For Sebastian Coe, 1983 seemed to be the beginning of another banner year!
With many World record performances going back four years over distances consisting of the 800 meters, 1500 meters, and the Mile, Coe’s tough winter running (under the supervision of his Father/Coach Peter Coe) and weight training (guided by George Gandy) seemed to be leading to upwards 1983 performances as well, culminating at the first ever World Outdoor Track & Field Championships being held in the summer at Helsinki!
Yet Coe felt something was off.
“I was finding it harder to train than before,” recalled Coe.
“There was frustration in that I would have one or two good workouts but then would feel frustrated with others.”
“It wasn’t quite right.”
Most runners at any level would just chalk up the inconsistency to the effects of training. As one person once put it , “The closer one is to peak, the closer one is to a breakdown.” But Coe was feeling other types of effects during his training period.
“I was a student again during this time and, aside from feeling “off” I was also finding it hard to study and read.”
“Cracking On!” (As the Brits say!), in Coe ran a winning indoor 1500 meter race ((3:42.60) in February of ‘83 on Britain’s indoor track in Cosford, despite informing the media he was suffering from time to time with a glandular fever.
Then, before a packed house, Coe would return to Cosford again in March to compete in the GB VS USA 800 enters.
“The indoor track at Cosford was kind of new in that it was a rubberized banked track with concrete under it,” said Coe. “It was an old RAF base World War 2 training center airbase.”
“It was our only indoor track in Britain!”
Conditions were not exactly conducive for Coe and the other competitors either.
“It was so cold in there you warmed up in 4 sweatshirts!” recalled Coe. “Most of the heat was generated by the crowd!”
The crowd also gave off inspiration for Coe. Competing against fellow Brit Peter Elliott and Americans Gerry Masterson and Scott Ryder, Coe followed
pacemaker Colin Szwed through a 51-second 400 split and then, all alone, surged away majestically, clocking 1 minute 44.91 seconds to smash his own world mark by more than a second!
“I’m not that sharp and nowhere near race fit,” said Coe at the time. “I would have been satisfied to run 1.46. But I do enjoy running indoors, and I…
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