Can gene test determine what training best suits a runner?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been discussing and debating with friends and colleagues a recent study on the genetics of training. The study in question was published in the journal Biology of Sport by researchers affiliated with a British company called DNAFit, and I wrote about it in my latest column in the Globe and Mail.

Before I get into the details, I should start with something that everyone agrees on: Your genes influence how you respond to training. Starting with Claude Bouchard’s Heritage study several decades ago, evidence has piled up that if you give identical training programs to different people, they’ll respond differently—and those responses tend to run in families.

The next leap is to say, if my genes dictate which type of training is best for me, let’s test my genes and figure out what genes I’ve got and what type of training I should do.


That is, in fact, what at least 39 different companies offer to do now, according to a consensus statement published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which concluded that such testing is, at this point, basically useless for prescribing training. That’s because so many genes influence training response that knowing one (or 15) of them doesn’t tell you much.

Read full, original post: The Genetics of Training

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