Pepper’s Sexy Secret to Success

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Warning! Adult Content! Image via Wikipedia.

It’sย  well known, and much discussed behind closed doors, that runner’s race better if they engage in a certain activity the night before the race. Or it could just be a myth made up by non-running significant others to get us weary runners excited after a long week of workouts…

Be warned, when you click *Read more* the content will be adult in nature!


Ok. Now that that’s out of the way let’s get to the good stuff! I have made it my mission to test the theory about sex before a race and I plan to share all my “scientific” results. Oh all right, and maybe some of the juicy details too! What kind of spicy Pepper running writer would I be if I didn’t share one of my possible new secrets to success? So without further ado, as Salt & Peppa so famously crooned, Let’s talk about sex!

Salt n Pepa @ Good Vibrations 22/02/10
Shoop! (You knew a Salt & Peppa image had to pop up at some point on this site!)

I think it is pretty well-known that running makes you fit, and I think it is also pretty well-known that the fitter you are the sexier you will feel! All of this can lead to a great sex life and even better running! And lots of fun! It’s a never-ending cycle, running makes you fit and confident, sex makes you feel good, feeling good makes you run better, you get the idea!

While there are clearly many variables that go into running a perfect race my friends are convinced that this little trick was surely the reason for my success at my most recent races (the Chili Bowl 5k and Boston) despite coming off an extended injury break and minimal workouts. (Always looking for the magic pill!) I can’t say for sure but here is my theory on why sex the night before the race may have boosted my results.

In the past I have tended to get very worked up about races, even small ones. I analyze them, I worry about them, I visualize them etc. For me it just didn’t seem to work. Chili Bowl was going to be a low-key race, a rust buster of sorts, so I didn’t really blink an eye at sharing a bottle of red wine with my boyfriend the night before the race and having some, as I like to call it, “naughty fun”. We are both athletes and being physical together is a great way to end the night and go to bed relaxed! Added bonus you are more likely to sleep soundly as your body releases all those happy hormones!

The morning of Chili Bowl I woke up relaxed and calm, I wasn’t nervous at all, and that attitude remained even as I showed up to the race and realized it would be competitive! Perhaps my friends were right, all those sexy hormones wore off on me and kept me relaxed until the line and ready to kill it once I started!

Warning, Sex in progress Do not disturb
Image via Wikipedia.

The next trick doesn’t apply to the longer races but I do think it applied to Chili Bowl. Between starting up Physical Therapy and having a lot more naughty time I was learning my body could hold tension and withstand muscle exhaustion for longer than I had realized. As a marathon runner my training just really never involved any activities that worked a muscle to exhaustion, I’m a bit of a wimp!

At Chili Bowl in that last 800 or so meters I felt that familiar going to the well feeling and came very close to maintaining effort as usual, but instead I realized I had more in the tank and I could go beyond my usual level of race discomfort and push harder, it was the exact same feeling I got when adding an extra rep of hamstring curls when I thought I could do no more, or when feeling physically exhausted during naughty time I found another store of energy to continue having fun. It was a nice little 5k epiphany and I think I can most certainly credit naughty time and PT with that breakthrough!

Finding that extra gear!

This was great! I found out I could have naughty fun the night before a 5k, even imbibe on some wine and still run a road 5k PR the next morning. Who knew!?!

But would the trick work for longer events? Having always traveled solo for my marathons I have never in the past been able to try this trick the night before a marathon. This year that changed as my boyfriend came to Boston to cheer and sherpa for me and in the name of science we just had to find out if this could be the key to marathon success ๐Ÿ™‚

I think the results speak for themselves. I had a great day at Boston, I was super relaxed before the race, this was the least stressed I have ever been for a marathon despite everyone freaking out about the weather around me. I slept extremely soundly. Like any race there were most certainly many more variables at play, but I was happy to find that at a minimum naughty fun the night before the race certainly did not hurt my efforts at the marathon!

Naughty Fun is great for Post Race Recovery too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe the next race you have coming up you should try having a little fun time with your significant other the night before the race, you might just find, like me, that it helps you to relax and race better. And in the mean time between races you might find that this cross training activity is one that even non athletic significant others can get behind! (Pun intended!)



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A gal on a mission to save Cuyahoga County streams one storm water facility at a time. An ex runner of many facets including marathons, pacing, ultras and more. Chronic left side issues have me cycling more than running these days but I'm attempting to get back to my running roots.

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  1. Interesting post! I feel guilty for reading this at work but it caught my attention. I have heard of these extra curricular benefits. However, I have heard that it only works for females. I heard football coaches will seperate their players from their wives the day before a big game so they are not messing around. Can we get a guy to weigh in on this?

    1. Glad you ask ๐Ÿ™‚ My boyfriend also participated in two of my recent races and he ran pretty solid times given his current training so I would say at a minimum the pre race sex did not hinder his performance! I will ask him to give me a more in depth response, and maybe we can test this on him for one of his key races this summer!

    2. i agree that being relaxed the night before has its benefits and “naughty fun” is a great way to do so… but there is a cut off point. having “naughty fun” too close to start time could hinder performance… a lot of the same secondary muscles used in “naughty fun” are also used in running and can be fatigued easily if not worked on a regular basis!

    3. In keeping with the theme of open honesty my boyfriends reply when I asked him about how it affected his races was: “You beat me at both races…………….obviously sex decreases my ability to run” We have determined we will find a 5k and practice abstinence the night before a race and if he beats me then we will confirm that it was indeed sex that allowed me to beat him and not say, my hard work and talent! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. All joking aside there is no doubt in my mind that it helps. There is no sleep like post sex sleep. Before a big race I am all nerves and anticipation. I can’t sleep and if I do it’s in fits and starts. Sex the night before calms my nerves and helps me to get to sleep and stay asleep.

  3. I agree with this 100%. When I get pre- race nookie I always run better. I’ve even told my husband that I need to hump the night before a race.