The Four-Minute Mile Belief

The Four-Minute Mile Belief

Prior to 1954, experts believed that running a mile in less than four minutes was impossible.  They believed that was a bit beyond human capability.    

Some believed that even if someone could do it, their heart would explode. However, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute “impossible” barrier and clicked in at 3:59.4 in 1954. 


The remarkable thing is what happened immediately after that: just over a month later someone else did it.  Soon after that, a ton of people were doing the "impossible" sub-four-minute mile.  This is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runner.  There hasn't yet been a woman who has run a four-minute mile. As of 2014, the women's world record is held by retired Russian Svetlana Masterkova (time 4:12.56).

This is a great example of the real barrier all along being psychological.

Take a long look at your life. Do you have any four-minute mile beliefs? Do you dare to break them?



About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. This is wonderful!! So EMPOWERING and UPLIFTING! Thank you so much for sharing this…. great way to get us to think about our beliefs. Very creative 🙂
    4 Minutes for a mile is so fast.. my gosh! LOL

  2. Great example of how paradigms can keep us from achieving more. As parents, we have to be so careful about telling our kids they can’t do something, because it can follow them for the rest of their lives. How can we truly know that something can’t be done if we don’t challenge it over and over again? We evolve, we change, we grow and we learn how to do things faster and easier all the time. Limitations are just someone’s excuse for not trying harder.

    Keep up the good work!
    Sheri Conaway recently posted…October 30, 2014 Overture, light the lights… #shericonaway #blogboostMy Profile

  3. Hi Rachel,

    Great analogy! Yes, I have faced that “four minute mile belief” and I broke the pattern! It wasn’t easy to do, but it all came from my own mindset. I believe this in my heart and soul. And when I have doubt, I look back at at least one accomplishment I have done against all odds.

    I’ll meditate for a while with that exact feeling, and couple it to what I’m doing. It sure is reassuring to my mind and especially that stubborn subconscious of mine lol.

    Hey, the reality of life is change. Once we align our minds with that, we can break all the records!

    donna merrill recently posted…The Perfect BlendMy Profile

  4. Hi Rachel,

    Enjoyed this fantastic uplifting and inspirational post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. What an incredibly inspirational post Rachel!

    It’s sad to admit that I’ve definitely had plenty of self imposed “four minute mile barriers!” What’s equally sad is I’ve yet to discover my inner “Roger Bannister”, to help my discover what’s truly possible!

    Thanks, this definitely a nice mental pick me up! At just the right time!
    Mark recently posted…How And Why Major Corporations Waste Tons Of Money On Totally Whack Advertisements!My Profile

  6. Hello Rachel! Wow how did I miss this post, What a powerful message! I am headed to bed now, but before I do I will pull out my journal and write a few things about my life in general. Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Your Foundation To Online SuccessMy Profile

  7. Such words of wisedom… thanks for sharing, Rachel! I feel motivated, like I have plenty of things to tell all of a sudden! 🙂
    Lily Lau recently posted…Ben Young’s beautiful layered glass sculpturesMy Profile