Psycho-Pharmaceuticals in the Running Industry

24 Oct

Self-motivation is *so* last year.

It’s too cold outside.
It’s raining.
I have to pick up the kids from daycare.
I have to get dinner started.
I have to work late.
I am tired.

Some days we can find every excuse in the book NOT to go work out or get our run in. On these days, we literally have to force ourselves into tying our running shoes and getting outside or on the treadmill. Forced or unmotivated runs rarely produce work outs you are proud of and, many times, end up being miles marked down on some calendar saying you followed your training plan.

But, what if there was an easier way? What if there was a pill you could take that would actually make you WANT to run? Would you take it? Would you at least try it? If so, would you feel like it is “cheating” in some way? If not, how would you feel about others who took it…especially on race day?

Psycho-pharmaceuticals will be able to alter our levels of will-power and change patterns that are already ingrained in our brains. We could literally ask a doctor to mix up the perfect drug to tell our brains that we want to train all the time and run, run, run, and then run some more. This “cocktail drug” could literally be made such that every time you went for a run, the pleasure receptors in your brain were triggered, much the same way that they are triggered with delicious foods or sex.

Just imagine this for a second. Really think about this.

Can you only imagine how much your running would improve (or at least change) if every time you went for a run it felt as good as makin’ a little lovin’? HELLO! Following that, can you just imagine how many people would graduate from being the occasional 5k racer to wanting to run a marathon overnight? Can you imagine how much the ultramarathon industry would surge? Ha!

While it is fun to giggle about this for a second, it does bring up a very real…and potentially scary…issue. How would these drugs be regulated? If they are legal, how do you race or compete fairly? Whether we like it or not (or agree with it or not), psycho-pharmaceuticals are the future and, in all honesty, the not too distant future. Since they are prescribed and legal medications, how will these be regulated for racing and training, in general?

It is definitely interesting to think about. It sort of reminds me of that movie Limitless. Could this be life imitating art…or art imitating life?

What do YOU think of the use of psycho-pharmaceuticals in the running/sports industry?

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9 Responses to “Psycho-Pharmaceuticals in the Running Industry”

  1. Mary @foodandfunontherun October 24, 2011 at 11:13 AM #

    I think this would be such a terrible idea. The biggest part of running is mental, and is of course the part that most runners struggle with. It is called a workout for a reason. So when you take the “work” out of the word, what does it become?

    Fighting with yourself through a run is all part of the process. People as a whole want a pill to fix everything – happiness, weight, etc. Running is one of the only things left untouched (for some).

    Love this post! So thought provoking!

  2. Celeste@MomBodFitness October 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM #

    Scary!! I would prefer to have complete self-control over my body and reap the rewards of hard work and overcoming obstacles. Taking drugs for unnecessary reasons to have unknown effects on the body, brain and mental state, I can only imagine what the physical and emotional side effects would be. I love modern medicine when it helps save lives, cure diseases and help people with serious mental issues..but what next, put a computer chip in our brain so we can be programmed to do exactly what we need to everyday without skipping a beat? Ha!

  3. Jessica K (@irun26at8) October 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM #

    Hmm. Interesting. Is this referring to a new study that has come out recently or something? Aren’t psycho-pharmaceuticals used by millions of people everyday in an attempt to control conditions such as ADHD, depression, OCD, etc? Psycho-pharmaceuticals have been around for years and I am sure many, many athletes are taking these already. Maybe I am missing something though?

    • AJ October 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM #

      I had similar questions and am also curious about where this came from/what it’s referring to…

  4. Vanessa (@IsleStyleLiving) October 24, 2011 at 3:56 PM #

    No thanks!!

    My personal health philosophy is to avoid medication unless all other options have been exhausted.

    So I would never take a pill for motivation. Like another commentator said, running is part mental!

    I feel SO accomplished when I can push through a mental block and prove to my mind that physically I AM CAPABLE.

    These studies are really scary. And as another mentioned: psycho-pharmaceuticals exist for ADD, OCD, etc… Which is a whole ‘nother issue for me. Did you read how PRESCHOOLERS can now receive medication for ADD?? HELLO… don’t all preschoolers have ADD (can’t sit still, short attention span, lack of focus….).

    Modern medicine is GREAT for emergencies and has a great place in our society. But when does it stop? Seems like society is always looking for the next magic pill to solve our problems.

    • AJ October 24, 2011 at 9:56 PM #

      Is there a link to any of these studies? I must be missing something? (I
      *am* sleep-deprived… :P)

      And preschoolers and children are not the only people who are prescribed these medications. Many adults benefit from them, as well…yes, benefit! I think that like ALL drugs they are probably over-prescribed for sure, but let’s not remove all value from them. They help many people cope with debilitating disorders who otherwise wouldn’t be able to function.

    • Daria October 26, 2011 at 2:16 AM #

      No, not all preschoolers have ADD or ADHD. It really misunderstood. My son has a very marked case of it and was kicked out of preschool at 4 because of it. He is 9 now and it is a daily struggle for our entire family, even with therapy and non-stimulant meds. I’m not referring to you personally, I just feel ADD/ADHD/ODD and other behavioral issues are so misunderstood by most people and for some, they become a punchline.
      Sorry about getting on a soapbox.

  5. Karen :0) October 24, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

    Very interesting thing to think about! I like my “natural” running – no meds necessary! LOL

  6. Julie (A Case of the Runs) November 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM #

    Sounds tempting, but if I never used my self-motivation, it might die off completely. =/ Interesting topic!

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