I’m currently reading the Perfect Mile. The training the three main characters did in chasing a sub-4 minute mile is inspiring.
It is a great read, but I think the training that Landy and Bannister followed is NOT the way to prepare. Santee, to me, had the best preparation method. His training is much more like today’s runners than either of the other two.
I argue that Landy and Bannister were pretty much topping out since they were so focused on anaerobic development. The mile is an aerobic event primarily, even at 4 min pace. Even at 100 seconds, about 60% of the energy for all out exercise comes from aerobic sources. At 4 minutes, that means you are close to 75% aerobic.
None of this diminishes the great accomplishment of any of the men. I also liked the sections about Santee and the AAU–makes my blood boil every time I read about the AAU jerk-offs.