#OneMinuteMan: Should you get a little stoned before running?
Posted on October 17 2016
Pretty much all of the scientific literature to date suggests that cannabis is ergolytic (it impairs exercise performance). On top of giving you excessive snacking ability and psychedelic feelings and whatnot, pot decreases your work capacity and cardiac output, researchers maintain.
Well of course those low-down stoners are always glued to the damn couch! Their hearts aren’t pumping enough blood to their half-baked brains!!
Alright dude, take it easy.
Because according to a growing group of ultra runners, weed might be the secret sauce for long-distance running.
How/ why is this a thing?
The true runner's high
Let’s start with the tangible stuff. We know marijuana’s a proven painkiller. It's been prescribed to treat lots of things.
But unlike typical painkillers which block pain (and which some ultra runners (ab)use), pot distracts you from the pain and allows you to focus on enjoying the positive experience of running, without the side effects associated with opioids, including their horribly addictive qualities.
In short, weed can take the stress out of running and make you feel tranquil, happy, even euphoric--it gives you a true runner's high--some ultra runners claim.
This isn't just anecdotal either. It's backed by what's happening inside your body chemically, both when you're high and when you're exercising. Studies have shown high levels of anandamide, a cannabinoid naturally produced in the body, in the bloodstream of athletes after exercise.
Anandamide has since been dubbed "the bliss molecule." Which raises the question: Is anandamide the key to attaining that pure, transcendental mental state known as the runner's high?
It soothes and settles the stomach
You probably know this already. Many cancer patients use pot to offset nausea caused by chemotherapy.
What does that have to do with long-distance running?
Well, a lot, potentially. What's the most common problem marathon runners face? Nausea...which prevents runners from ingesting the necessary nutrients and fuel during the race.
Simple case of math here. You don't get enough fuel = you hit the wall, that terrible intersection of intense fatigue and diminished mental faculties.
Hey, I'm running a marathon in November and am thinking about getting some edibles for training and race-day. What do you think?
Not sure really, but it probably depends on a few things. If you’ve never smoked before or tend to bug out when you do*, then you probably shouldn’t.
If you’re an athletic guy who enjoys the occasional toke, then maybe test it out one night in the coming weeks. Who knows, you could be the world’s next fastest stoner.
Bottom line, weed impacts everyone differently. We simply found this phenomenon in the ultra running community to be pretty fascinating.
*We rifled through the internet for a story about a runner who bugged out while running high, but, to much disappointment, were hard-pressed to find one.