An approximation of sub-5

Big disclaimer. I’m only now beginning to really appreciate that different distances of running have drastically different paces. It’s not immediately obvious, however, exactly how to characterize the non-linearity, but the evidence is clear. If Usain Bolt, the current 100 m world record holder, were to be able to run 1.6 km at his WR pace, he’d have a 2:35 mile time, which is not even close to anything reasonable right now*, as the current mile record is 3:43. So it’s clear that different distances are run differently. Naturally, this affects training, energy expenditure, mental stamina, etc.

Okay. Now that’s all out of the way, and it’s perfectly clear I’m not making any wild claims, after my run this morning, I went to our indoor track today and timed a 1/7 of a mile at 43 seconds. IF I were able to sustain that pace for a full mile (7 times longer than what I had run), I would have run a 5:01 mile.

I decided to try it again, just to see how I felt. 42 seconds. Again, IF I were able to sustain that pace for a full mile, that would have been a 4:54. That feeling is exhilarating. For forty seconds, I felt like I was flying. Importantly, these times are not particularly fast for this distance (an elite time is approximately half of that). To think, the elite marathoners sustain that pace for 182 times longer than what I ran. It gives me great humility to try and understand that.

So, I got a taste. I’m pretty sure I like it, but I’m not sure if it’s good for me yet.

* I won’t claim that it will never be possible. I’d be very surprised by it, however. Haile Gebreselassie, who has broken 24 WRs and is the current marathon WR holder at 2:03:59 (!), believes that a 2:00:00 marathon is possible. I certainly it happens within my lifetime.


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