On Demand Inspiration: 7 American Records to Motivate Your Running

This is a compilation of American Records from sprint events on the track to long road races. We all need some inspiration, so why not look to those who are breaking records and stretching the limits of human performance?

Strictly for space considerations, I haven’t included every event and I only used men’s performances.


Tyson Gay broke the American Record in the 100m on September 20, 2009 in Shanghai, China by running 9.69 seconds. I might wear a speed-suit like the one he wears in my next race. Thoughts?


Michael Johnson broke the 400m American Record on August 26, 1999 in Spain. Running 43.18, this record was also the World Record, and highlighted Johnson’s upright running style with his trademark gold spikes.

1 Mile

Alan Webb broke Steve Scott’s American Record in the mile while he was in Germany in a small meet. Running 3:46.91, Webb became one of the top ten milers of all time with this performance.

Two Miles

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Matt Tegenkamp set the American Record in the 2-mile at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR on October 6, 2007. Running 8:07.07 for 3rd place, Tegenkamp beat Alan Webb’s 8:11.48 mark set on April 6, 2005.

5,000m (Indoor)

Bernard Lagat ran 13:11.50 on February 6, 2010 to set the American Record in the indoor 5k. This race is awesome in my mind because I’ve raced on this track! Growing up outside Boston, I frequently ran larger indoor track races at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, MA. Awesome venue, awesome race.


Chris Solinsky became the first American to run under 27 minutes for 10k by clocking a 26:59.60 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on May 1, 2010. What makes this race so unbelievable (besides his ridiculous compression socks), is that this was his first attempt at 10,000 meters.


Ryan Hall crushed the former 21 year old American Record by over a minute in Houston, TX. Running 59:43, Hall ran away from the field and became the first American to run under an hour for 13.1 miles.

Unfortunately, a lot of videos aren’t available on YouTube and other sites such as Flotrack so this list is obviously limited. But it provides a good flavor of incredible performances to get you excited to train hard and race fast.

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