The Top 10 Things ‘4 Minute Mile’ Gets Absolutely Wrong About Running


4 Minute Mile
is a silly movie, despite the benefit of some worthwhile acting. Richard Jenkins is fantastic (I mean, when he is not?) and (male lead) Kelly Blatz has got some Christian-Bale thing going on. Yet, alas, these two are playing on a largely hobbled squad. 4 Minute Mile wants to be Karate Kid, only its aging mentor behaves more like an old buzzard. It labors to be Rocky, despite not having the guts or inspiration. 4 Minute Mile struggles to overcome poor writing, if not the white-trash-house-marm legacy of Kim Bassinger. In the end what it amounts to is frustration, the majority of which is driven by an utter lack of charm. As if to demonstrate, here are the top 10 things 4 Minute Mile gets absolutely wrong in terms of running, the primary thrust behind its story:

  1. No runner cranks out 5-minute miles back-to-back-to-back-to-back while wearing a full duffle bag, loose shirt, thermal hoodie, wool cap and cotton sweatpants.
  2. No coach – stable or otherwise – would initiate training by encouraging a minor from a broken home to completely water-log his only pair of sneakers.
  3. Forcing an athlete to high-step back and forth across a woody creek is more likely to produce a broken ankle than it is the proper form.
  4. There is NO way a high school senior who struggles to run a 67-second quarter is going to train for a few months, then stitch together a four-minute mile.
  5. As a coach, you do not achieve stellar results by consistently mind-fucking star athletes.
  6. No public indoor facility is going to allow a manically-depressed, aging alcoholic to dump a radial tire into its swimming pool for the sole purpose of having a minor carry it back and forth across the bottom 20 times (without a break).
  7. No regional high school meet in history has ever produced 10 or more athletes who can complete the 1600 in under 4:19.
  8. The goal of resistance training is not to sprint until you spontaneously lose consciousness on the street.
  9. No high school athlete has ever run a 3:57 mile in a pair of knee-length polyester basketball shorts.
  10. A 4-minute mile does not look like this. A 4-minute mile looks like this.

(4 Minute Mile opens in limited release this Friday.)