Post Run Feeling: Best Tips to Maximize Your Recovery and Enjoyment 2024

Ah, the post run feeling. We all know that amazing sensation we experience after a good run. The runner’s high is a phenomenon that many of us cherish, as it leaves us feeling exhilarated, accomplished, and motivated for future workouts. In this article, we’ll dive into the science and psychology behind that post run feeling and explore how runners can enhance this experience.

One crucial aspect of the post run feeling is understanding its causes and effects. When we put our bodies through the physical demands of running, endorphins are released to help mitigate pain and promote feelings of well-being and happiness. Furthermore, running encourages the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), promoting cognitive health and neurological function. With these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder the post run feeling is something all runners strive to achieve.

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Understanding Post Run Feeling

🏃 Physical Sensations After Running

After a run, our body experiences various physical sensations. Our muscles might feel tired or sore due to the exertion of running, and we might experience some stiffness as well. This is a natural response as our muscles work hard during a run, and it helps to promote recovery and growth. Additionally, we may notice an increase in body temperature and sweat, both of which are normal as our body works to regulate temperature and cool down.

🧠 Psychological Effects of Running

Running can have a significant impact on our mood and overall mental well-being. Many people report feeling a sense of euphoria, often referred to as a “runner’s high.” This feeling can include heightened senses, a deeper appreciation for nature, and reduced levels of stress and anxiety. Not only does this elevate our mood during a run, but it may also have lasting effects that persist throughout the day.

Dennis Heinrich Mallorca Marathon 24.10.2023

“Running means freedom. No matter whether you are stressed, tired or unmotivated. Your feelings change while you run and afterwards you really notice how you have more energy and are more balanced.”

🧪 The Role of Endorphins and Endocannabinoids

Endorphins and endocannabinoids play a crucial role in the post run feeling we experience. When we run, our brain releases endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving and mood-enhancing chemicals. These endorphins help to reduce stress, making us feel more relaxed and happier after a run.

In addition to endorphins, our body also produces endocannabinoids, which are natural mood-enhancers and can further contribute to the “runner’s high.” Some studies have shown that consistent aerobic exercise, like running, can improve focus, memory, and cognitive functioning. So the next time we go for a run, not only will our muscles be working hard, but our brain will be reaping the benefits as well!

Factors Influencing Post Run Feeling

post run feeling Runner legs
by Pinterest

🏃 Impact of Run Duration and Intensity

One crucial factor that determines our post run feeling is the duration and intensity of the run. For instance, a short, light jog might leave us feeling energized, while a more intense, long run could lead to exhaustion and muscle soreness. It’s essential to strike a balance between these factors to achieve the desired post-run sensation.

  • 🏃Shorter runs: Our muscles usually require less time to recover, and we might experience an uplifted mood due to endorphins release.
  • 🏃Longer runs: Might lead to a sense of accomplishment, but also increased exhaustion, making proper recovery crucial.

🚰 Influence of Hydration and Nutrition

Hydration and nutrition play a vital role in our post run feeling. Drinking enough water and consuming proper nutrients ensure our body functions optimally during and after the run.

  • 🚰 Hydration: Adequate water intake helps maintain body temperature, reduces muscle soreness, and facilitates blood circulation. Make sure to drink water before, during, and after the run.
  • 🚰 Nutrition: Consuming balanced meals that include carbohydrates, proteins, and essential fats provides the necessary energy to perform well and aids in muscle repair after the run.

🔑 Importance of Pre-Run Preparation

Being well-prepared for a run can make a significant difference in our post run feeling. Ensuring our body is ready to handle the physical demand of running can lead to a positive feeling post-run.

  • 🔑 Warm-up: A proper warm-up helps to loosen up our muscles and joints, reducing the risk of injury and preparing the body for the run ahead.
  • 🔑 Pacing: Keeping a consistent pace throughout the run helps manage energy levels and ensures our body doesn’t get too fatigued.
  • 🔑 Stretching: Incorporating static stretches for major muscle groups after the run can prevent stiffness and soreness, improving our post run feeling.

Physical Recovery Post Run

post run feeling Woman does stretching
by Pinterest

🏋️ Cooldown Strategies and Stretching

After a run, it’s important for us to cool down and allow our muscles to recover. One effective way to do this is by slowing down to an easy jog for about 5 minutes, then gradually transitioning to a slow walk for an additional 3-5 minutes. During this time, our heart rate and breathing will regulate, and it will give us a chance to reflect on our run.

Here are a few stretches to try for a better post run feeling:

  • 🏋️ Quadriceps Stretch: Stand on one leg, grab the opposite foot, and gently pull towards your buttocks.
  • 🏋️ Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other bent. Reach towards the extended leg’s toes and hold.
  • 🏋️ Calf Stretch: Place both hands on a wall, extend one leg back, and press the heel to the ground.

💪 Addressing Muscle Soreness and Pain

Muscle soreness and pain are common after a run, particularly during higher intensity workouts or when increasing mileage. To alleviate discomfort, consider trying these strategies:

  1. 💪 Ice: Apply ice to the affected area to reduce inflammation.
  2. 💪 Compression: Wear compression socks or sleeves to improve blood flow and support muscles.
  3. 💪 Elevation: Elevate your legs when possible to reduce swelling and improve circulation.

In addition, gentle activities like a casual 20- to 30-minute walk, light stretching, or yoga can promote blood flow and aid in recovery.

🍲 Optimizing Post Run Nutrition

Our bodies need to refuel and repair after a run. To optimize post run nutrition, we should focus on consuming a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Carbohydrates help replenish glycogen stores, while protein is essential for muscle repair and rebuilding.

Here are some post-run snack ideas:

Chocolate milk26g8g2.5g
Greek yogurt & berries18g15g0g
Peanut butter & fruit20g8g16g
Turkey & cheese roll-ups2g15g5g

Lastly, don’t forget to hydrate! Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of liquid during your post run recovery period. This will help replace fluids lost through sweat and supports overall recovery.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

post run feeling Man runs
by Pinterest

🌟 Enhancing Mood and Calmness

Running is known to release endorphins and serotonin, which are chemicals in our body that can contribute to a happier and more relaxed state of mind. In fact, engaging in regular runs has been shown to have a positive impact on our mood, helping us feel more content and at ease.

To illustrate this point further, consider the phenomenon known as the “runner’s high” – a feeling of elation and reduced anxiety that many runners experience. This sensation is attributed to the increased production of brain chemicals associated with mood and emotions.

🏆 Achievement and Motivation Increases

Setting and reaching running goals can play a tremendous role in boosting our self-esteem and motivation. Every time we achieve a personal record, such as completing a longer distance or improving our pace, we experience a sense of accomplishment. This post run feeling is incredibly gratifying and often fuels our desire to set even higher goals.

Moreover, the discipline required to maintain a running schedule significantly impacts our overall sense of self-efficacy, i.e., the belief in our ability to meet challenges and achieve success. With increased self-esteem and self-efficacy, we may feel more empowered to tackle other areas in our life.

🧘 Coping With Anxiety and Stress

Running is an efficient tool for managing and reducing anxiety and stress. As we mentioned earlier, running releases endorphins and serotonin, which may alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. Additionally, regular exercise has been found to decrease the risk of major depression by 26%.

During a run, our focus shifts from daily stressors to the rhythm of our breath and the movement of our body. This meditative state can provide us with mental clarity and perspective, helping us better cope with stress.

“Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.”
– Kara Goucher

Handling Post Run Pains and Aches

post run feeling Woman in running clothes drinks
by Pinterest

🤕 Common Injuries and Their Prevention

From our experiences, we know that aches and pains are common after an intense run.

Two types of muscle soreness can occur: immediate or acute soreness and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which typically arises after challenging runs like long distances or hill repetitions. To prevent these injuries:

  • ✅ Incorporate a proper warm-up routine
  • ✅ Including dynamic stretching
  • Gradually increasing your pace

Moreover, wearing appropriate running shoes and avoiding excessive mileage can significantly reduce the impact on our joints and minimize the risk of injury. Lastly, taking time to listen to our bodies and easing into workouts will help prevent overexertion and potential long-term issues.

⏱️ Role of Proper Recovery Time

Recovery time plays a crucial role in managing post run aches and pains. It’s essential to understand that our muscles need time to repair and adapt to the demands of running. This process may take several days, depending on the intensity of our workouts.

A crucial aspect of recovery time is planning rest days throughout the week, which allows our bodies to recover and rebuild muscle tissue. We must also ensure that we get sufficient sleep, as it is during sleep when our bodies actively repair and grow.

🛠️ Using Tools for Muscle Recovery

Various tools can aid in muscle recovery and help alleviate post run soreness.

Here are some useful methods to incorporate:

  • 🛠️ Foam rolling: Focus on tight spots and roll gently for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • 🛠️ Stretching: Hold each stretch for about 15-30 seconds.
  • 🛠️ Ice baths: Submerge your legs in cold water for 10-15 minutes.
  • 🛠️ Massage can aid in relaxation, stress relief, and pain relief.

Remember that finding the most suitable recovery method for our individual needs will take some experimentation. The important thing is to be consistent and prioritize self-care.

Post Run Habits and Lifestyle

post run feeling Woman slow down
by Pinterest

🏁 Developing a Post-Run Ritual

One essential habit to cultivate in our running journey is to establish a consistent, effective post run ritual. This can help us recover faster, reduce the risk of injury, and make us feel more connected to our running experience. A typical post-run ritual may include activities such as:

  • 🏁 Cooling down: This is crucial for easing our body back to its resting state and maintaining good heart health. A 5 to 10-minute walk or gentle jog will do the trick.
  • 🏁 Stretching: Gently stretching our muscles after running can help to alleviate tightness, prevent injury, and boost our recovery. Focus on key running muscles, like the hamstrings, calves, and quads.
  • 🏁 Hydrating: Drinking fluids replenishes any water lost during our run and supports our body’s overall recovery process. Aim to drink water or a sports drink with electrolytes soon after each run.

🏃 Incorporating Running Into Daily Life

Finding ways to seamlessly integrate running into our daily life can help us stick to a consistent routine, making it easier to reap the many benefits of this healthy habit. Here are a few ideas on how to do that:

  • 🏃 Morning runs: Start the day with a burst of energy by going for a run first thing in the morning. We can make the most of the quiet streets, fresh air, and lack of distractions to kick-start our day optimally.
  • 🏃 Active commute: If possible, swapping driving or public transport for running to work can be a great way to implement running into our lifestyle. This not only increases daily physical activity but also helps to save on transportation costs and reduce environmental impact.
  • 🏃 Run-related social activities: Join local running clubs, events, or races, and make new friends who share our passion for running. Participating in group runs can elevate our motivation and push us to reach new milestones.

📚 Learning From Each Run

Each run presents an opportunity to learn and refine our technique and strategy. By maintaining a running journal, tracking our progress, and fine-tuning our approach based on the data collected, we can continue to improve and achieve greater successes. Here are some pointers on what we can track and consider:

  1. 📚 Distance: Did we achieve our target distance?
  2. 📚 Time: Were we able to maintain the pace we wanted?
  3. 📚 Wellness: How do we feel, both mentally and physically, after each run?
  4. 📚 Nutrition: Did we fuel our body effectively before and after the run?

By keeping track of these factors and reflecting on our running performance, we can make informed decisions to better tailor our training plan and optimize our running feeling in the long run.

Our Opinion on Post Run Feeling

We absolutely love the sensation of the post run feeling. It’s that euphoric state you experience after completing a good run. This feeling is due to the release of certain neurotransmitters like endorphins and endocannabinoids that create a natural high, often referred to as the “runner’s high.”

Why is the post run feeling so important? Well, not only does it make us feel great, but it also motivates us to keep running and maintaining our exercise routines. Let’s talk about some ways we can enhance that post run feeling:

Sebastian Gradl 27.101.2023

Cooldown: It’s crucial to cool down after a run by walking or doing some light stretching. This will help to lower our heart rate and prevent injuries.”

Fuel up: It’s important to replenish our energy with a snack or meal that has a 1:3 ratio of protein to carbs. Options like Clif bars, bananas with peanut butter, or chocolate milk can help speed recovery.”

Dennis Heinrich after Mallorca Marathon 10.2023 Bild1
Sebastian Gradl after Running a Charity Run 09.2023

Stretching & strength exercises: Adding a thorough stretching and strength session to our post run routine helps to prevent muscle imbalances, improve flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury.”

Hydrate: Drinking water throughout the day ensures our bodies stay hydrated and helps with flushing out toxins and lactic acid.”

Dennis Heinrich Mallorca Marathon Bild 6 10.2023

Remember that while it’s great to take advantage of the post run feeling, it’s also essential to keep a close eye on our overall goals. Be it mental or physical, running provides various benefits like improved memory, better mood, and even increased cognitive function. Embrace the post run feeling and make the most out of your running journey!


Why do I feel lightheaded after a run?

Lightheadedness can occur due to 
dehydration, low blood sugar, or rapid changes in blood pressure post-run. 

Is it normal to feel sore after a run?

Muscle soreness is common after a run, especially if you’ve increased intensity or distance. 

How can I reduce post-run fatigue?

Proper hydration, nutrition, and adequate rest are essential for reducing fatigue after running.

What is your option on post run feeling? I would love to hear it in the comments. I’m sure you also like reading about how long to wait after eating to run or Slow Jogging vs Fast Walking.

Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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