Bonus Post: Mastery of the metric mile

Hello, We Run and Riders: Here’s a touch of inspiration for you.
I don’t know how much you paid attention to the Olympics back in 1984, or if you were even alive. But distance running was in an amazing transition at the time. Raw speed was taking over from endurance.
There were three English milers: Steve Ovett (mile world record holder) Sebastian Coe (800 world record holder) and Steve Cram, a British wunderkind, the Dolph Lungren of distance runners. Cram was tall, rangy and fast, and soon to take the mantle of Coe and Ovett, who in the three-year lead up up to the Olympics had repeatedly broken the mile and 800 records.
All three British runners made the Olympic final.
When you watch this race, you will see the difference between Coe and all the others. For one thing, Coe could run 400 meters in about 44 seconds. That kind of speed is still relatively rare amongst distance runners. And Coe knew how to use it.
More importantly, and strategically, Coe is never in the wrong place. When someone makes a move, Coe isn’t panicking. In fact he is so good at race strategy he is able to take their full measure in a studied glance. Watch for it. His mind is trained as well as his body. He takes everything in with a glance. And makes his moves wisely.
He embodies all the qualities of a world champion.
It’s a fascinating race at many levels.
I met Sebastian Coe when he was far from the glory shown here. He had been fighting injuries due to his very flat feet. A podiatrist in Illinois was treating Sebastian Coe. The strength of the man was incredible. He was able to leg press more than 700 lbs. But his flat feet caused his calves to pull, which led to other problems. If I recall correctly, the highly competitive Steve Ovett was suffering from illness or allergies. Perhaps a hamstring pull.
So he was fitted with orthotics and went on to win the Olympic 1500 meter title. So much for minimalism. In a small touch of convergence, the American Jim Spivey visited the same podiatrist as Coe in suburban Illinois.

About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at, and Online portfolio:
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