Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile” as Want to Read:
Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  304 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
For more than three decades, not one American schoolboy had run a sub-4:00 mile. Then, in January 2001, Alan Webb clocked a 3:59.86 mile, the fastest indoor U.S. high school mile ever. Just a few months later, the young track star achieved legendary status: he ran a 3:53.46 mile-a full 2 seconds faster than former record holder Jim Ryun. Everywhere Webb was hailed as "Amer ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 25th 2004 by Rodale Books (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sub 4, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sub 4

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 416)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 16, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
I reread this during the recent Olympic Trials. Interesting juxtaposition with the rabid pro- and [mostly] anti-Webb posts on of late. I thought Lear did a great job of staying objective regarding some of the controversial stuff -- e.g., Webb's decision to turn pro after the freshman year at U. Michigan that is the main focus of this book. Also, as in Running with the Buffalos, the detailed description of the day-to-day lives of young elite runners and their coaches is terrific.

Jan 15, 2013 Ki rated it liked it
Sub 4:00 starts with the story of a American high school boy who had run 4:00-mile. But after 34 years no one from American high school beat the record and one day Alan Webb, new hope of american runner came out. And this book continues about how Alan Webb went to Michigan university and talks about him and his teammates.This is a great book and inspires young runners to not give up. IT also not only talks about the Alan Webb but also talks and makes us visualize the actual races and practice. I ...more
May 08, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
Decent coverage of the subject matter; not quite as riveting as The Perfect Mile.
John Preston
Mar 09, 2014 John Preston rated it it was ok
I gave the book "two stars" based on the description of the stars where 2 = "it was ok." That sums up exactly how I feel about it.

Reading the title "Sub 4:00" and sub-title "Quest for the Fastest Mile" I thought the book was going to focus on Webb's journey to break Jim Ryun's high school mile record of 3:55.3. While the author Chris Lear did provide some back story about Webb, Nate Brannen (Webb's classmate/teammate and Canadian sub 4:00 high school miler), Coach Ron Warhurst, and other Michig
Intriguing story, imperfect execution. My expectations weren't too high - this wasn't recommended to me, but I saw it on a shelf in a running store and figured what the heck (since I'd followed Webb since his high school days in Northern Virginia). Rodale Press books (in my experience, as a general rule) aren't necessarily the best edited, and this was no exception. Conversely, they fill a niche that the large publishing houses frequently ignore, so I can put up with their imperfections. My bigg ...more
Sep 22, 2011 David rated it it was ok
Chris Lear follows up his highly acclaimed book Running with the Buffaloes to follow Alan Webb in his quest to become the next great miler. Webb burst onto the international scene after he crushed Jim Ryun's long-standing high school record for the mile. However Webb's career stalled while at the University of Michigan and the talented runner left school after his freshman season.

Lear did a very fine job writing about the University of Colorado running program but there isn't that same level of
George Hancock
Jan 18, 2016 George Hancock rated it it was amazing
Very good story about Alan Webb's freshman year at the University of Michigan
What it takes to be a top level collegiate runner
Steve Gupta
Sep 16, 2014 Steve Gupta rated it liked it
Compared to Running with the Buffaloes, I was disappointed. On its own it is an entertaining read on the early life of a captivating track athlete.
Andrew Lee
Aug 17, 2016 Andrew Lee rated it liked it
Not great writing but fascinating to see a year inside Alan Webb's life and learn of his trials & tribulations.
Jan 24, 2016 Ray rated it liked it
Always knew the name "Alan Webb," but never knew his story. Now I know. I really enjoy the running culture and it reminded me of my races and workouts from back in high school (even though my workouts and races were nowhere near as fast as Webb's). Great book to read for anyone that's a runner. This book is good motivation to keep me running.
Nov 24, 2010 Mandy rated it really liked it
For any runner, this is a great book that covers the trials and tribulations you may face. There are good days and bad days. Every runner is different, and the different extremes of training can be both good and bad. If you like running and the thoughts on competition, this is a worth while read.
Aug 08, 2009 John rated it really liked it
Chris Lear writes well. I liked the topic of his first book better, but this is a solid story. Having met both Lear and Webb I would recommend the book. Its interesting to reflect on this book after watching the careers of the guys in this class evolve.
Cory Mccarty
Feb 07, 2011 Cory Mccarty rated it it was amazing
Alan webb a highschool attempts to run the fastest highschool mile. This book shows how he does it and then how he trains in college with all of his college team mates
Wesley Ward
Less stellar of the two Chris Lear books, but good nonetheless. Great prospective into the world that surrounded Webb for the 2nd half of his senior year.
Mar 02, 2009 Ashley rated it really liked it
I have read this a couple of times. I like it but Alan Webb is kind of a jerk sometimes during it.
Nov 29, 2009 Ucsbtrijj314 rated it really liked it
If you love running then you will enjoy reading it. Some chapters are a little too repititious.
Jul 16, 2007 christina rated it liked it
ha ha ha, you knew i had to review it! ah, the ex. finally getting his dessert. good for him!
May 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Not as good as Running With the Buffaloes, but I couldn't put it down.
Robin Rogers
Dec 15, 2007 Robin Rogers rated it liked it
Not quite as good as Running with the Buffaloes, but still very enjoyable.
Alec Bennett
Jan 14, 2009 Alec Bennett is currently reading it
so far i like this book because its about running
May 13, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it
good if you are obsessed with running as I am :)
Ericgr3gory marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
A L rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2016
HT rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2016
Leah Jurss
Leah Jurss marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2016
Justin added it
Sep 11, 2016
Orrin Konheim
Orrin Konheim rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2016
Hunter marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Shahbaaz marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-founder
  • The Extra Mile: One Woman's Personal Journey to Ultra-Running Greatness
  • Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon
  • Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
  • Life at These Speeds
  • Again to Carthage
  • Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach
  • An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age
  • The Runner's Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running
  • Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon
  • To the Edge: A Man, Death Valley, and the Mystery of Endurance
  • A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York
  • Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss
  • Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion's Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream
  • The Complete Book of Running
  • The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It
  • To Be a Runner: How Racing Up Mountains, Running with the Bulls, or Just Taking On a 5-K Makes You a Better Person (and the World a Better Place)
  • Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Share This Book