“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
56 years ago on a cinder track that most high schools today would turn their nose up at, Roger Bannister was the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. With the use of my computer’s calculator, I was able to determine Mr. Bannister’s average speed – 15 mph.
Lets ponder that for a moment:
Fiften miles per hour.
For a mile.
While cycling on smooth and level asphalt with a bike of decent quality, I can achieve 15mph with a moderate level of effort. I can hold that pace for miles at a time. To say I am comparing apples and oranges would be an understatement. But as I cruise along at my 15mph clip, it is possible for me to imagine a runner loping alongside me and what it would be like to be that runner. Having done just that on one of my rides this week, I can report to you that Roger Bannister was fast.
Even though I know the bugger actually pulled it off (and world-class runners today go even faster), as I imagine him running next to me, my mind tells me it is simply not possible for a human to run at that pace for an entire mile. The ground goes by under my wheels at such a fast rate I cannot see how anyone on foot can maintain this speed for more than a few hundred yards – max.
So on a night when torrential thunderstorms are keeping me from a quick ride, let me take the time to figuratively tip my cap to Sir Roger and other world-class milers. Lately, I have been thinking of you often!