Peter Coe’s Diagnostic Tests

Peter Coe was the father of Seb Coe, and an engineer turned middle distance coach. He approached his son’s training scientifically and helped Seb achieve 13 World Records and countless trophies and medals. Coe wrote a book detailing his training methods, strength and conditioning approach, and running workouts to help other middle-distance runners win.  

There are runners who seem to be performing quite well but are often, quite unknown to themselves, not reaching their full potential because of a lack of specific or all-round strength.

Peter Coe

In his book, Winning Running; Successful 800m & 1500m Racing and Training, Coe lists a set of tests and standards to help runners identify gaps in their overall conditioning. Once the gaps are identified, the runner can create a programme to address them.

Balke TestRun as far as possible in 15 minutes. Divide the distance in meters by 15 to give the speed in meters per minute. Subtract 133 from this number, then multiply by 0.172, then add 34.4 to get oxygen intake in ml/kg/min.
Standard Broad JumpAthletes height plus 25%A standing long jump
Hopping Test10 hopsMark out a 25m track, one-legged hop the distance. Repeat on the other leg to identify imbalances 
50m Dash6.5 secondsAs the name suggests
Free Weights
– Curl50% body weight
– Press70% body weight
– Squat100% body weight
Sarjent Jump65 cmMeasure the maximum verticle jump
Harvard Step TestScore of 180Using a 20 inch (50cm) step and a metronome set to 120 bpm and perform 30 steps per minute (4 beats per step) for 5 minutes. Rest for 1 minute and count the beats for the next 30 seconds. Multiply the time in seconds by 100, divide it by the 30 second pulse count, and then multiply it by 5.5 to get your score. 
Height-weight Ratio10% less that the Dr Stillman formula result for your heightUsing Dr. Stillman’s formular  – give 50kg for the first 1.5 meters of height then add 2.5kg for each additional 2.5cm 
Percentage Body Fat8%
Muscular Endurance TestThe maximum number in a minute
– Press-ups50
– Squat thrusts50
– Sit-ups60
– Pull-ups20
Diagnostic tests for middle distance runners