The world?s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has never run a mile according to his agent. He may not even be fast enough to beat a member of a high school track team. He holds the world record for the 100 meter run at 9.58 seconds but the Jamaican sprinter has never run a mile. Can a high schooler easily beat him in a mile?s run?
The world record for the fastest one-mile run is three minutes, 43 seconds, and thirteen hundredths of a second by Moroccan middle-distance runner, Hicham El Guerrouj, in 1999. The Moroccan runner was 24-years-old at that time, weighed 128 pounds and stood five feet and nine inches tall. According to The New Yorker, those who managed to come close to El Guerrouj?s record were the same size more or less, so travelling light will greatly help if you want to run middle or long distances quickly.
On the other hand, Bolt, is eight inches taller than El Guerrouj and weighs over 200 pounds. He set the 100-meter world record at 9.58 seconds in Berlin in 2009 when he was 22-years-old wherein he averaged at more than 23 miles per hour. However, keeping that pace for a continuous mile is highly unlikely for the sprinter and it can be clearly seen in his time for the 200-meter (19.19), 400-meter (45.28), and 800-meter (2:10) distances.
An American high school runner could run a mile in five minutes. Can Bolt even break that time?
The debate on how fast Bolt can run the mile has been going on for years. Some think he can finish in less than five minutes and some strongly think otherwise just like the co-founder of a popular running website, LetsRun.com, Robert Johnson. ?
He said that everyone in the site are mostly long distance runners who have ?no idea what they are talking about.? He says that he is ?very confident? that the Jamaican sprinter will not be able to finish a mile in five minutes.
Johnson explained, ?He?s a total fast-twitch-muscle-fibre guy. To expect Bolt to be good at the mile simply because he is the world?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 he?s a great football player. It?s ludicrous.?
It?s also the same with long-distance runners. The WashingtonPost quotes from Professor Steve Harridge of Kings College London, ?Marathon [distance] runners have more slow-twitch fibers, which is one of the reasons why you are never going to turn [record-breaking distance runner] Paula Radcliffe into a great sprinter, or Usain Bolt into a good long-distance runner.?
With that argument somehow settled, Bolt will just have to focus on defending his titles at the Rio Olympics 2016 in the men?s 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, and the 4×100-meter relay run. The races are scheduled on August 13, 16, and 18.