BROWSE ALL +65 ATHLETES / Seb Coe
Seb Coe training

Seb Coe training.
Seb ‘Sebastian’ Coe now president of the IAAF, is a four time British Olympic medalist and former world record holder. Coe once held all 4 of middle distance events (800m, 1000m, 1500m and the mile) world records simultaneously for a single one hour, until Steve Ovett broke the mile world record. Seb was coached by his father Peter Coe, who had no former running or coaching experience. Despite this, under the guidance of his father, Seb experienced great success.

“I think one of the major benefits that I had, was that Peter did not come from an athletic background. Now, some people could say, well, the sessions he sets are hard simply because he doesn’t know what It’s like to have to run those kinds of sessions. I look at that as a distinct advantage” – Seb



Interestingly, according to Coe/Martin book, Seb wasn’t a noticeable junior figure over 800m, and didn’t appear within UK’s top 25 800m juniors runners growing up. However his father/coach recognized his potential early on, and was quoted saying:” [at] 14, I really thought he was good, and at 16 I was certain, that if I was patient and played it right, that he’d be a world beater”.

Below is Seb Coe’s training as an 18 year old runner, with personal bests of 3:45 in the 1500m, and 8:14 in the 3000m. These logs below look at his training leading up to those respective performances. 

Example 1

DAY

AM

PM

Sunday

5 miles easy

30 x 100m on slight hill

Monday

7 miles easy

 

Tuesday

7 x 800m

 

Wednesday

11 miles easy

 

Thursday

1 x (400m + 300m + 200m + 150)

3 miles easy

Friday

4 x 1200m, 10 x 150m

 

Saturday

30 x 100m on slight hill

4 miles easy

Sunday

7 x 400m

 

Monday

7 miles easy

 

Tuesday

4 miles easy. 10 x 100m

 

Wednesday

3 miles easy

 

Thursday

1500m race in 3:50

 

Friday

4 miles easy

1 x (200m + 400m + 300m + 200m)

Saturday

4.5 miles easy

20 x 200m

Sunday

1 x (100m + 300m) + (2 x 400m)

 

Monday

5 miles easy.

5 miles easy. 

Tuesday

5 miles easy.

 

Wednesday

3000m race in 8:14.2

 

Sunday

 

8 miles easy

 

 

 

 

Example 2

DAY

AM

PM

Sunday

Work with weights

8 miles easy

Monday

4 miles easy

20 x 200m in 28 sec. 

Tuesday

4 miles easy

4 x 400m + 1 x 1600m

Wednesday

4 x 150m in 18 sec, 3 x 300m in 41 sec, 1 x 400m 

 

Thursday

4 miles easy.

10 x 400m in 60 sec.

Friday

Weight work 

 

Saturday

7 x 800m in 2:10 average 

 

Sunday

1 x 200m + 400m + 200m + 300m + 4 x 100m

6 miles easy

Monday

4 miles easy 

 

Tuesday

4 miles easy

strides to loosen legs

Wednesday

1500m race in 3:45

 

 

Seb Coe as a senior athlete:

Into and throughout his senior career, Seb very rarely ran more than 90km weeks. He followed a 5-pace training system (400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m paced workouts) as a means of addressing the various ‘types’ of running. Seb ran 4 of the 5 paces all year, dropping only the 3km pace in winter. “The 5K pace is golden. It eradicates the need for big mileage” – Peter Coe. During the winter, a considerable portion of his time was spent resistance/weight training. Seb focused on pushing a particular a high resistance with fewer reps.

Quotes

Seb on training:
“Training to be good has to be systematic, it has to be progressive, it has to be hard. It’s very nice at the end of the day to go out and run for therapeutic purposes, but by and large, anyone who’s noticing the scenery or what every it is playing in his ears is not possibly working quite as hard as he should be”  – Seb Coe

Seb on modern culture:
“I worry we have a generation that thinks those 10 minutes on a Saturday night are what it’s about. What do you say in the light of the 10-minute culture? How do explain that it may take years of training to reach one’s full potential? That is the challenge.” – Seb Coe

Seb on his father being his coach:
“He’s intelligent, he has a scientist’s mind, hes a qualified engineer, and is inclined to look at the sport from what he might say as first principles. Everything in mechanics you work through on the basis he has worked through systematically. Firstly he has a great capacity for understanding, and a great capacity for research and for applying that research to a specific need which is getting me to run faster. “- Seb

Peter on Seb’s training:
The quality of what you do is much more important than the quantity. Why pound the life out of a young runner when you can develop it with quality. Now the bit about quality is that if you think about it in terms of speed and speed endurance, you are mentality equipping him to not so much go through a pain barrier but to learn that no matter how badly he feels, he can still go. And when you’re faced with the last lap of a solo run in a world record, there is no physiological secrets, no dietary aids, other than that single bloody minded will, that hang on, over that last 400 and come sprinting through the line. And if you don’t engender that along the way, you’re missing the whole point of what the training is about.” – Peter Coe

Seb Coe training – Los Angeles Olympics 800m and 1500m build-up

 

Tue 10 July:
Flight to Chicago. PM: Post travelling easy-steady run @6-6:30/mile

Wed 11 July
AM: tempo run + 3x1600m @4:40/mile pace (3min rest)

Thu 12 July
AM: 6 mile recovery run
PM: 3 mile tempo in 14:30

Fri 13 July
AM: track intervals – 30x200m in 27/28sec “introduction to race pace, but not deeply anaerobic”

Sat 14 July
AM: 2x(3x300m) @ 39sec (2min between reps, 9min between sets). “Lengthening the short-distance intervals and speed, but keeping good recovery”:

Sun 15 July
6 mile recovery run

Mon 16 July
AM: 6x800m in 2:00 off 3min rest
PM: 4 miles easy

Tue 17 July
AM: 5 miles easy
PM: 10x100m sprints

Wed 18 July
AM: 6x300m in 41sec with 2min rest (progression from Saturday session)
PM: 4 miles easy

Thu 19 July
AM:  20x200m in 27/28sec “ Short intervals to sharpen speed and still maintain a good heart/lung stimulus but keeping mileage low”:
PM: 5 miles easy

Fri 20 July
AM: 10x100m-200m (each rep 10m longer) in @14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 sec, with jog-back recovery

Sat 21 July
6-7 miles varied pace endurance run, including mixed accelerations

Sun 22 July
Full rest = no running. Travelling to LA and Olympic Village

Mon 23 July
“Start of alternating hard and easy session, taking particular care not to carry over fatigue from the previous”
AM: 6x800m hard in 2:00 with min recovery
PM: 4 miles easy

Tue 24 July
 30 min easy running on grass

Wed 25 July
AM: 6x400m @51/52 sec with 5 min recovery (progression from 200 and 300m sessions)
PM: 5 miles easy

Thurs 26 July
30min easy grass running

Fri 27 July
AM: 6x300m in 38/39 sec off 3min rest
PM: easy 5 miles

Sat 28 July
Full rest

Sun 29 July
400m/600m/400m/300m/200m in 55/82/53/36/25sec with 2min rest. “Not as fast as Wednesday”

Mon. 30 July
AM: 4 miles easy
PM 6x300m in 38/39sec off 2min recovery (reduced recovery from last session)

Tue 31 July
AM: 4 miles
PM: 10x200m @27 sec with 2 min recovery, 800m maintenance session

Wed 01 August
3x400m @52/51/51 sec  with 4min recovery, a second 800m maintenance session

Thu 02 August
Just very easy jogging to stay loose

Fri 03 August
AM: easy 3 miles with strides
PM: 800m heat #1 followed by easy jogging

Sat 04 August
AM: easy 3 miles with strides during run
PM: 800m semi final

 Sun 05 August
 Easy jogging and some strides

Mon 06 August
AM: easy jogging
PM: 800m Olympic Final (2nd in 1:43:64)

Tue 07 August
8 miles easy running, no fast-paced racing-style efforts

Wed 08 August
“no fast-paced racing-style efforts” 10x100m easy strides and accelerations

Thu 09 August
AM 3 miles easy plus a few faster paced strides
PM race 1,500 heat #1 with post race jogging

Fri 10 August
AM: easy jogging
PM: race 1,500m semi-final with post race jogging

Sat 11 August:
AM: easy jogging
PM: Olympic 1500m final (1st in 3:32:53)

Click here to view Coe’s career progressions

Seb coe training.