, you need to be fully immersed in an activity — usually one that’s doesn’t come easily, like a hard run — before you get there.

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