How to Make Running Feel Good

@socalrunnergal wearing Zoe Compression Socks
Your laces are tied, your favorite playlist is set and now it's time to actually begin your run. Avid marathon runners make it look so easy -- their strides effortless, their breath controlled, their focus clear. What you don't see is the recovery after logging those long miles that may include a chilling ice bath and compression socks to give the legs some sweet relief. Yet, they keep training and running. So how do we make running feel good and easy? Get The Runners High The "runner's high" is something we all want and don't always get. As with most things, it doesn't come instantly... perhaps that's why we want it so bad. According to a Runner's World article, "scientists found that during two-hour-long runs, subjects' pre-frontal and limbic regions (which light up in response to emotions like love) spewed out endorphins. The greater the endorphin surge in these brain areas, the more euphoric the runners reported feeling." Does that mean we need to run for two hours at a time to feel good? Probably not. What that illustrates is that "endorphins are painkillers produced in response to physical discomfort." Whoa. Really?! Yes, the body needs a little push (not horrible pain) to break through the comfort barrier and into the feel-good zone. Basically, your first several miles might feel the worst, but keep going and remember these tips along the way: 1. Staying hydrated before, during and after the run. "Having the right balance of water and sodium helps you ward off hitting "the wall" mid-run and could help you be more efficient", says Lauren Antonucci, R.D. 2. Leaning forward from your ankles gives you a natural "fall-forward" gait that will help with momentum. 3. Loosening up your arms and shoulders will relax the body and send more energy to your legs. 4. Shortening your stride with will make you run more efficiently. 5. Run and repeat your mantra. There is power in your thoughts. Think you can and you will. As they say, it never gets easier you just get stronger. A mile is a mile no matter how fast you go. Celebrate each mile you run and give thanks to your body, brain and running buddy that helped get you there.