Friday, June 17, 2011

Borrowing From Bannister

I once ran a mile in 5 minutes and 9 seconds. It was my senior year of high school and for me, it was a huge achievement. I spent most of middle and high school track at the back of the pack and a 5:09 was faster than I thought I would ever run a mile. I've never run faster.

A couple of years ago, I ran some track races organized by the St. Louis Track Club and I was able to run the mile in 5:28 twice. I would like to think that if I really dedicated myself, I could break 5 minutes. So, while I'm focussing on speed, I might as well file a 5-minute mile away as a possible goal.

Sir Roger Bannister ran the first recorded mile in less than 4 minutes. Until he broke that barrier, a sub-4 mile was considered humanly impossible. Some people said that it would kill a man to run a mile under 4:00. Now, high school kids do it all the time and milers are running well under 4 minutes regularly.

The book "The Perfect Mile" tells the story of Bannister and two other men, John Landy and Wes Santee, as they all simultaneously struggled to be the first to turn four laps in under four minutes. It's an excellent book and an amazing story. I highly recommend it. A movie was made about Bannister and the pursuit of the sub-4 mile in 2005. It was called "Four Minutes" and I think it was made for t.v. It didn't come close to conveying the excitement and drama presented in the book.

Bannister is famous for a workout involving 10 repetitions of 400 meters at Goal Mile pace with a short, consistent break between intervals. I think he ran 10x400 at 59 seconds each shortly before running his sub-4 mile.So, I'm borrowing a page from Bannister and making my Fridays 'Bannister Days'. I haven't been consistent with my speed work in a while so I'll build up to 10x400m over several weeks. For now, I'll start at 6x400m at goal pace. (My goal is 5:00, so each 400m will be in 1:15.)

Goal For The Day: Bannister Repeats
Distance: 3.50 Miles
Time: 6 x 400m (1:14 each)
Route: Eureka H.S. Track
Conditions: 80 degrees/humid. 7:45AM.

Notes: 1Mile jogging warm-up. 6 x 400m (1:14 each). 1Mile jogging cool-down. I hate running 400's. They're always uncomfortable. I noticed my upper body tenses up when I start to struggle so I tried to focus on keeping my arms relaxed and my stride smooth. #4 was particularly good for some reason. #6 was particularly rough. Checked my time at 200m each interval and was right on each time. One of my most consistent days as far as pace goes.

I had another rough night of sleep last night. I might have a sinus infection. Lots of gross drainage made for several sleepless hours in the middle of the night. I felt better this morning and even better after my run. Everything I've read says it's okay to run through a cold as long as you don't have a fever. For the most part, I've found running seems to help things like this clear up faster. We'll see how it goes, but for now, I could use a nap.

Daily Miles: 3.50
Total Blog Miles: 7.50

No comments:

Post a Comment