Beating the Four Minute Mile

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Roger Bannister was the first man to run a sub four-minute mile.

He was ahead of his time.

But not just in running.

He may have been an early visionary in systemizing process.

Bannister wasn’t the best runner in the world. In fact, he beat the four-minute barrier with minimal training while practicing as a junior doctor.

So how did he do it?

Breaking the four-minute mile started in his mind. There was a global mental barrier around breaking the four-minute mile with people simply believing it not possible. It was like there was an invisible force field preventing runners from beating the clock. 

But Bannister, using his methodical mind as a doctor, broke the mile into 3 steps.

With the aid of two pacemakers Brasher and Chataway he set his plan in motion.

Brasher took off and ran the first quarter mile in 58 seconds and the half-mile in 1:58 with Bannister sitting behind.

Chataway then took over the pace to hit the three-quarter marker at 3.01.

Chataway led the final lap when Bannister unleashed a kick with half a lap to go running the last lap in just under 59 seconds.

When the track announcer declared Bannister’s time the roar of the crowd drowned out the record time of 3……

Bannister had run the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.

The first sub four-minute mile in history.

Bannister had broken the race down into 3 steps of Brasher, Chataway and finally himself pace setting. The master stroke was understanding the synergy that three men could create together to achieve the impossible.

Or at least what was universally considered impossible at the time.

Once the four-minute mile mental barrier was broken, it took only 46 days for Bannister’s record to be broken.

And they kept on beating it.

We all know of Bannister.

Not sure you could name his successors.

We all place mental barriers on what we can achieve.

But if we stare them down and break them in to individual steps that are achievable, we can win.

Like Bannister, we can run our own four-minute mile in business.

Race you there.