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Old 08-27-07, 11:48 AM   #1
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Experience with Endorphin High

It would be interesting to hear from the gang, on any experience they've had with an endorphin high. I'm too old for any drug dealer to trust in a drug purchase, so I'd like to know more about the natural high from strenous activity.

What does it take to produce an endorphin high, and what have been your experiences with these highs ... how long do they last ... do they numb the pain from stressful activity ... stuff like that. Any negative consequences of an endorphin high ... say jumping off a building in beliefs you can fly (I watched too many Dragnet episodes)?

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Old 08-27-07, 02:16 PM   #2
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Problem with endorphins is that they are unreliable. They need something to trigger it and the Action of them is sometimes delayed. Doing a hill with ease that had previously been hard- Finishing a gruelling ride in a good time- but it has taken so much out of you that you cannot think straight to realise it at the time. Or the best one is just reaching a goal soomer than you expected.

The best high I ever had was when I finished the SDW ride in 2003 after 6 months hard training- to find that I had done the best time I had ever done it in- The first-Or second as I was stoker- to finish it on a Tandem and that I was the oldest rider to have completed it in the 6 years it had been running. Only problem was that I was so shattered- it did not hit me till the nexr day and by that time- I could not move as I was stretched out in the Hammock trying to summon up enough strength to shout for another coffee and a Burger.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:37 PM   #3
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Endorphins provide me the best high, ever. I'm hooked, have been for years. I get them by teaching Spinning classes, or riding really fast or really long or both. Those are my first choices -- a pumping Jazzercise class or some kick-boxing will suffice in a pinch.

I think you need to have sustained aerobic activity of moderate to hard intensity (and that's subjective for everyone) for a minimum of 20 min., maybe longer. The harder and longer I workout, the better I feel when I'm done.

As to their pain-relieving properties I'll say this: A nurse scrubbed gravel and dirt out of my left arm and left leg after a 106 mile ride, and I didn't perceive that as particularly painful, more like an annoyance. I winced once or twice, but otherwise held a conversation with the nurse's granddaughter.

Later that night, while in the shower and cleaning up again, I could hardly stand to touch the injured places. All my endorphins were gone.

Good luck finding your endorphins. Once you try them I predict you'll like them.
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Old 08-27-07, 04:25 PM   #4
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You will need to establish a regular workout regimen for some months. You don't just get endorphins from a one time workout. It's the stuff that keeps runners addicted to running. When you are in decent shape and take off on a strenuous exercise, ..fter about 20 minutes (in my experience) you will get a euphoria kick that beats any drug I've ever tried. You can ride that high and thoroughly enjoy life, or you can use it to push yourself to the next level (more common). The times I've felt its greateest effect is when I was begining a marathon and purposely keeping my effort low (just trying to get miles in the bank). I would feel like raising fists in the air and just shouting for joy.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:24 PM   #5
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I don't really know how the endorphin factor works but for me bicycling is meditation. it allows me to connect to both the infinite and to here and now in a joyful quiet and beautiful way.
"Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer
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Old 08-27-07, 09:17 PM   #6
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I did not know the term "Endorphin High" but reading above post makes me think that I have been on that. For reasons to complex for this thread to explain I have biked 50 miles/day for months. Some days 100 miles.
The 50 miles fly by without any real conscious effort. The 100 miles require planning and thinking about nutrition so that does not work the same.
The 50 mile rides are euphoric. Colors seem brighter. Nature seems more brilliant and there is a very good feeling after the ride until bed time. Speed is also been increasing.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:13 AM   #7
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I don't know, but riding roller coasters gets me high. Strangest thing. Put me on a roller coaster and I'm wired for the rest of the day. Gosh, I love those things. They're almost as good as flying down a mountain pass on your bike at 50+ mph.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:10 AM   #8
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I have a ride bud who must take medicine to shut his endorphins off.

He wasn't always that way. It occurred within a short period. He got really strong, he was riding over climbs like they were much smaller than ever before. His average speeds increased to ridiculous levels. He felt like he could just keep going during a riding day.

His wife began to notice things weren't quite right with Riding Bud when she got strange credit card bills. For example one was from Wal-Mart for such and such amount for three new cell phones. She asked him WTF? He couldn't remember purchasing them! Then he began having occasions where he would be out riding on a long day where he would get lost! No idea where he was. Lucky he had a cell phone or two.

When exercising, his endorphins kicked in and would only shut off after 8-10 hours. He was overdosing on his on endorphin high. It really was dangerous for him. He was much like Dory (Finding Nemo) when on these highs.

With medication he is back to normal. He rode RAGBRAI with us one year. We told him to make sure he took his pill because we were in no mood (nor capable) to chase his Dory arse down if he passed the over-night town and kept going!

Oh yeah, he's in his late 40s.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:17 AM   #9
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endorphin high from riding (for me) is NOT unreliable, provided I maintain a moderately high level of output for about 20 minutes. happens EVERY time. lasts a couple hours after riding stops. Happened the first time I rode at that level, but then I had experience knowing what getting high felt like from 'the old days'. totally clean now. no alcohol, substances. just endorphins, which are way better.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:43 AM   #10
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Get out and ride hard and feel good. With luck the endorphins will eliminate the desire to analyze everything to death instead of just getting out there and experiencing it.
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Old 08-28-07, 08:47 AM   #11
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In my experience, an "endorphin high" isn't like getting a buzz or high from alcohol or drugs -- it's more a lifting of your spirits and a feeling of well-being and increased alertness. Basically, I consider it to be my personal anti-depressant!

Last Saturday I did a PR in a 10-mile race (running) on a warm and humid day, and I still think I'm on a high from it. This morning I took my typical early run and sped along at better than half a minute a mile compared to my usual training pace. I don't ride my bike hard enough to get into this zone, but I certainly know what it feels like to have this experience.

By the way, I was 27/185 in the 60-64 age group at my race, and 2200/7200 overall (big race!). For someone who only started doing this in his 50s, I think I'm making pretty good progress!
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Old 08-28-07, 11:50 AM   #12
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I was sitting at the last control at Dreux on thursday wondering if this is what dying is like. I was bonked,, dizzy, exhausted and really worried about my state of heallth. Then I crawled along to a patisserie and got some cakes and a minipizza. Then I had a flat ! Found some french guys to hang onto and moan my sad plight to in my extremely bad french. then they had tecnical problems and I was on my own. Then the endorphins kicked in. There are a lot of hills going into the last few miles of PBP. I had slept five and a half hours since monday morning and bicycled 1190 km but I rode those few last miles and hills at near max speed for me feeling really great. The human body is indeed strange.
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Old 08-28-07, 01:18 PM   #13
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For me, it's the runner's high.

Running for five or six miles, then pushing the last mile until my respiration rate matches my stride and my heart rate reaches 80-90% max, and holding it there for the final mile. Then down to a slow jog for another mile as a cool down to get the respiration and heart rate back down to near-resting. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm runner's high. Peace and tranquility and feelin' no pain. It last for about an hour after the run. My brain tends to float away and I am, as they say, distracted. It is best done after a stressful workday to purge the system.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:23 PM   #14
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I've found endorphin highs more common from running than cycling so far but also realized that the times i felt the best were the times when i overdid it and hurt don't feel the pain till its too late.
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