Marius, I too truly appreciate your input on this subject. While for some reading this thread, and possibly even for you ( I am not sure, I know that you have been asked to contribute on this subject many times before), it may seem like a boring question by now, but *I* still think it is worth finding an answer to.
Why??? Because Seb is one of the greatest middle distance runners ever, and his 1:41 /3:29 800/1500 combo has STILL YET TO BE SURPASSED (no other runner has ever broken 1:42 and 3:30). So, genetic freak or not ( aren't ALL of the all-time great runners genetic marvels on some level?? Of course they are), it is still worth knowing how he trained. He and his father and those close to him have always maintained that he ran "low" total miles compared to many elite milers (but again, not all, because others like Spivey, Krummenacker and Lagat also claim to have trained on a "low" volume scheme: 60's per week, no more). Now NO ONE has ever claimed that Coe did not train extremely hard. Putting in lots of miles, while usually a necessary ingredient for most top runners, is NOT the ONLY way to train hard (weights, plyos, cross-training, intensity, crash-training are all training elements that = hard work....they just do not necessarily = lots of overall average weekly mileage). But others have started the rumors that Coe purposely "lied" about his training, and tried to mislead people. They have been stating that he regularly trained in the 80-100 mile range during base phases(some even stating the he trained over 100 per week). I think such statements about his training are patently FALSE.
And I think that your information supports my belief. You wrote that sping of ’84 he is running at about 40 per week, consisting of mostly steady runs. Now for steady runs, one usually does not do warm-ups/warm-downs. So call it 45 if you like, but it is under 50 for sure.
And then you talk of winter ’81, clearly a base phase. You state that there were only a "few" 60-70 mile weeks. You also state that yes, indeed, warm-ups were not counted. But how many "quality/speed" workouts a week was he doing? If 3 a week, then an extra "15 miles" of warm-ups/downs sounds like a maximum for someone whose "warmups were not that long." But sure, call it 15 more miles if you must. And what do you get? 75-85 miles "AT THE MOST"….and again only a few weeks of that (his highest weeks). So….it appears to me, that is likely that during his base phases, his AVERAGE (one or two high weeks does not make an average) would still end up likely just at or under 70. And that is all I have been maintaining all along. I never said that Coe NEVER ran a week over 70 or 80 miles counting every step he ran. No, just that his average base weeks were likely in the 60’s (ok, maybe high 60’s) and his other periods were likely averaging under 60.
Bottom line, this was no regular 80-100 miles per week guy that so many are maintaining.
Marius, if you would like to be the one to settle this once for all, yes, PLEASE e-mail Peter or Seb, and that would do it. Please ask him/them this one simple question (simple, but precise)-
During Seb’s "base" (aerobic build-up) phases of each year (did he have two base phases each year?), over his career (1978-1986), how many miles per week would he AVERAGE for those periods?
That’s it. And to make sure there is no controversy, make he understands these points:
* Ask him to, before doing his calculation, add in any warm-up/warm down miles run before/after track workouts that might not have been originally counted.
* Ask him to again, give us an AVERAGE. We are not looking for his highest week in a given year, or even his highest base period average over just one particular year (such a week or year might be an anomaly). Just the AVERAGE weekly mileage(ALL MILES, even jogging) during base periods over the prime of hiscareer.
The answer to THAT question will settle this long, and OK…..starting to get boring…. debate.
THANKS Marius, you will save future generations PLENTY of wasted time arguing this one point!!! J