Monday, 21 December 2009

4 Minute Mile G-Trainer Challenge (Part 1)

On May 6th 1954, Iffley Road Track in Oxford, Roger Bannister made history. Witnessed by a capacity crowd of 3,000 spectators Roger Bannister did the impossible. On what was considered very low mileage training by today's standards, Sir Roger Bannister ripped apart the world record for the mile. He roared home in a breath taking time of 3 minutes 59 seconds. The bar had been set to new heights in the World of Athletics.

The question was, could I, Cj, knock out a 4 minute mile on the G-Trainer Mile Club Challenge, at Balance Physiotherapy? Moreover could I do it on 19 days worth of training? Some would question my sanity, and in retrospect, its a valid question. Since October, my training had consisted of metabolic training (if you've been following my Metabolloxed posts you'll know what I'm talking about).

Workouts have been characterised by compound lifts at 65%+ 1RM max with 15 - 30 seconds rest, or combined with body weight exercises. Short Kettlebell sessions were also stirred into the mix. The bottom line? Intense work load with little rest periods, limited to 45 minutes workout time. The odd recovery run (2 - 3) times a week was thrown in.

On 1st December I received an invite by Jonathan Lewis at Balance Physiotherapy inviting me to the G-trainer challenge. It ignited an idea, which then caught fire. 4 minute mile at 85% bodyweight? Ok,lets do this! I began training in earnest.

Last week I had my V02 Max test done at Pro V02 in Fulham (will post more soon). I did not reach my V02 Max, but my Peak V02 placed me up in the top 90th percentile. Good news, it was official, I was in great shape. I decided to continue to work on short intense intervals as Sir Roger Bannister had done for his Challenge.

On Saturday 19th December 1pm, I trotted down to Balance Physiotherapy for my 4 minute mile attempt. Watch below to see what happened.

The Elusive 4 Minute Mile Attempt

I didn't find this attempt cardio-vascularly challenging as you will see from the video clip. It felt more neurological. Being able to turn over my legs at that speed, sustaining that cadence for that length of time was not easy. I could feel the impulses dampening, at times it felt as if I was tripping over my feet.

One thing is for certain, 4 minute miles is a serious pace, I have a new found respect for Roger Bannister who did it at 100% of his body weight. It highlighted to me that up to a certain point, running is more about skill then fitness. Economy and efficiency of movement. But more about this in part 2 of this post, as I, Cj, turn Chi / pose runner.

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