Just like the 4min mile barrier, 1 minute for 100m freestyle was only first broken in 1922, 34 years before Roger Bannister broke the 4min mile. Johnny Weissmuller was the man to crash through this barrier and set up the benchmark for swimmers into the future. In his time, he set more than 50 world records and also started as Tarzan in several movies, of course.
In modern days, breaking the minute mark is the sign of a fast up and coming swimmer. The current world record of 46.91sec held by Cesar Cielo is more than half a pool ahead of where Johnny would have been. Such are the speeds that the modern swimmers are achieving. Just like the runners.
But what about a middle-aged bloke like myself? Can I break 1min? I've been swimming pretty solid for the past 5years but there isn't a great deal of sprint work going on in my past squads. Even my new squad, full of rising stars, focus on 200m+ events.
4 times over the past two years I have hit 60secs. I have gone so close and been as low as 60.11secs at the start of 2018. But just not under it.
I feel like I have been chasing this for the past 5years. I am now swimming faster than I ever have thanks to some pretty good "high velocity efforts" over 20m and some solid endurance work. Can I string 20m and long distance together to create a sub-1?
Fingers crossed we get there!