The New Yorker asks that question and the author Charles Bethea extensively cites the LetsRun.com messageboard on this very topic.
Sadly, I must confess that in my reply to him I ripped the collective wisdom of this board.
Charles Bethea wrote:
The prevailing wisdom on the (LetsRun.com) thread was summed up best by a visitor using the handle â€œidiots,â€ who commented last July, â€œAre you guys insane??? One of the worldâ€™s best junior 400m runners and possibly the greatest 100m/200m runner ever and you think his mile is the same as any random high school kid running track? You really think because he sprints he has no aerobic fitness at all?â€
The co-founder of LetsRun.com, Robert Johnson, who is a former college cross-country coach, has a different view. â€œThe question is a good one,â€ he said recently. â€œBut those people on the site are all distance runners who have no idea what they are talking about.â€ Johnson is â€œvery confidentâ€ that Bolt would not be able to break five minutes. â€œIf that was the over/under, Iâ€™d mortgage my nonexistent house to try to bet up to six figures he was over that,â€ Johnson said. â€œHeâ€™s a total fast-twitch-muscle-fibre guy. To expect Bolt to be good at the mile simply because he is the worldâ€™s greatest sprinter would be like expecting a great three-hundred-and-twenty-pound N.F.L. offensive lineman to be good at playing running back simply because heâ€™s a great football player. Itâ€™s ludicrous.â€
Wejo thinks he could break 5:00. I think he might ultimately be able to do it but no chance at all if he was forced to say run a mile at the Olympics.
The original thread on Bolts' mile ability is here: