Percy Cerutty must have been the least in touch with reality coach there has ever been.
I have just been reading some of a book by him.
In it he claims he could train the appropriate athlete to run a mile in 3.20.
He envisioned it would take 6yrs, 4.00 in the first year, 3.55, then next, then yearly progression of 3.50, 3.40, 3.30 and in the sixth year 3.20. This is just ridiculous it is one thing to try and remove the 'barriers' from an athletes mind to make ridiculous claims like that is ridiculous.
In the sixth year his reps of 800m were to be run at race pace, which is 1.40 pace. Still hasn't been done for two laps, I doubt human beings will ever run the mile in less than 3.35, which in itself is bloody quick. The ammount of drugs, genetic engineering, evoloution required to get even there is unfathomable.
On that note the athlete that goes out on a limb and gets himself hooked up with the cross between cheetahs gene of raw speed and camels gene's of endurance will be unbeatable, if not a little furry.
I hear you. Think about this: with low-quality tracks to run on and a barely minimal understanding of training and human physiology, Walter George ran 4:12. It took almost 70 years to bring the WR down to 3:59; with the introduction of world-wide professional competition, drugs, and hig-quality synthetic tracks we'v brought it down another 15 seconds. 3:20 is nuts -- maybe even for 1500m!
On the other hand, some kind of refusal to believe in limits is required to make breakthroughs.
When I saw "3:20 mile!" I instantly knew the e-mail would be about Percy Cerutty. While this prediction is far-fetched (or at least far in the future), Cerutty was very in touch with reality in most everything else. His reality was a refusal to accept or copy the training methods of the past, and a desire to drive his athletes toward their physical limits by involving their enire beings, the "spiritual" and mental as well. His all-encompassing approach at his Portsea training camp resulted in arguably the greatest miler ever, Herb Elliott. I do think he went a little dotty in his later years -- his galloping and breathing ideas seem weird -- but in 1959, when a slender volume authored by him was published -- he was a real inspiration. And Elliott is very clear in crediting him with what Elliott became. I hate to see Cerutty criticized!
<I hear you. Think about this: with low-quality tracks to run on and a barely minimal understanding of training and human physiology, Walter George ran 4:12. It took almost 70 years to bring the WR down to 3:59; with the introduction of world-wide professional competition, drugs, and hig-quality synthetic tracks we'v brought it down another 15 seconds. 3:20 is nuts -- maybe even for 1500m!
On the other hand, some kind of refusal to believe in limits is required to make breakthroughs.>
A 3:20 1500 m not possible - by when? If people are still interested in track, "rewards" are great enough, I would expect a 3:20 1500 m by about 2035. A 3:20 mile - two successive half miles in 1:40 each seems too much. However, I would rate the current 800 m record as one of the "least good". There is obviously a big physical problem in going from the "aerobic" 400 m to the essentially anaerobic 1500 m.
Making outlandish predictions is easy--anyone can do it. And most of them end up looking pretty foolish. I seem to recall that Bannister himself was talking about a 3:30 mile a number of years ago. Without massive genetic tinkering, neither 3:20 nor 3:30 seem terribly likely...
How quickly we forget. When the majority of educated people were saying that a 4:00 mile represented the absolute peak of human performance, what would they have said about a 3:43 mile? Bloody impossible! A man will run a 3:20 mile eventually. It may take only 50 years, considering all the physiological breakthroughs that are possible. O ye of little faith.
Never say never. It will happen, it will just take awhile. How, you may ask? Simple. The way it happens now. Someone runs a 3:42, then a 3:41, 3:40 and so on. Someone will long jump past 30 ft (maybe they already did), someone will run under 42 in the 400, and so on.
These are small incremental improvements, the difference between 3.43 and 3.20 is chasm like, even if a second was chipped off every five years, which is quicker than the mile record improvement at the moment, it would take 100 yrs, and logic says this rate will slow down at the rate it has been over history possibly exponentitially, basically meaning if it does happedn in 500-1000 years time, e-mail me in heaven and let me know who did it.
>Never say never. It will happen, it will just
>take awhile. How, you may ask? Simple. The way
>it happens now. Someone runs a 3:42, then a
>3:41, 3:40 and so on. Someone will long jump
>past 30 ft (maybe they already did), someone will
>run under 42 in the 400, and so on.
It would almost seem necessary that someone would have to be able to jump over 30 ft and run under 42 in order to have what it takes to run under 3:20 for a mile:)
Serioulsy, though, this topic is an example of what makes track and field great. It is, in many ways, driven by our expectant imagination. It is like a science of human capability and potential. I love track and field!!!
>How quickly we forget. When the majority of
>educated people were saying that a 4:00 mile
>represented the absolute peak of human
>performance, what would they have said about a >3:43 mile? .... O ye of little faith.
It was only a matter of time until this statement was made... Are there limits to human performance? Absolutely! Will the mile ever be run in 10s? Probably not, so there's your first lower bound. A minute? Nope, so there's a tighter bound. Two minutes? Unlikely.
Three minutes? Getting hazy, but still unlikely, at least in the very near future (do we really care about athletics in 500 years? Will we understand it?).
I hate the "Science said no one would run the mile..." routine. It shows that we can underestimate limits, but it does *not* suggest that there are no limits.
Can man run 3:20 pace---YES---2 min mile pace, no, but 3:20 pace man can run that fast for a while---it will happen---it is within mans capabilities...think how crazy 26:22 sounds...did Henry Rono ever think that would happen? think of the World Champ 10k w/ a last 5k sub 13...who would have ever thought???? be patient, it will happen