It was on May 6, 1954, when a 25-year-old medical student in London made history.
On that day, Roger worked his usual shift at St. Mary’s Hospital, then took an early afternoon train to Oxford. He ate his lunch, then met up with track teammates Christopher Chataway and Chris Brasher. The three of them were members of an amateur all-star team, and they were preparing to run against Oxford University.
Breaking The 4 Minute Mile
Around 1,200 people showed up to the track to watch the days event. The day did not have the optimal conditions for a record-setting day, but that didn’t stop Roger from making history. That day, the crowd witnessed history being made.
No one had ever run a 4-minute mile, and it was thought to be impossible.
However, with Bannister’s explosive kick, Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes. It was even recorded at 3:59.4, becoming the first man to ever break the barrier that seemed impossible prior to that moment.
For some people, running a mile is one of those tasks that we reflect back on and we think about the old days in high school, where we had to run the mile for physical education class… others remember the days they played sports and remember running around the track, trying to beat their own personal best.
When Roger broke the 4 minute mile, everything changed.
Here’s a video of the Four Minute Mile
Let’s now talk about 7 Things Roger Bannister Can Teach You About Achievement
5) Anything is possible.
Prior to Roger Bannister running a mile in less than 4 minutes, no one had done it. But it was said to have been possible.
The “four-minute barrier” has since been broken by many male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners. In the last 50 years the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13
4) Working with other’s is essential.
During the video you watched above, Roger said “we seemed to be going so slowly. Impatiently I shouted faster… but Brasher kept his head and didn’t change the pace.”
Without having Brasher alongside Bannister, there’s a chance that he would have burned out sooner in the race. The same is true with yourself, it’s often other people (our teams or mastermind groups) that help us stay on track.
During the race, a voice yelled out “Relax” to Bannister. He obeyed and is glad that he did. Most of the times we get caught up in what we’re doing and we forget to relax.
It often takes a short period of reflection to see that it’s the moment when you relax that the magic tends to happen. That’s why breakthroughs often happen when you’re out and about, or in the shower. Your body and mind are in the relaxing state and that allows you to creatively come up with solutions to problems and to remain in the moment.
The most important thing I did during my cage free shark dive was to remain relaxed throughout the process. Freaking out does no good.
2) Know the end goal
By knowing what you ultimately want, you are able to break it down into manageable chunks. Instead of trying to just run a 4 minute mile with no other plans, Roger had his teammates helping with setting the pace, he knew what time he needed to run each quarter mile, and then he simply worked the plan.
1) POUNCE when the time is right.
“Somehow to do it, I had to run the last lap in 59 seconds. Chataway led around the next bend and then I pounced past him at the beginning of the back straight, 300 yards from the finish.”
You will know when the time is right for you to pounce and to take massive action. However, you need to actually do it when its time to do it. Don’t wait for anyone or anything. You know when the time is right, so its up to you to do it.