May | 8

Running is Racy! Survey Finds Majority Believe Running Benefits Couples

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Want to get lucky? Then run as a couple! In a nationwide survey of runners, we found that 66 percent of runners believe they have more sex when they run with their significant other. Men (71 percent) are more likely than women (62 percent) to think that a couple that runs together has more hanky panky.

In other findings from the Brooks Run Happy Nation Report, guys enjoy chatting on the run more than their female counterparts. Seventy-six percent of men surveyed pass the miles by discussing their team’s latest victory (sports, 51 percent) or their cool new gadget (34 percent). Ladies, on the other hand, choose to use their running time as therapy – they are most likely to talk about relationships (47 percent), both the good and the bad. Surprisingly, all runners ranked their happenings in the bedroom as their least favorite running topic.

“We hear from runners every day about how hitting the road is an integral part of their daily routine, and wanted to test just how big a part running played in their relationships, travel habits and friendships,“ said Heather Snavely, Brooks senior director, brand marketing. “The results of the report were both fun and surprising.”

More juicy tidbits related to relationships, running while traveling and runner pet-peeves were uncovered in time for the start of the spring running season.


statistics on running lifestyle, statistics on runners and romance, statistics on how runners live, nations most runner friendly city

Everyone knows running is good for the body, but how does it affect personal connections?

  • Distance matters. The longer you run the better your sex life, the survey found, as nearly half (49 percent) of couples who run six or more miles together claim it pays dividends in the bedroom.
  • Runners ages 18-39 (72 percent) are more likely to think running together as a couple leads to more nooky than runners ages 40 and older (59 percent).
  • Overall, 69 percent believe their sex life is affected, for better or worse, by running together as a couple, and when running with friends, both men and women talk equally about knocking boots (21 percent).
  • Runners from the West (42 percent) are most likely to claim that running increases their time spent rolling in the hay versus the South (38 percent), Northeast (33 percent) and Midwest (32 percent).


Being away from home doesn’t mean taking a break from running.

  • If the running shoe fits: 67 percent have left something out of their suitcase to fit in their running shoes, with an extra pair of shoes (30 percent), an extra outfit (26 percent) and a blow dryer (21 percent) topping the list of omitted items.
  • Runners are committed! More than three-quarters of those surveyed (78 percent) keep up their run while traveling, and men are more likely to keep up the routine than women (82 percent vs. 73 percent), as are those who are parents (82 percent vs. 74 percent).
  • Nearly three out of four (74 percent) runners who hit the pavement one to five times a week at home keep up their running routine when on the road.
  • If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to pack your running shoes. San Francisco ranked as the top runner-friendly city (46 percent), followed by Portland (34 percent), Boston (32 percent), Boulder (30 percent) and New York City (30 percent).


For a large majority of runners, listening to music helps keep them on track.

Those who can’t find the perfect running buddy shouldn’t despair; there’s always an audio download to keep company. Eighty-seven percent of runners like to listen to something to keep them motivated, whether a rump shaker playlist (music, 78 percent), audiobooks (11 percent), even meditations (10 percent) or motivational speakers (9 percent). Just 13 percent feel that silence is indeed golden and choose no audio companion.

PET PEEVES: Detour Ahead

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The survey also discovered that honking drivers, traffic lights and speeding bicyclists are among the top pet peeves that runners encounter.

  • Difficulty dressing for the weather is a bigger pet peeve for females (30 percent) than males (17.3 percent).
  • Runners are torn about the worst type of runner they encounter on their favorite trail or running spot:
  • The Spitter (30 percent claim this is their “most hated runner” category): runners who spit or hock a loogie while running;.
  • The Double-Wide (29 percent): runners who run in a group and take up a lot of space;
  • The Superhero (14 percent): runners who are completely decked out in unnecessary gear;
  • The Flasher (14 percent): runners who don’t wear enough clothes even when it’s cold out.

Which statistic surprises you the most? Let us know in the comments.


Study Methodology
The Brooks Run Happy Nation Report was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, who run at least once per week, between Feb. 22 and Feb. 28, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey. The margin of error for this survey is 3.1 percentage points.

About Derek
I’m a runner, a writer, and a shoe lover who enjoys morning coffee, travel, singing in the car, and getting legitimately lost on trail runs. Three things I can’t live without: bubble tea, Fridays, and my Brooks PureFlow’s.
  1. Dave

    Annoying runners: Runners who know you’re behind them and won’t move over, forcing you to go around them on grass, etc.

    • JM_Wonn

      I do this. The reason is simple enough, on long-distance runs I want to keep my heart rate up, my blood pumping, and the adrenaline going especially when I’m on my second wind, which alternatively keep the pain at bay. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ran long-distances felt great the whole time but as soon as I stopped I could barely walk. I’m sure other distance runners know what I’m talking about. So you can roll your eyes all you want, but there is a method behind the madness.

      • JHuff

        agree. i do push ups though. it pumps me up! i don’t care about killing my pace as much as i care about it killing my drive!

    • Running Fiend

      You mean joggers ‘jogging in place at stoplights’… runners find a way through traffic or change their route and run with traffic. No stopping!

  2. Just keep running

    I am just glad they are all out running and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Keep it up, all you annoying runners!

  3. Jason Garren

    Most Hated Runners are the spitter types? Seriously? As a trail runner I’ve seen it all, so I don’t get how people could be bothered by something as common as spitting. Heck, I’d even consider snot rockets as standard practice among runners.

  4. Pete

    My biggest pet peeve is runners who complain about other runners. Worry about yourself and not that other guy’s pace/wardrobe.

  5. Erin

    I take offense to the “Spitter” category. I’m definitely a Spitter and I can’t help it – it sucks to have to spit so much but I always look around me to make sure no one is behind me, or spit directly in front of me. I NEVER spit on someone. I can’t believe people are so annoyed by this. I’d rather get it out than swallow it…

    • Vee

      I’m with you on this one! I have to get rid of the phlegm otherwise it makes it harder to breathe. I always make sure no one is running near me and I don’t spit on the trail/road.

    • K

      agree. I think there is etiquette to it. you look around, make sure it will neither hit them nor be affected by wind and then go. otherwise it’s just going to come back up, make you cough, or come out your nose.

  6. Rachel Magnuson

    I am a spitter 🙁 , But I never spit around people. If I’m in a race I always move way over to the side and try to hide it. If I’m out by myself and no one is around I spit like crazy. I can’t help that when I run … I create SPIT.

  7. Amy Connelly

    I cannot handle when people park in the sidewalk potion of their driveway or don’t shovel their sidewalk. Grrr.
    And spitting? Really? There’s so many worse things out there, people!

  8. GrumpyITDude

    I once got passed by a guy in a half marathon with a video camera on his head. That one did bother me a little. . . just seemed a bit odd.

    Special mentions to the “double wide oblivious to anyone else around them” brigade and “lines up at the starting line and begins the race with a walk” people (please go to the appropriate corral).

    For the most part, if you go out to run and get stressed out, you’re kinda missing the point.

  9. curiomuseum

    Sweet article! 🙂 Too bad about all the runners on here that bitch about what they hate about other runners. It *almost* put me in a foul mood.

    You don’t want to share roads and trails with cyclists? Really? You don’t like when someone walks up a hill and runs down it? Really? You don’t like when someone (in your opinion) holds back and then sprints by you later? How about dealing with yourself and letting people have their own run. Let people smile, spit if they need to, run fast when and where they can, jog in place, or ride their bikes!

    Goodness gracious, it’s not that bad! Take a breath. 🙂 We’re all ok!

    “Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” ~Sri Chinmoy

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