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Move over, Roger Bannister

July 19th, 2014

So, I finally broke 4:00 in training. In fact, I managed 3:54. Admittedly, I have a lot of advantages. Training methods, nutrition and shoes have all improved a lot since Roger Bannister first ran the four-minute mile

And, of course, the switch to the metric system after 1970 helped quite a bit.

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  1. Neil
    July 19th, 2014 at 13:58 | #1

    Wait a sec, are you telling me you just ran a 6:16 mile?!

  2. John Quiggin
    July 19th, 2014 at 14:01 | #2

    I don’t do miles

  3. John Quiggin
    July 19th, 2014 at 14:04 | #3

    But, if I did, I would have run a bit over half a mile at that pace.

  4. Ikonoclast
    July 19th, 2014 at 15:33 | #4

    My PBs are all in my dim, distant teenage past. No way I could eclipse them now. That does kinda reduce my interest in athletic PBs. For the record, I was never timed over 1,000m but I suspect I could have done about 2:55 as an under 16. In other words, I was a lousy middle distance runner with no speed, no kick and no trophies in my cabinet. 🙂

  5. mandas
    July 19th, 2014 at 16:54 | #5

    I broke 4:00 as well.

    I can get to the fridge pretty quickly now!

  6. Neil
    July 19th, 2014 at 17:35 | #6

    @John Quiggin

    ha! I started distance running after I moved to the States so it’s the only thing I measure in miles. Main benefit is that it doesn’t sound as long (26.2 v 42.2). You would run a fairly impressive marathon (3:30ish) at that pace, wouldn’t you?

  7. July 19th, 2014 at 18:09 | #7

    Good show! And in support I am making involved plans to exercise tomorrow. I’m sure my brain is burning many kilojoules as I calculate how many extra kilojoules I will burn if I carry Neal Stephenson’s Anathem with me over Hatred For Tulips. Phew! All this planning does take a lot out of one, doesn’t it? Now that I’m done I think I’ll celebrate with a chocolate milk.

  8. July 19th, 2014 at 18:36 | #8

    A four minute kilometer is 15 kilometers per hour. Thats brisk.

  9. Donald Oats
    July 19th, 2014 at 19:06 | #9

    I can do a four minute meal too 🙂
    A four minute mile not.

  10. John Quiggin
    July 19th, 2014 at 19:54 | #10


    Running in two weeks. Target is 3:50.

  11. Neil
    July 20th, 2014 at 03:57 | #11

    @John Quiggin Excellent!
    Is this the first full marathon for you? If so, be careful….after my first I spent an hour telling everyone “only a complete f&%#king moron would ever run more than one of these. If I ever even talk of doing it again, punch me in the face.”

    I’ve now run six.

  12. John Quiggin
    July 20th, 2014 at 06:36 | #12


    This will be my third, but the first time I’ve trained properly

  13. Ikonoclast
    July 20th, 2014 at 07:32 | #13

    I assumed you broke 4 minutes for 1 k. It seems you broke 4 hours for 1 marathon (41.195 k).

    I dont know much about marathon training methods but I seem to recall elite runners don’t run marathons to train for marathons. The distance is so damaging it’s left for the race itself. Am I right or wrong?

  14. Ikonoclast
    July 20th, 2014 at 07:33 | #14

    Correction 1 marathon = 42.195 k.

  15. Ikonoclast
  16. Neil
    July 20th, 2014 at 07:42 | #16

    @John Quiggin ahhh, I see I’m preaching to the converted. Well, may you find your rhythm early and may the last 6 miles…I mean 10km, be kind to you!

  17. John Quiggin
    July 20th, 2014 at 09:23 | #17


    Broke 4 mins for 1 k, but aiming to break 4 hours for marathon in two weeks time

  18. John Quiggin
    July 20th, 2014 at 09:25 | #18


    Longest training run was 32k, last week (that is, 3 weeks before race day). You are correct about the reasoning behind this.

  19. sunshine
    July 20th, 2014 at 15:39 | #19

    i see you are 58 years of age John ! ,a sub 4 hour marathon would be a very good effort. i assume you are a relatively light build ?.I wouldnt think too many 50 + year olds who are 80 + kilos could get under 4 hours . In my early 20’s I reckon I could have ran under 4 hr ,I was doing 10 km in under 33 min and 20 km in under 1 hr 8. I never ran longer than 20 and the second 20 km would been slower and hurt. I had a quite surprisingly bad diet back then and never got injured.

    Elite long distance runners arent necessarily in perfect health ,I think women runners periods sometimes stop. Like body builders ,Isa Brown chooks, and many other types of sports persons, they are designed to do one thing very well at the expense of others.

  20. July 20th, 2014 at 20:29 | #20

    Now some people may be operating under the erroneous assumption that I committed to performing 12 hours of exercise today when actually that is completely untrue. What I did do was plan to perform 12 hours of exercise and we all now that circumstances can require plans to change in order to effect the best possible outcomes for all involved. It is those who deny that reality can require changes in plans who are they themselves being unrealistic. The reality is that my bed felt particularly soft and warm this morning and so instead of 12 hours of exercise I have instead walked for 15 minutes and I am quite proud of this accomplishment. And before anyone complains that this is not what was originally planned I will point out that as a result of the modifications that I personally initiated there have significant savings in shoe leather and food kilojoules. As a result I have now been able to lease my shoes to my cousin, effecting significant savings in the household clothes budget, and I fully expect revenue from future asset sales of food that will now not be eaten to shore up the budget and so I am proud to announce an increase in the household chocolate ration, which I have eaten. My brain is now frothing with chocolatey goodness, giving me the strength to continue to safeguard our family budget and lead the household well into the 21st century.

  21. July 20th, 2014 at 20:37 | #21

    In other breaking News, Ralph Doubell’s Australian record for 800m set in 1968 has been equalled: http://m.heraldsun.com.au/sport/commonwealth-games/alex-rowe-equals-national-800m-record-that-stood-since-1968/story-fnntmmqt-1226994312360

    Sorry for the link to the Murdoch press but that’s the way I received the news.

  22. paul walter
    July 21st, 2014 at 10:15 | #22

    Howcan a person so close to my age be so disgustingly healthy?

    ‘ tisn’t decent.

  23. daz
    July 22nd, 2014 at 11:44 | #23

    @John Quiggin

    Brisbane full marathon? I’m doing the half there…I’d say it’s a pretty tough course to be pb marathons though! two bridge crossings? Yikes!

  24. John Quiggin
    July 22nd, 2014 at 15:17 | #24


    It’s the only course I’ve ever run, so a PB (if I can achieve it) will be a fair measure of improvement. If I can get close to Boston qualifying time here, I’ll probably try for Gold Coast next year – a flatter, faster course.

  25. andrewt
    July 24th, 2014 at 09:06 | #25

    If Brisbane doesn’t go well, come down for the Sydney Marathon in September and tag along with me – I’m the 3:45 pacer.

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