Dear Mountain Mama,
My question is somewhat personal – a month after registering for the Charleston Marathon and increasing my mileage, I’ve found more men interested in me. I’m hooked on the runner’s high I experience after long runs. But even more unexpected, I’m enjoying how running seems to be an aphrodisiac.
Is there any evidence to support running improving my love life? What’s the connection between running and sex?
Dear Running Chick,
Thanks for registering and running the Charleston Marathon. I’ll be hosting meet-ups before and after the marathon, so stay posted for more details, and I’m looking forward to sharing some miles with you!
I’m over the moon to hear about all the men chasing after you, but I’m hardly surprised. Runners are fitter, healthier, and have a positive body-image which all translates to one of the sexiest personality traits – confidence. The extra mileage of marathon training improves your endurance so if and when you hop in the sack with one of these guys, you’ll have the stamina to go the distance. Thirty to forty minutes in the sack is nothing compared to hours of running.
Sex therapist and author of The Big, Fun, Sexy Sex Book, explains one aspect of running your way to a better sex life. “The oxygenation of blood plays a huge role in arousal – people who work out, especially with cardiovascular exercise, are going to have much better vascular health and better flow to the genitals.”
Running can make you a better love in other ways too. Dr. Petra Boynton, a sex psychologist, explains how running creates body awareness. “You think about your breathing, the way that you’re moving, and focus on your technique, how you’re feeling and what feels good and what doesn’t. Apply these principles in bed as well, and it’ll improve your experience and your partner’s experience.”
But beware of the effect running too many miles – keeping your sex life sizzling is another reason to avoid over-training. An athlete’s libido suffers when she puts in too miles without proper rest and recovery.
Not only can running improve your sex life, getting your shag on might improve your running. Many female runners claim that having sex energizes them and enhances their emotional well-being, resulting in faster running times. A survey of 2,000 runners after the Flora London Marathon reported that runners who had sex the night before the race ran faster than those who’d abstained.
Distance runner and three-time Olympian Lynn Jennings said, “sex the night before solidifies my core feeling of happiness.”
Just as over-training can hurt your love life, too much sex can leave a runner tired and sore. Like all things in life, strive for a healthy balance in the bedroom and on the trails.
Cheers to enjoying all the perks of marathon training!