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Just Run Faster?

Over at The Verge, writer Angela Chen ordered a genetic test to help her find the best way to train for a half marathon, but she says what she learned wasn't much help.

Certain genetic tests, she notes, offer insight as to whether people are better at sprinting or have faster recovery times and more, and use that to help them train. Chen ordered Helix's sequencing kit and then added on DNAFit's Fitness Diet Pro.

"The results that came back provided me with interesting trivia — but it didn't tell me much I didn't already know from the fact that I live in this body," Chen writes.

For instance, she learned that she has gene variants linked to increased fast-twitch muscles, but also ones associated with endurance and, at the same time, has a slightly elevated risk of soft-tissue injury. The co-founder of DNAFit, Andrew Steele, suggested that Chen try more interval training and gave her some ways to ease knee pain. He also advised her to eat more cruciferous vegetables as she lacks a certain liver gene variant.

But Chen writes that she didn't need a genetic test to figure this out, as everyone should eat more vegetables and online running forums are rife with speed workout advice. "I wanted information that would help me improve myself, but in the end, Helix is genetics for entertainment," she says.