Hybrid athlete Fergus Crawley is known for his feats of strength and endurance that challenge his physical limits. Whether running a marathon and a half after posting a 600-kilogram powerlifting total, a sub-12 hour triathlon after a 1,200-kilogram powerlifting total, a 289-mile triathlon, or running a sub-20 minute 5K after deadlifting 500 pounds, Crawley’s engine and strength are unique in the fitness world.
On July 10, 2023, Crawley published a video on his YouTube channel wherein he ran a mile in five minutes and 16 seconds at a 93-kilogram (205-pound) body weight. Check it out below:
In 2020, Crawley squatted 500 pounds and ran a 4:58 mile the same day. He hasn’t prioritized improving his mile time since then, but he’s determined to change that. After several warm-up laps, Crawley acknowledged his disadvantage of facing headwinds on one stretch of the track, which acted as resistance. However, there were no tailwinds to provide any beneficial push on the other side.
I’m really enjoying this style of training at the moment — lifting heavy and running fast.
Crawley wore spikes for this timed run. Although he recently used them for a few 400-meter runs, this was his first attempt at running a mile in them. This was cause for worry, as the spikes ‘impact on Crawley’s calves could affect his pace, which would be the benchmark for setting goals for the remainder of the year.
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Crawley’s Mile Breakdown
Crawley took the viewers through the run with voice-over commentary:
Crawley’s goal for the first lap was 1:15. He settled into the run after the first 400 meters but felt the spikes affected his form by restricting his gait. Looking back, Crawley believed lifting his knees higher and driving through could improve his cadence.
Crawley reached the halfway point of the mile at 2:37. Crawley’s recent 5K runs on this track benefited his mindset as his morale remained high through the back half of the mile despite the flaws imposed by the spikes.
Crawley believes the third lap is the most important on a mile run because that is where one has to “make a decision.”
Am I going to hold on, or am I going to scale back and cost myself the chance of being able to see this through?
Although Crawley maintained his pace for the third lap, he recognized he was not in his optimal cardiovascular shape for a best-effort mile run and opined that he could improve his speed in training. Crawley’s view of training is that it is simply hard work that does not allow for shortcuts. He is excited and anxious about the work he knows needs to be done to improve.
Crawley felt the wind resistance mount on the final lap, as is to be expected with fatigue setting in. Nonetheless, he completed the mile run in five minutes and 16 seconds. In retrospect, he acknowledged that he couldn’t deliver an all-out effort in this run.
Crawley attempted this run after a high-volume lower body workout and was optimistic about his future performance when fully recovered. He achieved his objective of completing each lap between the 1:15 and 1:20 mark, which makes him hopeful of a faster pace with more targeted practice and better technique.
Crawley has set his sights on a new goal: deadlift 500 pounds and run a mile in under five minutes. Michael Miraglia is the only person who has verifiably completed this challenge.
In July 2020, Crawley became the second person ever after CrossFit athlete Adam Klink to run a sub-five-minute mile and back squat 500 pounds the same day. If Crawley accomplishes his new goal, he will become the first athlete to achieve both.
Featured image: @ferguscrawley on Instagram