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Chasing a runner's high with On

by editor
Friday 18th November 2016
Tags  On Running   |   On Cloud   |   On Cloudsurfer   |   On Cloudflow
The runner’s high. That feeling we’re lucky enough to get once in a while when all the planets align and running feels effortless and joyful. You might be on your own, with friends, in a beautiful place, or just on your regular route, you might have set off feeling terrible, but it suddenly feels like you could run in this euphoric state forever. 

Cloudflow 2

We went to hear John Brewer, Professor of Applied Sport Science at St Mary’s University, talk about the elusive runner’s high and how we might experience it more at the launch on On’s new Cloudflow shoes. John started off by tackling the presumption that it’s all about chemicals in the brain. It’s true that the body produces endocannabinoids, which give us that ‘feel good’ factor, but the runner’s high is a multi-faceted affair. 
For a start, the conditions we run in can make a big difference. We might find it easier to get out of the door on a hot, sunny day, but we’re actually more likely to find running a bit more effortless at temperatures of 8 - 12 degrees. Recent research into 10k times found that these were the optimum conditions for PBs. What we’re wearing will make a difference too. The runner’s high is pretty much unachievable if you’ve got a hideous bit of chafing going on and you can feel a blister forming under that ill-chosen sock. Make sure what you’re wearing feels good. 
Then make sure you warm up well. You can’t expect to get out of the door and find that effortless flow straight away. You need to work up to it. And are you more likely to find your bliss when you’re out on your own, away from the stresses of real, non-running life, or when you’re in the company of friends whose chit-chat makes you forget the effort you’re putting in. Or maybe the support of the crowds at a race help you find your flow. Good nutrition and hydration will help too. Euphoria may be elusive if you’re hanging on for dear life through hunger or hangover. 

cloudflow 1

So the runner’s high depends on all factors coming together. And On Running have tried to do their bit by designing a shoe which helps you roll along smoothly. The ‘clouds’ on the sole (there are 18 on this shoe) encourage natural rolling and a quick take-off. Our first impressions were that they are incredibly light and responsive and pretty much a joy to run in. If you’re already familiar with On shoes these sit between the Cloud and the Cloudsurfer. They’re more engineered (and 20g lighter) than the Cloud but not quite as springy as the Cloudsurfer. Full review to follow soon! 

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