Roger Bannister was not the fastest runner when he became the fastest runner. He was the first person to break the four minute mile, and as soon as he did it a wave of other runners followed suit because their minds could accept that it was possible. And as I stated, Roger was not the fastest.
He was fast, but he was really a doctor. He was in his early 20's and wanted to study but knew he was capable of something special. So he trained an hour or less five days a week. That's 5 hours of training to do something that was literally at the time impossible.
No 10,000 hours. In the year leading up to breaking the four minute mile he did 2% of 10,000 hours.
Roger Bannister is not lazy, he even got his Knighthood from the queen mum. Roger wanted to run fast and so he didn't waste time running slow. He could have but because of the fact that he wanted other things more he didn't.
He is what I will now term selectively lazy. It sounds like something Tim Ferries would say so just in case I stole that from him somewhere, thanks Tim.
Selectively lazy is when you don't do the ancillary work that others do because others do it. You have to run a 100 miles a week because everyone is running a hundred miles a week. You have to spend 50 hours in the office because everyone is spending 50 hours in the office.
Nature abhors a vacuum and our very nature pushes us that if we have the time/money/energy we should fill up any vacuum.
The only way to combat this is to choose to do something else that you love. Fill up that vacuum with something that has purpose and meaning. I don't think Roger hated running, you don't try and break the 4 minute mile unless there is some drive/desire/passion for the sport. But I think he understood that he would actually do better if he didn't lose himself in the training.
I wonder how many fields or endeavors would have major break throughs if we looked at them through the same lens?