Would 4:20 feel like a jog to the sub-4:10 types?


I am continually wondering if 4:20 would ever feel like a jog to a top-end HS athlete?

If they had five gears 5th gear would be 57 second speed at the end of a 1600. The 4th gear would be maintaining 63 second speed, 3rd 67.5, 2nd 71 and 1st 75 (5:00 pace).

Sixth gear would be like 53s pace or Alan Webb.

But I feel like people who chase sub 4:10 and hit a wall at 1200 – say at 3:08 – would quickly decelerate to 75 second pace and cross the line in 4:23. It doesnt seem plausible to “die” and still produce a 64 second quarter no matter who you are unless you go from 57 second 5th gear pace to 75 second pace in the final strides (20m or less).

What do you think?

  • Can maintaining 65s feel like a jog to top end athletes?
  • if someone is on 4:10 pace and dies the last 400 what do they run?
  • can you aim for 4:07 holding 61.7s and “die” to 4:12 during the last 400? Or would it be much slower if you truly “died”?


Dont know if I can speak for the top end kids who are faster than us, but Erschen and me wound up in the same sectional after both going 4:13 the week before at conference.

We just talked before the race and helped each other run a 4:20 to get in the fast heat and 9:30 to ditch all of the 9:40ish guys who might hang around and steal a spot. Traded off laps and agreed to let each of us win a race. Felt super controlled, didnt have to press the pace at all. Both races felt more like a glorified workout than a race.

These guys should have no problem sneaking into the fast heat and qualifying for the 3200. But adding a 1:56 800m into the mix makes it a whole another animal…