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riders high, does it exsisit?(16 posts)

riders high, does it exsisit?RandyMH
Jul 25, 2001 5:01 AM
Most runners will say that after about 4-6 miles into their run their mind and body will settle down and they feel like they can run forever. (runners high)

Do you get that same sensation with biking, and when does it kick in?
Probably, but ...Humma Hah
Jul 25, 2001 5:07 AM
... "runner's high" is an endorphin response. Endorphin, or "endo morphine", is the body's painkiller. It is about 100x more potent than morphine, and acts on the same receptors (morphine works by mimicking endorphins).

To trigger the extreme response, you must be doing something painful, and doing it often enough that your body has learned to produce large doses. At this level, you may actually become addicted to the activity. This is probably the root of most cases of masochism.

Do you ride hard until it hurts? Do you start going nuts if you can't ride?
don't know about high, but certainly low...Dog
Jul 25, 2001 6:02 AM
I used to get the high thing when running, but never really on a bike.

However, bonk hard in a long ride and you'll certainly attest to the "cyclist's low". Bonking makes you feel depressed, lethargic, and questioning why we do this at all. Sort of the opposite, I suppose.

re: riders high, does it exsisit?MeDotOrg
Jul 25, 2001 8:37 AM
I don't think it exists on the same level as a runner's high, but after a hard 20-25 miles, I get a "buzz".
Hi, I'm LC and I am addicted to ridingLC
Jul 25, 2001 9:11 AM
Just like running it takes longer and longer distances to get high. I am pretty sure this is why people strive to ride longer all the time. I don't get high anymore unless I set out for at least a 40 mile ride and don't really feel satisfied with a 20 mile ride like I uses to. Pace also has a lot to do with it. You have to push youself a little or you get nothing out of it. I am definitly addicted, but at least it is not to cigarettes.
the responses here truly sadden meET
Jul 25, 2001 10:15 AM
I took up cycling in September after running injuries and surgeries knocked me out of running. Sure, I'm getting more and more into cycling, I'm working on getting better, there are some exhilarating aspects. But running is so pure, so simple, so easy to get motivated to give it your all. Man, I became a lean mean running machine, dropping my 5'10" body from 190 to 153 in just a couple of years. Loved both my killer track workouts and my simple pleasure runs. No need for megabuck bikes, awkward cleats, all that equipment and maintenance. Thought those silly-looking roadies in lycra I saw out there on the roads didn't know what a real sport was. I didn't give it a second thought to run in rain, snow, darkness and brutal cold. And yes, I would get that high. Now I'm just a silly-looking roadie. And no high. And there never will be. Sob.
hang in thereDog
Jul 25, 2001 11:51 AM
Twice near the end of a long adventure on the bike, where I was doing well and achieving a new milestone for myself, I've broken down into tears on the bike when I first realized that I would, in fact, finish and reach my goals. Just overwhelmed with emotion. Great feelings I'll never forget.

But, it could have been mere fatigue. :-)

If I have to do one of your double centuries to get a high...ET
Jul 25, 2001 12:10 PM
I'll break down in tears right now. :-)
sorry to say....Dog
Jul 25, 2001 12:54 PM
It requires at least 11 hours, 47 minutes, or 194.6 miles of saddle time to achieve emotional incontinence. :-)

I expect my next experience to be at mile 500 of the Furnace Creek 508 on October 14 this year.

took me about 20hr or socyclopathic
Jul 25, 2001 8:58 PM
on 46lbs touring bike with seized hubs ~270mi. I had really good laugh when I took front wheel off and realized what happened.

After that getting double on 26lbs bike with super slow tires in 13hr (~11 1/2hr riding) was just a breeze

ride hard
Jul 25, 2001 2:25 PM
I was a distance runner during the running boom of the 70's, as a few others that post here. I bounced back and forth between running and cycling. Sometimes it was every other day, sometimes it was winter-summer thing. From 1973 to 1990.
Running worn me down. Most the time I felt terrible. I was lean and mean and had 7% body fat. My mother became concerned for my health and was always trying to shove food down my throat. During most of my runs, it hurt, it was not fun, it was just a way of life. Racing was even worse, the fun started when I crossed the finish line. Getting to the point, sometimes I would feel terrible and barely make it out the door for a run. Once and awhile I would have what I called a "dream run", everything would click. I could run forever with boundless energy. I could never put my finger on what triggered that.
I ran myself into the ground and eventually I broke down due to injuries.

Now cycling is the same for me. Sometimes I feel terrible, tired, listless, I walk around the house and bump into things and feel like crap. But I mount my bike and see what happens. As soon as I start turning the crank I feel better, everything starts to click. I only feel good when I am riding my bike. It takes longer to warm up and a longer distance, but on each ride I always have a moment when I am extremely content and happy, and totally absorbed in what I am doing. Nothing else matters. It's like being stopped in time. It usually happens when I am headed home and I reach a favorite spot on my ride. I look around and take everything in and try to feel like I am part of it all. I feel like nature is my friend, I feel like I am part of the whole universe. This is why I ride. I may be old and slow, but I am obsessed with this passion.
When I got hurt in my crash of last year, I almost did not come back. I had to stop and think of what I wanted out of cycling. For me it is fun, and it meant stripping off the computer on my bike and just riding. I call it "pure riding". Riding is like playing, sometimes I take that road not traveled and see where it goes.
Cycling is like life, you get out of it what you put into it. Don't try to push yourself so hard, have a couple of days a week when you turn off your computer and just go for a spin. You will find that cycling high, you are just trying to hard to find it, it's there, believe me.
If it wasn't there I wouldn't be riding. Now if I could just find that 7% body fat again...

I often wonder if anyone else feels this way. When I talk to the guys at my LBS they just sort of look at me vacant eyed, like they don't understand. Or maybe because to them it is just a business. I dunno, maybe I'm just a dinosaur out there spinning in never-never land...
Jul 25, 2001 2:50 PM
Your not alone. Although I am new I have already had rides that just feel right. I feel like my mind and body are part of the bike and my legs are just a tool to move us along. In fact it happened this morning after I posted this message. When I got to my usual turn around point, I insted made a turn and kept riding to see what was at the end of the road. You did a great job explaining that felling.
I understand...Live Steam
Jul 25, 2001 3:07 PM
I often feel as you do. Many of these hot summer days I feel somewhat listless and un-rested. Then I mount the bike and a new energy seems to take over. Though I enjoy those times when I am out on the road alone, I look forward to seeing my riding partners for our regularly scheduled weekly rides. They are really nice people, I guess unlike me today:-), and the time spent with them joking and story telling makes my day of cycling something special. There is a particular point when we are homeward bound, about 8 - 9 miles from the end, when we are all silent and concentrating on our cadence and spinning. The remainder of the ride seems to go by in slow motion, though this is the hardest and fastest we will have gone all day. The burn from that point on, I guess is the "high" that I think runners may experience. There is no chatter, just the sound of the wheels on the pavement, the whirring of the wind rushing through the air holes in my helmet and the clicking of metal from everyone quickly shifting in synchronicity. It is then that I reach a higher threshold of aerobic fitness than at any other point on the day. I guess it comes from knowing that the hard burn will soon end in a sprint at the end of the road.
i get them all the time.railer
Jul 25, 2001 1:16 PM
I especially notice them on the not so hard days. Sometimes at the top of a long climb I'll just stop at top and take in the view. As I do this I can really feel the chemical. Sometimes after a ride after I sit down and relax I'll feel the same thing. I love it. It relaxes me even further. I really notice it on the drive home from a nice MTB ride. Im perfectly content to just cruise, whereas on the way there I was stressed out and driving much faster. On hard rides its not as noticeable. With my broken leg I have come to really miss the endorphins in my blood stream. 2 and a half more weeks!
Ahhhh! that's nice...Kristin
Jul 26, 2001 7:35 AM
Okay, I have no clue what a runners high is. I'll never know. But I'm discovering some nice things about cycling. Railer nailed it. I'm sure our definitions of "long climb" differ greatly, but there is a definate reward after a really hard climb. There is a particular hill I love to hate. By the top my arms and legs are shaking and its all I can do to keep breathing. Then, on the way down, everything relaxes and I feel mellow and quite nice.

I've also discovered that stretching out on a sunny patch of asphault after a long ride is quite soothing.
Oh yeah, it doesDuane Gran
Jul 25, 2001 4:10 PM
Having done both I can say that the runner's high is a bit easier to attain, but I've never felt it so intense as I have on the bike. In particular I remember a solo century I did recently where I simply felt like I had wings. It was amazing. The good news is that every time I go riding I feel a bit of the high, it just isn't always so intense. Racing evokes another type of high that I can only attain in a race situation, but I love it too.