On 6th May 1954 Roger Bannister stepped out onto a running track in Oxford in an attempt to break the record for running the mile. The previous record had stood at 4.01.4 for nine years during which many great athletes had tried and failed to break this daunting record to the point where it was generally considered beyond the capacity of any human being to achieve Because of that it had become known as the four-minute mile barrier. Indeed, scientific opinion of the time warned that if you were foolhardy enough to attempt such a feat your heart might explode in the process. But banister and other athletes, in particular his great rival the Australian John Landy, were convinced it was possible and each was determined to be the first.
On that day Bannister made history and re-defined what was possible. He fell exhausted through the finishing tape in a record time of 3.59.4 and his great, almost superhuman effort was hailed as one of the finest moments ever in the history of athletics.
Curiously however, in the following twelve months, a number of other athletes managed to run the mile in under four minutes and John Landy broke the record by a full second only one month after Bannister What does this tell us?
It’s all about belief. Bannister had such great belief in his ability to succeed in his goal of breaking the four-minute barrier that he was able to overwhelm scientific opinion of the time and make the impossible possible. But it was only when he had achieved it that others knew and believed it was possible and that they could do it too.
The moral of the story, like so many of the most wonderful things in life, is very simple. If you believe you can win you have a chance of winning. If you don’t believe you can win you probably won’t. So Peter Gilmour’s advice to ambitious athletes is to practice believing and his method has many techniques, sessions, tricks and triggers to help you do exactly that and work towards the Bannister model of unconquerable belief.
By the way, the record for the mile currently stands at 3.43.13 more than a quarter of a minute faster than Bannister and that was achieved by Hicham el Guerrouj in Rome in 1999.