Is marathon running in your DNA?

Are some people genetically predisposed to marathon running? A new study says yes.

Are some people genetically predisposed to marathon running? A new test claims it can determine whether or not someone is capable of running a marathon.

Scientists at Loughbrough University claim to have uncovered a key group of 30 genes that determine how the human body responds to stamina training, according to an article in the Telegraph.

The study found that one in five people cannot increase their stamina no matter how hard they train and may be ill-suited to marathon running.

The article says Professor Jamie Timmons has developed a DNA test to discover which genetic group isn’t cut out for the marathon. (Or, rather, can’t finish in a decent amount of time.)

“From our work, we know that 20 per cent of people do not respond at all to training and in fact can get worse. They push themselves as hard as everyone else, but their muscles do not extract the same amount of oxygen,” Timmons told the Telegraph.

But can genes also predict if you’ll be good at running marathons? “About 15 per cent have the genes that mean they will respond highly to training. But of that number, only those with a good inherited baseline fitness and good resistance to injury will ever become elite marathon runners, so that is an even smaller percentage,” Timmons told the paper.