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Le fromage
Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 12:47PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
How did Roger Bannister train? What workouts did he do in the years leading upto braking the barrier? Or if someone knows John Landy's training, that would be helpful too.
Skuj
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 1:11PM - in reply to Le fromage Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Both were very different. Bannister ran a lot less!!!

I am constantly amazed at Bannister. He was genius. He didn't worry about that thing that so many of us fuss over these days....Miles Per Week. He looked very carefully at his goal, his life, his constitution, and went about his business, his way. We can learn so much from this great man. Many will say "oh that was 1954 etc". But I think it is wrong to ignore Bannister's methods and outlook.

There are those who accuse him of not revealing all his training details...ie, perhaps he did 3x2400m often??? Anyway, typically, repeats of 200m to 800m at lunch hour, maybe 3x a week, with hard trials over 1200m-800m on other days. October 400s may have been closer to 70s, increasing from there.

I love how Bannister saw his spedwork as something to constantly develop and master, whereas many of us "modern day runners" make the mistake of seeing speedwork purely as icing on the cake or "sharpening the pencil". There's a big difference imho.

3:59 on dirt is 3:54 on a good track imho. His 2:52 1200m on dirt is his best run ever. The guy was amazing.
the answer
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 1:20PM - in reply to Le fromage Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
SIR <-- Roger Bannister has a book out you can read that tells of his training. It is called "the four minute mile."

He did a bit of hiking/mountain climbing in the north of the country that functioned as general endurance.

Most of his real training that he mentions was repeats of 220s, 440s, etc. He trained under the philosophy that your workouts will progress and when they get to a point you are ready to run a certain time. That is, run at race pace as much as possible. A staple he did was 10x440 with the same recovery every time. He judged fitness by how fast he was able to average for this. Before the sub four he did them in 59- better than ever before.

It is suggested by many that he did some harder "distance" runs of around half an hour under cover of darkness. It was considered unsportsmanlike in the era to train too hard and to take sport so seriously. Sport was a thing gentlemen with extra time, energy, and money on their hands did.
Skuj
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 1:27PM - in reply to the answer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The First Four Minutes book is the one that I love the most. Yeah, maybe it's a bit romantic and all, but so what? I met Sir Roger. He signed my book and we chatted a bit.

Four Minute Mile replaced First Four Minutes, with no photos!

The Perfect Distance also tells a lot.

But again, there are those who accuse Roger of not telling all, or getting some key details of his training wrong, such as Brasher and Horwill.
Details
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 2:51PM - in reply to Le fromage Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
10x440 yards at 60 seconds, regularly. He added distance to his intervals (880, 1280 yards) until he reached the point where he could run 3/4 of a mile repeats at 3-minutes-flat with impunity. (That means fairly easily, that being VERY relative.)

When he reached that point he knew he was ready, all he needed was the right day and the proper weather.

Hey, he did it, what can you say?
Skuj
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 3:06PM - in reply to Details Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't think he ever ran 1320 repeats at 3min. He would often trial a single 1320.
Rain Man
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 3:13PM - in reply to Skuj Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Check out the Perfect Mile. It talks about the race to break the 4 minute barrier by Bannister, Landy and Wes Santee. A good read...you can also download it on iTunes and listen to it on your iPod.

One of the parts I thought was so interesting was the times that "professional" athletes were running at the time - comparable to what a good high schooler runs these days.
the answer
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 3:44PM - in reply to Details Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ive never seen anything saying he did 1320 repeats at 3 min and I dont belive it. Why? He states himself that once he was able to do ONE 3/4 mile, solo, in practice that he would be able to do 4 minutes for a mile race with competition, adreneline, etc. It all boils down to 10x440.
Speed Kills
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 6:08PM - in reply to the answer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Looks like a lot of people could do a little reading here.

Bannister's training was based on 10 X 440 yards with 2 minute rest, starting at 66 seconds/440, decreasing by 1 sec/month down to 56 seconds, when he ran his sub-4. He also did 3 X 1 1/2 miles (not originally documented, as he considered it too difficult) at 14:00 3 mile pace. He also did a weekly time trial of 3/4 mile in under 3 minutes at the end (note: this was NOT a 1320m interval session; It was a 3/4 mile time trial (race pace), and this is an important distinction).

Bannister ran his sub-4 on whatever time he could take away from his medical studies at Oxford, often not more than 30 minutes per day. His maximum mileage was less than 30 mi/wk, reducing to something like 15 mi/wk during racing. He used TWO rabbits when he ran his sub-4.

His book, "The Four Minute Mile," is still in print after 50 years, and would be good reading for most letsrun posters.
Le fromage
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 7:48PM - in reply to Speed Kills Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have read The Perfect Mile but haven't checked out the first four minutes, i'll see if I can find it. Did he do anything besides pounding out intervals? I'd really like to know some of Landy's training since he was a better runner.
Tinman
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 10:06PM - in reply to Speed Kills Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Speed Kills is right. Franz Stampfl, Bannister's coach, wrote a very nice book on training that shows it all. In the autumn, endurance intervals were used. Paces were substantially slower than race pace and the volumes were high enough and the frequency often enough to provide aerobic conditioning and introductory anaerobic conditioning. It is a total myth to say the Dr. Bannister ran 10 x 440 yards in 60 seconds or better regularly, weekly, and year round. He gradually built up to it, along with other runners trained by Stampfl, who was a brilliant coach.
brashaway
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/10/2005 10:19PM - in reply to Tinman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Speedkills and Tinman contradict each other. Bannister never did 440s in 56s. He didnt do "a second per month". And there was no "aerobic conditioning" considerations. Both of you research more before telling the rest of the folks here that you have the knowledge.
sjm1368
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 5:23AM - in reply to brashaway Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Skuj
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 5:43AM - in reply to Speed Kills Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
And Bannister used one rabbit at the Empire Games.

Hahahaha.
Skuj
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 5:58AM - in reply to Le fromage Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Was Landy better?

I asked Sir Roger about his warmups. Surely he didn't just launch into the first 400? But, he maintained that he did just that. No time to jog and strides first.

Some have cast doubt on the accuracy of that, but, only because it seems unimaginable!
Tinman
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 8:27AM - in reply to brashaway Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
When you are a 4 minute miler or close to it and you are running 440s in 66 seconds, that is aerobic conditioning. That's 4:24 per mile, about his 2 mile race pace, no faster. That is what Bannister did in the autumn of 1953, along with other intervals that were not fast (relative to his ability). When I get a chance this week, I will dig out my Stampfl book and outline the training he had his runners, including Dr. Bannister, do. It was not fast, relative to ability, for Bannister, until the spring. When you consider Bannister's 440 speed (well under 50 seconds)then his reps for the first 3-4 months of the buildup were 15-18 seconds per lap slower than his personal best.
jacknose
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 10:03AM - in reply to Tinman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Please mr.tinman don't come up with that if you can run a 400m in so and so seconds, 400m repeats in so and so seconds is so and so hard for you, this is just ridicolous.
If you run 400s in 66seconds it only counts how hard 66s laps are for you and not how fast you can run for one 400m or do you think Michael Johnson could have challenged Alberto Salazar(or some other "slow" distance guy) in a 20x400m session?
27%juiced
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 11:18AM - in reply to Le fromage Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Read the bannister book it;s got everything you need to know about his training.
UK Boy
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 12:18PM - in reply to 27%juiced Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I heard a lovely story about Bannister. He was at some function, when a guy called John Gladwin wondered over to him and introduced himself. Gladwin was a very decent miler back in the 80's. They got talking and Bannister asked John if he ran much and John replied that back in the day he was a miler. Bannister asked him what his best time was and John replied "3.52". Bannister didn't hear him properly and said "4.52, not bad". Mr Gladwin replied, "No no 3.52" With a slightly smug grin. Bannister replied, "Yes, but did you do it on a mud track, like I did?" With a very wicked smile. Gladwin donned his cap to Bannister and headed back to the bar.

Bannister is a legend.
Tinman
RE: Roger Bannisters Training 9/11/2005 1:11PM - in reply to jacknose Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ok, answer this: Two runners are doing 400s at the same time. One can run a 400 in 47 seconds and hits 4:00 for the mile. The second can run 52 seconds for 400m at runs 4:20 for the mile. If they both run 400 repeats in 66 seconds, tell me who is working more aerobically?
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