The group of 15 runners who signed up to the University of Brighton’s Marathon Support Unit (MSU) in winter 2011 did so to try and establish a scientific profile of their fitness and, in turn, ascertain a realistic finishing time for the April marathons they had entered. Each of them underwent two rounds of laboratory tests during their 12-16 weeks of preparatory training; by the end of March, final reports were written and targets set. All that was left to do was run their races.

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