There are few real heroes in sports. But Roger Bannister was a legitimate sports hero. (He died earlier this month at 88.) The first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes he was a champion. He had the mind and mindset of a champion. And we have much to learn from his most famous achievement.
(From Peak Prosperity)
For millennia of sport, breaking the 4-minute barrier was widely regarded as physically impossible.
But Bannister, a busy medical student at the time with often only 30 minutes available to train per day, had an unorthodox view — one rooted in skepticism of the conventional training techniques and mindset.
He began with the assumption that the 4-minute mile was possible, and then challenged himself to develop a science-based regimen for attaining it.
During a brief lull on the otherwise blustery day of May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister made history by completing the mile-run in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. The impossible had been achieved.
But what ensued next was equally momentous.
By the end of 1957, a total of 16 runners had achieved sub-4-minute mile times.
How could so many people suddenly overcome a challenge that had thwarted the best runners in the world for three millennia?