Who would take this challenge?

Could you do it?

  • I'd be 10 million richer within a year!

    Votes: 35 43.2%
  • I wouldn't waste a year of my life.

    Votes: 11 13.6%
  • I think I could and I'd risk it.

    Votes: 28 34.6%
  • I think I could do it, but I wouldn't risk it.

    Votes: 7 8.6%

  • Total voters
    81

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
You are offered 10 million dollars to run a 4:30 mile within 1 year. Here are the stipulations. You only get 1 shot at it, barring practice of course, and you have to do a real mile and not 4 laps at your local track which could easily be shorter than a regulation track. 10 million would set you for life, but is it worth quitting your current job and investing a year of training for it? Elite milers would have no problem with a 4.5 time, but can a non elite miler accomplish this goal within a year?
 

Midlife crisis

Hall of Fame
You are offered 10 million dollars to run a 4:30 mile within 1 year. Here are the stipulations. You only get 1 shot at it, barring practice of course, and you have to do a real mile and not 4 laps at your local track which could easily be shorter than a regulation track. 10 million would set you for life, but is it worth quitting your current job and investing a year of training for it? Elite milers would have no problem with a 4.5 time, but can a non elite miler accomplish this goal within a year?
A 4:30 mile requires a steady state VO2 of about 74 ml/min/kg, and assuming a typical anaerobic work capacity typical of an elite male athlete who could generate about 110% of their VO2 max for that duration, could be done with a VO2 max of about 67 ml/min/kg.

This is a level that is beyond average genetic capabilities, and because a person loses about 1% in VO2 max per year over about age 35 or so, must be accomplished by someone fairly young or someone exceptionally gifted. This is a level in a man that is genetically possible in probably around 1 in 50,000 in the 20-35 age group.

For women, the highest verified laboratory measured VO2 max values have been in the middle 70's, and with lower anaerobic work capacity probably means a woman would need 68 or 69 ml/min/kg VO2 to run that duration. This is probably closer to 1 in 1,000,000 in the 20-35 age range.

So, in the US with a population of about 225 million, there are probably about 5000 living men who have ever had that capability, maybe 500 of whom are in the right age range. For women, there are probably about 150 women who have ever had that capability, maybe 15 or so who would be in the right age range.

Almost assuredly, men who have this capability will be athletic in some capability. It is probably about as common as being nearly 7' tall, so the ability would be easily recognized just in PE class in school. Among the women, it would clearly be noticed very early on.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
I'm 36, restarted running training in february after a few years off (2002). I will break 4:30 on the 22nd July at the county track champs. Anyone willing to make a paypal bet on this - I am good for it, there are people on this forum who can vouch for me and it would be easy to verify the accuracy of the timing and distance.

The challenge needs to be much, much tougher for 10 million!
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
Great post MC!

My Polar watch fit test, FWIW, says my VO2max (their version), is about 51 this a.m. I might be able to crank out a 7:30 mile, or so, given my ancient-ness. :)

Not surprisingly, the men's record for over 40 is 3:58.15 (indoors) Eamonn Coghlan (11/24/52) IRL Boston 4/20/94

I would guess there are at least 100 men world wide over the age of 40 who could break 4:30 for the mile. Over the age of 16, I'd say there are at least 100,000 men (boys) who could do it. I ran 4:32 on a cinder track in high school, but I was a quarter miler, and not a particularly talented one (52.3 best). (At the USA T & F Championships yesterday a woman ran a 52 second quarter for her third quarter in the 1500 race. :) )

-Robert
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
I'll do it for 5 mil if I can get some elite coaching. Seems like pacing oneself and endurance as opposed to raw speed is a big part of this distance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjUdtOVdTIA
You need plenty of speed, just not 100 speed! You need great ECONOMY as well as a high VO2max. Sprinters can afford to be uneconomical, and most of them ARE! But, once you get into the full loops of the track being efficient, like Federer, is the name of the game.

-Robert
 

Bud

Bionic Poster
I'm 36, restarted running training in february after a few years off (2002). I will break 4:30 on the 22nd July at the county track champs. Anyone willing to make a paypal bet on this - I am good for it, there are people on this forum who can vouch for me and it would be easy to verify the accuracy of the timing and distance.

The challenge needs to be much, much tougher for 10 million!
What is your time, currently?
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
What is your time, currently?
I haven't run a mile since 2001. I ran my first ever 1500m on the 10th june of this year in 4:14.10.

Seriously, does anyone fancy taking the bet??? Rickson was suggesting $10mil and you can have a piece of the action for $10 - some easy money right? Especially against an old fart with bad knees like me!

I'll name the race in advance, video it and can verify my age etc.

The race is in 24 days......
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Uh, I need to know what time I need to win the cash if I am 48 and a woman. Surely I don't have to run at the pace you'd set for a young dude . . . .
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
I'm 36, restarted running training in february after a few years off (2002). I will break 4:30 on the 22nd July at the county track champs. Anyone willing to make a paypal bet on this - I am good for it, there are people on this forum who can vouch for me and it would be easy to verify the accuracy of the timing and distance.

The challenge needs to be much, much tougher for 10 million!
I wouldn't take that bet, unless the mile is run UP the Downs. ;)

If you can bet on sub 4:00, I'd be interested. Certainly you are better than Coughlin? ;)

For those who don't know, Britain has a lot of great middle distance runners. I've run with a few of those guys and they are very fast!

Good luck, mate!

-Robert
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
Uh, I need to know what time I need to win the cash if I am 48 and a woman. Surely I don't have to run at the pace you'd set for a young dude . . . .
As soon as the SUN DIAL comes back from the repair shop we will figure up your time. ;) Will we need a calendar too? ;) ;)

-Robert
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
I haven't run a mile since 2001. I ran my first ever 1500m on the 10th june of this year in 4:14.10.

Seriously, does anyone fancy taking the bet??? Rickson was suggesting $10mil and you can have a piece of the action for $10 - some easy money right? Especially against an old fart with bad knees like me!

I'll name the race in advance, video it and can verify my age etc.

The race is in 24 days......
Oh, is your race a measley 1500 meters? :) I thought it was a mile! Yer bein' mighty sneaker there limey! ;)

-Robert
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't take that bet, unless the mile is run UP the Downs. ;)

If you can bet on sub 4:00, I'd be interested. Certainly you are better than Coughlin? ;)

For those who don't know, Britain has a lot of great middle distance runners. I've run with a few of those guys and they are very fast!

Good luck, mate!

-Robert
I would expect you to offer very generous odds on that and give me 4 years!

Oh, is your race a measley 1500 meters? :) I thought it was a mile! Yer bein' mighty sneaker there limey! ;)

-Robert
Ha ha - no, the race on the 22nd July is a track mile (state championships).

Other than the odd race the vast majority of track races here are 1500m, hence the timeliness of the mile challenge.
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
Come back in 4 years when you are ready to break Coughlin's record. ;) Certainly you aren't going to let a mere Irishman defeat you? ;) LOL!

-Robert
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
As soon as the SUN DIAL comes back from the repair shop we will figure up your time. ;) Will we need a calendar too? ;) ;)

-Robert
Heh, heh. Ya got me there! :)

I would be curious to know what kind of mile time I could turn in if I ever tried, but I have never tried. The mile wouldn't be my best distance, though. I would do better as a sprinter.

Then we could time me with an hourglass instead of a sundial, Robert.
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
Heh, heh. Ya got me there! :)

I would be curious to know what kind of mile time I could turn in if I ever tried, but I have never tried. The mile wouldn't be my best distance, though. I would do better as a sprinter.

Then we could time me with an hourglass instead of a sundial, Robert.
Go to the track and do a very very slow mile warmup. Take 12-16 minutes to do it. Then rest a minute or two and then do one 400 (once around the track) at a brisk pace, say about 2:30. Rest about 5 minutes, then do 4 laps and try to hold 2:30 for each lap. If so, you've done about 10:00 for the mile. :) Be sure to do an easy cooldown lap walking or light jogging and a bit of stretching. Go home! You are a miler!! :)

If you do this sort of thing (with some variations), once a week, you will probably notice less tiredness in second and third sets. You might get a bit faster too. ;)

-Robert
 

Dags

Hall of Fame
You are offered 10 million dollars to run a 4:30 mile within 1 year. Here are the stipulations. You only get 1 shot at it, barring practice of course, and you have to do a real mile and not 4 laps at your local track which could easily be shorter than a regulation track. 10 million would set you for life, but is it worth quitting your current job and investing a year of training for it? Elite milers would have no problem with a 4.5 time, but can a non elite miler accomplish this goal within a year?
A similar prop bet is being taken by poker player Huck Seed at the moment.

Ten years ago, when he was 30, Doyle Brunson bet him $20k that he couldn't break 4:20. He failed. They then bet $50k that he couldn't break 4:30 after one year. He clocked 4:38.

Now (aged 40 for those of you struggling with the maths), Huck has taken odds of 33-1 that he can't break 4:39 by the end of the year. Apparently that's roughly the equivalent of a 4:25 for a 26 year old.

For interest, other prop bets Mr Seed has undertaken:

- Standing in the ocean with water up to his shoulders for 18 hours (lost)
- Perform a standing backflip (won)
- Not shave for a year (lost when he shaved for a funeral)
- Break 100 on a golf course 4 times in one day, using only a 5 iron, sand wedge and putter (won)

And in response to the original question, as a 31 year-old with knackered shins, 4:30 is almost certainly beyond my reach. But for 10 million, I'd at least speak to a coach to get a second opinion before I turned it down. :)
 

r2473

Talk Tennis Guru
but is it worth quitting your current job and investing a year of training for it?......Elite milers would have no problem with a 4.5 time, but can a non elite miler accomplish this goal within a year?
I could. I used to train like Moz is training now. I can't say I ever ran a 4:30 mile as that was not my distance. I did however have a training day that I ran 5 X 1 mile with 400 meter jogs (no walking) in between. I would always run the first one in around 4:45 without meaning to (it just didn't seem like I was going that fast). I would pay for this big time on the 5th mile (which I never finished in 5:00.....my best was a 5:12).

Still, I am sure I could have shaved 15 seconds off that first mile and hit 4:30 if I needed to.

Today, I would be lucky to run a 6:30 mile. But, if you seriously give me a year, training down to 4:30 would not be that hard I think.

I was running 10 - 15 years ago. My resting heart rate at that time was 28 beats per minute (that was the lowest I ever had measured.....just before I gave plasma......did I mention I was a poor college student??).

I am 36.

Oh, quitting your job would certainly not be necessary. Seriously, just how long do you think you could train in a day? My longest training days when I was running were my long runs (say 20 miles tops). I ran that distance doing 7 minute miles or just a shade over, so I never trained for over 3 hours on any given day. Now, a few days a week I would do "two-a-days" consisting of say a 6-mile "maintainance" run and some track work, but these were done morning / night.
 
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I could do it, no problem. I hope someone doesn't believe me and takes me up on the bet. You could buy insurance against my win, you wouldn't be out 10million, maybe only 1million in insurance costs because of the perceived probability of my win. If I lose, I pay the insurance costs, if I win, you pay and I get the 10million. Come on, somebody!? I'm ready to start training!! Let's get this going!!!
 

dave333

Hall of Fame
I think I could take a year off school and try it out. I improved my mile time by 1:30 in around 5 months doing sprinter workouts? Currently at 5:35...just 1 more minute.
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
5 posters actually think they could do it. Unbelievable! It's not impossible, but it's a lot more difficult than you might imagine.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
5 posters actually think they could do it. Unbelievable! It's not impossible, but it's a lot more difficult than you might imagine.
It's a lot more believeable than some of the first serve speeds around this forum!

4:30 isn't remotely challenging enough for any cash to pass hands (unfortunately!).
 

Topaz

Legend
For women, the highest verified laboratory measured VO2 max values have been in the middle 70's, and with lower anaerobic work capacity probably means a woman would need 68 or 69 ml/min/kg VO2 to run that duration. This is probably closer to 1 in 1,000,000 in the 20-35 age range.
I've got only 6 months left to be one in a million!!! I'll start my training pronto!!! ;)

Oddly enough, I had my VO2 max done years ago, when I was over 70lbs heavier. I remember the guy doing it was impressed, but I don't remember what it was. Would love to have it done now!

I'm 36, restarted running training in february after a few years off (2002). I will break 4:30 on the 22nd July at the county track champs. Anyone willing to make a paypal bet on this - I am good for it, there are people on this forum who can vouch for me and it would be easy to verify the accuracy of the timing and distance.

The challenge needs to be much, much tougher for 10 million!
I can vouch that Moz enjoys a nice hard boiled egg!
 

WildVolley

Legend
I've been a sprinter, so I'm not sure I could do it. I have efficient running form, but I hate to do endurance training. I'd predict I couldn't do it.

Would this be an all drug event? Could I use certain illegal substances to improve my training?
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Let's say you come close to 4:30 during practice. When it's time for the real thing, would you actually make 4:30? What if you got injured during the run? What if you found out your practice track was 50 meters shorter? Personally, I'd make sure I broke 4:30 in practice more than once and that my practice track was a regulation track.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
Personally, I'd make sure I broke 4:30 in practice more than once and that my practice track was a regulation track.
If you could break 4:30 in practice you'd be looking at running closer to 4:20 in the race. I'd rather use the session to get in more appropriate training for the race with a little less stress, but that could still be used as a predictor, e.g 4 * 400m with 60 secs rest.

Actually, thinking about it you'd ideally want to run a 3k race and a 800m race in the lead up and run 8:55 and 2.01 respectively (assuming you weren't allowed to run the mile and that running a 1500m would be regarded as cheating).

A very high % of tracks are of regulation length - I think you're over-egging that problem.
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
You're allowed to run the mile as many times as you want in practice, but you only get 1 shot at the real thing. That just means you can't try the 1 mile race for 10 mill, countless times within that 1 year time frame.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
You're allowed to run the mile as many times as you want in practice, but you only get 1 shot at the real thing. That just means you can't try the 1 mile race for 10 mill, countless times within that 1 year time frame.
Understood. If you were training properly it would be fairly rare to run it in training and you wouldn't want to take the time literally as to what you would do in the race. But I presume you could run the 1500m in races as often as you wanted which is basically the same thing.

There are thousands of non-elite runners that can already run it so I suppose I don't understand how you arrived at the figures for your challenge....
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
I'm pretty sure you'd have to be an elite runner to make a 4:30 mile. You certainly wouldn't be olympic material, but you'd probably be the best in your running club.
 

Kedar

New User
I'm a runner, so I would be overjoyed if I was given this offer. 4:30 is a respectable time for the mile, but give me a few months to get in shape, and i can easily pull it off.
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Would you runners out there take a 100 million dollar challenge if the time were changed to under 4 minutes? Remember, only 1 shot at it.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
Would you runners out there take a 100 million dollar challenge if the time were changed to under 4 minutes? Remember, only 1 shot at it.
Elite miling starts at about 4:10 (at the slowest) in my opinion.

I would take it, but not if I was only given a year. I'd also be highly unlikely to ever break it - but anything for $100m isn't going to be easy!
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
I'll take that bet, moz. I don't have paypal, but I'll send you some overgrip or tennis balls if you break 4:30 on July 22nd.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
I'll take that bet, moz. I don't have paypal, but I'll send you some overgrip or tennis balls if you break 4:30 on July 22nd.
Okay, mate. I'm in the UK so we should make it something like and non-bulky (strings) if you don't have paypal - or leave it as a sportsmans bet.

Here are the meet details:

http://www.cambsaa.org.uk/

See bold in the below section:

Cambridgeshire Evening Development Open meetings 2009
First meeting on May 27th very well attended - Results please click here
The 2nd meeting of the series, on June 10th, which included Regional BMC races over 800m and 1500m was also well attended and despite the damp weather produced some good personal bests in relatively still conditions. For the full results please use this link
The 3rd meeting of the series is on July 22nd and will include the Cambs AA Mile championshipsAll meetings will include events for under 11's
For further details click here - Poster - Entry form and prospectus
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Let's make it OG as I can't really afford good strings with the bad economy and all. I don't mind paying up if I lose because 4:30 would be an impressive feat and I'm just giving you more motivation.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
Let's make it OG as I can't really afford good strings with the bad economy and all. I don't mind paying up if I lose because 4:30 would be an impressive feat and I'm just giving you more motivation.
That's fine. I'll try and get some video of the race. FYI - I'm racing the 1500m and 800m this weekend and then it's all systems go for the mile on the 22nd July. Hope it cools down a bit!
 

goober

Legend
You are offered 10 million dollars to run a 4:30 mile within 1 year. Here are the stipulations. You only get 1 shot at it, barring practice of course, and you have to do a real mile and not 4 laps at your local track which could easily be shorter than a regulation track. 10 million would set you for life, but is it worth quitting your current job and investing a year of training for it? Elite milers would have no problem with a 4.5 time, but can a non elite miler accomplish this goal within a year?
At my age there is no way I could do it. I ran 4:36 when I was 17 during my last year of track and I am sure if I did nothing but train for a year in my early 20s I could have done 4:30 easily. 4:30 is a very good high school time, but there are many runners I know have done it. For anyone over 40 I would say there would be very few people who could do it among nonrunners.

But I am not sure why you would have to quit your current job. If you worked a regular 8-5 job, you could spend 2-3 hours training after work every day. Getting a coach would help a lot as well.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I think moz might be able to run the mile faster than I can do it on a bicycle...
I've always hated running. Any kind of distance. Sprints were okay. but never liked
running. I could surf (ocean) for hours but running? forget it.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
Let's make it OG as I can't really afford good strings with the bad economy and all. I don't mind paying up if I lose because 4:30 would be an impressive feat and I'm just giving you more motivation.
Well, there's good news and bad news. Firstly I owe you a set of strings! Email me if you want them and I'll send them over to you from the UK.

Pretty windy conditions last night and I was hoping the race would be quick enough for me to slot in behind and use my finishing speed and still break 4:30.

Pace was pretty slow halfway round and I toyed with the idea of pushing on, but decided the win was most important.

Anyway, I finished in 4:34.5. I could have gone a bit quicker perhaps but to be honest I wasn't feeling great all the way round so probably wouldn't have managed 4:30 no matter what the early pace.

The good news is that I'm now the County mile champion (county is the UK equivalent of state).
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Moz, that's an awesome time and I'm thoroughly impressed. You definitely have a sub 4.5 minute mile in you. As for the overgrips, sure, I could definitely use some more og. Good job, Moz.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Of course I would take the challenge. It would probably be pretty obvious within a month if you would end up being able to accomplish it, so you could go back to work and stop training relatively quickly if it looked impossible.
 

smoothtennis

Hall of Fame
Moz, very very impressive. You have to be proud at your age of that time!

I was a 51 second 400 meter sprinter in HS, and I know when you get close to that certain time, shaving a few seconds can get really difficult. I am 43 now, and doubt I could break 60 seconds with three months of training.

I remember training again in my late twenties, had the weight down, and was running miles for a 5K. I timed a 400 once for fun, and I distinctly remember that my muscles and tendons did not have the same fluidity I had when racing 400's in HS. Even if I accelerated the pace to break 60, I could feel quite a bit more resistance in my stride. I had to pull up for something like 61 or so or I would have pulled a quad.

At this age, I couldn't manage it, so kudos on a great run.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
Moz, very very impressive. You have to be proud at your age of that time!

I was a 51 second 400 meter sprinter in HS, and I know when you get close to that certain time, shaving a few seconds can get really difficult. I am 43 now, and doubt I could break 60 seconds with three months of training.

I remember training again in my late twenties, had the weight down, and was running miles for a 5K. I timed a 400 once for fun, and I distinctly remember that my muscles and tendons did not have the same fluidity I had when racing 400's in HS. Even if I accelerated the pace to break 60, I could feel quite a bit more resistance in my stride. I had to pull up for something like 61 or so or I would have pulled a quad.

At this age, I couldn't manage it, so kudos on a great run.
Well done, MOZ! Great run for an old fart, eh? ;) Let's see, Armstrong, Watson, MOZ. ;)

-Robert
Ha ha, thanks chaps - very kind of you. My goal is to win an event at the European Veterans Outdoor Champs next July.

Funny you should mention the 400m as I am running a 400m tomorrow night. If I feel okay I will also run a track 3k a couple of hours later.

The main difference I am finding is that you never run a yard without something hurting. At the moment it's my knees. Having said that you can't beat that feeling when you have your spikes on and your achilles tendons feel as though they've still got some bounce left!

I haven't run either a 400m or 3k since 2001 and I need to come up with some seed times so I get in the correct race.....I can take a good guess at the 3k but the 400m is a bit of a mystery....
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Well, there's good news and bad news. Firstly I owe you a set of strings! Email me if you want them and I'll send them over to you from the UK.

Pretty windy conditions last night and I was hoping the race would be quick enough for me to slot in behind and use my finishing speed and still break 4:30.

Pace was pretty slow halfway round and I toyed with the idea of pushing on, but decided the win was most important.

Anyway, I finished in 4:34.5. I could have gone a bit quicker perhaps but to be honest I wasn't feeling great all the way round so probably wouldn't have managed 4:30 no matter what the early pace.

The good news is that I'm now the County mile champion (county is the UK equivalent of state).
Amazing Moz.... what's your training regiment? I'm running this event: http://www.nyrr.org/races/2009/mile/raceinfo.asp in Sept, and I'd love to run a 5:30... though last I tried I couldn't break 6... but I have 2 solid mos to train... I think my bottle neck is my endurance (I think I have the speed)... I've been running 5k's 2x a week, and sprint intervals (eg. 6-8x400 @ ~80s pace) x2.

Please please, let me know!
 

smoothtennis

Hall of Fame
Ha ha, thanks chaps - very kind of you. My goal is to win an event at the European Veterans Outdoor Champs next July.

Funny you should mention the 400m as I am running a 400m tomorrow night. If I feel okay I will also run a track 3k a couple of hours later.

The main difference I am finding is that you never run a yard without something hurting. At the moment it's my knees. Having said that you can't beat that feeling when you have your spikes on and your achilles tendons feel as though they've still got some bounce left!

I haven't run either a 400m or 3k since 2001 and I need to come up with some seed times so I get in the correct race.....I can take a good guess at the 3k but the 400m is a bit of a mystery....
I figure you should already have a good 58 second 400M easily in you right now. 65 is the average for your last competitive mile run, so I know you can get in the mid 50's. The real trick is pushing the the pace in the first 100 and finding the 'stride' that you can smoothly carry over the backstretch as relaxed as possible and not dip too far into your anearobic deficit. I used to overrun the darned race all the time. It took a while to find the pace where I would still be able to accelerate in the last 100 meters.

Oh, and my @ss would hurt so bad after a good 400, I remember serious pain there from the deficit, not a muscle injury or anything.

Good luck in finding that perfect 400 pace bro!!! It is a very tricky distance.
 
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