The Bullshit Report

Runners Are Bad in Bed

WELCOME TO EARTH: Fartlek Training

Welcome to The Bullshit Report, the department where we take a widespread belief from the world of running and reveal it be complete and utter horse feathers, if you'll pardon the language. This month's myth: runners are bad in bed.

Full disclosure: The myth that runners are bad in bed doesn't actually exist. I just made that up so we could talk about the FACT that runners are AMAZING in bed. Ask any of my ex-girlfriends (besides Caroline, Magda, Evonne, Debbie, Gretchen, and Lucille), and they'll tell you I'm a leopard in the streets and a tiger in the sheets. Not really, but let's talk about why running makes you a better lover.

Obviously, runners are automatically more attractive than other humans because they look frickin' terrific. Runners of all genders are fit and healthy, and they have a twinkle in their eye that says, 'Come and get some of this—if you think you can handle it.' You've probably seen another runner on the street and been suddenly beset with appalling thoughts. Don't feel bad, you're only human, and runners are hot. But it's not just their supernaturally excellent physical appearance that makes runners mind-blowing bedpartners. There's a whole bunch of other stuff. Let's get into it.

Runners, particularly distance runners, possess unusual levels of endurance energy. Put simply, they go longer. And this is something that translates to all areas of their life, including the bedroom. According to Professor Chris Bellows at Stanford University's Department of Behavioural Sciences, the difference in sexual stamina between runners and non-runners is 'comparable to motorcycles and bicycles' in terms of intensity and sheer pertinacity. 'The variance in sexual vigor is staggering,' says Bellows. 'In clinical tests, everyday runners have consistently outmatched not only ordinary people in bed, but they've also eclipsed professional tennis players, sometimes by as much as 65%. And that comes down to obvious things like superior cardiovascular efficiency, but in the case of distance runners, particularly male distance runners, we're seeing significantly higher levels of testosterone, which leads to a remarkably higher sex drive.' Whether this hormonal distinction results from running or if men who like running are innately more virile than other men—including professional tennis players and probably cyclists—remains a mystery.

But it doesn't end there. Science has also discovered that there's a prehistoric link between male distance runners and heterosexual females. Early hunter-gatherers would practice 'persistence hunting,' whereby they would exhaust prey by tracking them on foot for days on end, and it's believed females would select mates based on how long they could chase an animal for food. This isn't a new theory, of course, but recent findings suggest the hypothesis is more likely to be a stone-cold fact.

In November 2023, female test subjects at Cambridge were monitored for arousal in a study conducted by Dr Bernard Proctor, head of the university's Psychosexual Research Institute. The findings were astonishing, to say the least. 'The findings were astonishing, to say the least,' said Dr Proctor. 'We tested three hundred female subjects by showing them images of professional distance runners—Jim Walmsley, Kílian Jornet, Bart 'The Shark' Cruickshank, etcetera—and we screened their brains for any abnormal activity. Across the board, in all three hundred subjects, we saw a veritable fireworks display throughout the temporal lobes, specifically the amygdalae—the area of the brain associated with sexual excitement.' Interestingly, Proctor and his team found that images of professional tennis players, cyclists, and those Parkour dudes caused this sector of the brain to completely blackout. 'We anticipated a decrease in arousal,' said Proctor, 'but not the sort of coma-like states we saw elicited by images of these lesser sportsmen. It was astonishing, to say the least.'

But wait, there's more: Dr Lonny Punchaconé, from Oxford University's Division of Biological Anthropology, discovered that endurance running ability is directly proportionate to reproductive potential from birth. 'Runners, long distance or otherwise, all appear to have an evolutionary advantage that begins in the womb. There's no accounting for it, but the evidence suggests that runners, regardless of gender, are not only born to run, but they're also just naturally born to be hotter than everyone else. So, there.'