The ultramarathoner Avery Collins, among the fastest in the world, is not shy about appearing in photographs holding a bong. The first time he tried running after using marijuana, he said, he realized “it allowed me to be very present and not to worry as much about overall times and what’s going on with the run.”

Mr. Collins, a 25-year-old from Colorado Springs, is one of a likely legion of athletes who use marijuana as part of their training — although he’s one of the few fast enough to get an endorsement deal from an edibles company.

While there are no statistics about how many runners smoke a bowl before hitting the trail, as Mr. Collins often does, marijuana is the second most widely used drug among athletes after alcohol, according to the American Journal on Addictions.

Runners say cannabis and cannabis products make their long runs more enjoyable. Many say that pot helps them to recover from hard workouts and races faster.

“You have two different reasons potentially for using cannabinoids,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine who also works with pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit groups doing cannabinoid research. [Read more at The New York Times]

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