Having Sex a Night Before Running a Marathon
Many of you must have heard about the myth that sex a night before running a marathon is not recommended. But is there a real connection between making love and marathon results? Mohammed Ali the legend boxer said that abstention helped him be a better boxer because “when you don’t get sex for a while, you get mean and angry and it makes you a warrior” (Thornton, 1990).
Is it true for runners too? Do runners who abstain will run better on the next day marathon? Here we will try and cover all the aspects of sex before a marathon race, for men and for women. Then we will leave it up for you to decide.
Recent Studies on Sex and Aerobic Sports
In many collage and professional teams the training code forbids to have sex before races and official games. Some marathon athletes try and refrain from sexual activity a day or a week before their marathon.
There have been many studies to find the relations between sexual activity and running (or other aerobic sports). Non of the studies have found any proof that having sex a day before a race will tamper the peak performance and have any influence on the race results.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of sexual intercourse 12 hours prior to maximal treadmill exercise on aerobic power, oxygen pulse, and double product (i.e., an index of relative cardiac work). Eleven male subjects were tested on the treadmill with and without prior sexual intercourse. The results from the maximal exercise tests showed that aerobic power, oxygen pulse, and double product were not different. Therefore, the data suggest that it is justified to dismiss the point of view that sexual intercourse decreases maximal exercise performance. Read more..
Another study looked into the myth of sex draining men athlets before aerobic physical challenges. The study named “Effect of sexual activity on cycle ergometer stress test parameters, on plasmatic testosterone levels and on concentration capacity” have also failed to find any evidence of it slowing the runner the next day:
Our findings show that sexual activity had no detrimental influence on the maximal workload achieved and on the athletes’ mental concentration. However, the higher posteffort HR values after the maximal stress test on the morning of sexual intercourse suggest that the recovery capacity of an athlete could be affected if he had sexual intercourse approximately 2 hours before a competition event. Read more..
The only difference was measured 2 hours after the sex, then the athletes heart rate was higher during their recovery stage. 10 hours later there was no difference between the athletes who was active and the control group.
Marathon Runners Did Better Results After Sex
As you have seen in the studied above the myth ‘sex a day before the marathon will slow you down’ was scientifically found non relevant in lab research. Not only that but the opposite was proved true! Runners who had said they were active a night before the 2011 London Marathon had achieved better results than those runners who were holding on. Here is ESPN on this:
The survey, commissioned by the race sponsors, explores the loves, hates and habits of long-distance runners and was based on the finishing times of 2,000 entrants in last year’s event, of both sexes. Half of those questioned maintained their sex life had been unaffected by running while 8 perccent said running had harmed it.
Most runners were against sex the night before the big day — competitors have to get up early on the morning of the race.
“But those who said ‘yes’ — with men being more ‘for’ than women — had faster finishing times,” organizers said. Read more..
It is About The Runner’s Sleep
In my opinion (and based on recent studies) the myth about not having sex a day before the marathon was missinterpitued. Marathon runners need a good night sleep before the next day race. Runners just need to make sure the sexual activity does’nt take too long, becuase lack of sleep is what will slow them down.
The sexual intercourse it self burns only 25 to 50 calories, nothing a marathon runner can’t afford to invest. It is healthy for the runner’s body, after men and women orgasm their body release many hormones, these have a relaxing affect on the body and mind. People sleep better, sleep is a crucial for a marathon runner.
Another study mentioned in the Monitor have found that sexual activity can have a natural pain blocking effect on women. The sexual soothing effect can last for up to 24 hours.
Sexual activity could actually help combat muscle pain or other sports injuries in women, according to Barry Komisaruk, a psychology professor at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey.
His studies have found that sexual stimulation in women produces a powerful pain-blocking effect.
The effect, he says, can last for up to a day in the case of chronic pain such as muscle pain.
“At least one of the mechanisms by which sex blocks pain is that it blocks the release of a neuropeptide substance P, which is a pain transmitter,” he said.
Komisaruk has also found that vaginal stimulation has a strong effect on muscle tension in the legs, increasing it in some women and decreasing it in others. See more..
Here are some tips for the night before your marathon:
- Do it with your regular partner or spouse, new mates will require more time invested, when you should be sleeping.
- If only one of you is running, let non running partner be on top.
- Go to bed early. You need to sleep well.
- Some positions can be more challenging, leave them for another night.
Here are some items you can order for a pleasurable night before the race:
Lets help all those poor runners who are abstaining before their marathons..
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