Time and time again I ask, “When will these football players get into shape?” Joe Buck instantly called it. “ Breece Hall ran out of gas” on his 83 yard run against the Bills the other night. Right next door on ESPN2, Eli Manning preached it as he saw Hall fade fifteen yards before Christian Benford ran him down. eli screamed, “He’s not in shape, he’s not in shape, ” Hall could smell the end zone but tired legs couldn’t get him to the house.

Only Speaking Truth

Noah Lyles would have been better off telling the sports world that few, if any, athletes train harder and are in better shape than him and his fellow track athletes. Forget the world title nonsense. Lyles should have pronounced to the world no one works harder than track athletes. Yep, I’ll throw those field people in there. I’ll bet you Brian Crouser can dunk a sixteen pound shot put. 

A track athlete that gets gassed or isn’t in shape is In the Stands watching the people who did the work get the job done.

Kids are taught from the time they start playing sports to work hard and get into shape. The reality is if an athlete wants to know what being in shape feels like they gotta run track.

Years ago, there were a few track people who ran track and excelled on the gridiron. Two who come to mind are O.J Simpson and Herschel Walker. O.J even ran on a world record 4×100 relay team when he was at USC. Herschel was on the U.S Junior track team before football consumed his time. Bad examples but they prove the point, “One has to be a little crazy to work as hard as it takes to excel at track.” 

The Real Work

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1968: O.J. Simpson #108 of the University of Southern California Trojans looks on from the sidelines during an NCAA college track and field event circa 1968. from 1967-68. Simpson played football for USC from 1967-68. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Now it’s all about throwing around some weights, taking a few hits and running a few twenty or thirty yard bursts to be on the football team. You want to crush workouts that make you see your life flash before your eyes? Run track. Then you will really know you did something.

Watch Carl Lewis and Mike Marsh make this 6 x 200 look like a stroll in Sam Houston Park. They ran these 200s in 28 seconds with about a minute and half rest between each interval. I promise no football player can do this workout. Maybe a few Premier League or Bundesliga League players can match the effort. The shit is hard. This is how true world titles are won.

People will argue this is an apples to oranges comparison. People will say spending time on running is a misallocation of the time necessary to prepare for the game. Wrong!

Bread a Butter

The workout in this video trains speed endurance. It makes one swift and nimble while everyone else is tired. It’s a recipe for second and third efforts. It keeps you focused on the game because you’re not looking for your next breath. It keeps you on your toes in the fourth quarter when everyone else can’t feel their legs.

So, they go to the weight room to get a little more strength instead of the track to find some speed and endurance. Riddle me this. What does every football player need: Twenty pounds on their max or a tenth of a second off their 40? Speed kills. 

Athletes that ran are etched in history. Everyone knows Jerry Rice. Few know he had a crazy hill he ran all Summer to prepare him for training camp and the grueling season. Many tagged along to see what the magic was. Two, three days later they were gone. It was too hard.

Train Hard. Run Track. It’s worth it.

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