The marathon has become the defining event of the modern running phenomenon. Yet despite the dramatic growth of sports science there’s been surprisingly little research into what running 26.2 miles can do to your body. Until now.

Running for Science brings together surgeons, cardiologists and runners in a combined research project that harnesses hospital-based technologies in measuring the true physiological effects of running a marathon.

It’s a collaborative venture between UCL, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, St. George’s University Hospitals and Barts Health NHS Trust.

The idea is simple: take a mixed group of people who’ve signed up to run their first marathon, measure them before the run, then repeat afterwards.

116 runners participated in the 2017 Marathon study. All were first-time marathon runners in their 40s, with no known running injuries and a balanced spread across the group in terms of gender, age and physique.

We completed the pre-event tests in November 2016, before participants started their training. The 2017 London Marathon was on 23 April, with the immediate post-event medicals early in May.

We’ve gathered a wealth of data, which is already providing new insight into the effects of marathon running. We’ll continue to share our findings on this site as the study progresses.

Interested in joining the 2018 Marathon study?.

Already part of the 2017 Marathon study?