Julian Gough, scientist and professor of bioinformatics at the University of Bristol, is making a science experiment of himself at the Great Bristol 10K.
The scientist is training for the 6.2-mile race using his new genetics-based training program, called Genetrainer. Still in its development stage, the Genetrainer can use a runner’s genetic information to create a hyper-personalised training schedule.
“Every time I go for a training run, I record it and wear a heart rate monitor,” he says. “It tracks my level of fitness and level of recovery. It tells me when to have rest days, and tells me when I’m overtraining, helping me to manage my training schedule.
“The basic idea is that you get a genetic test, then you enter your results into the system alongside any training objectives that you have, and then it would give you information personalised to you based on your own genetic make-up.
“Half the story is your genetics, the other half is your current physical condition and training. It takes both of those factors into account and updates and adjusts as you are progressing with your training.”
Gough, who is new to running, wanted to give the system a real-life test. Or, his co-founders did, anyway.
“I’m being made to do this by my co-founders,” he says. “They say it’s about time I did something.
“It’s a Bristol-founded company so it makes sense to test it at the Great Bristol 10K. The main reason for me doing this is that I’m a professor. My expertise is on the genetics side, so I really need to understand the sports side of it a bit better.”
The Genetrainer, which is still in its testing stages, won’t be available to the public for a while. But, says Gough, “the results are promising so far.”
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