The NCAA Fitness Tests?

Last night, I stupidly didn’t go to bed until way too late, considering I had to get up at 6:30 a.m. this morning. I didn’t go to bed because I was reading this Runner’s World article about the pre-season fitness test NCAA ball athletes have to go through.

Apparently, Runner’s World does not post it’s articles on the information super highway, because I can’t find it online. You can, however, watch the RW editors try the tests themselves. (Ah, the internet.) But, don’t worry, I’ll summarize:

NCAA field athletes (soccer, football, basketball, etc) typically have to do a pre-season general fitness test. If they pass, good for them. If not, they usually have to add an extra session of running each day on top of twice-a-day practice until they do pass.

The thing that was weird and the reason I kept reading after midnight was that the whole premise was that this test is SO HARD, everyone dreads it, Stanford female soccer players (who are some of the best in the country) can barely pass it. So, I kept waiting to learn what was so hard.

There are typically three kinds of tests used. Here they are:

The Cooper Test: Run around the track for 12′. The general standard for the female NCAA athletes was 2800m, 1.75 miles, in 12′.

– The Gauntlet: Run a mile in under 6:30; run an 800m in under 3:30; run a 400m in under 1:45. 1′ rest between each.

The Beep Test: A test where you set cones 20m apart and must run back and forth between the cones as a beep sounds. You must pass the cone before the beep sounds. Each level the beeps get closer together, meaning you must run faster. Each level lasts just over 1′. The standard is to achieve a 12.5 — the 12th level + at least 5 shuttle runs at that level. At the 12th level, you get 5.14 seconds to run the 20m. (We did this as our fitness test in high school and my recollection was that I got around 13. Typically, the hardest part was getting up to speed and then changing direction quickly enough as you got to the faster levels.)

I’m not saying any of these are easy. I’m just saying I don’t know that they warrant a story about how hard they are either. Unless the story is holy shit, apparently the best female soccer players in the NCAA can’t run 1.75 miles in 12′?!

Don’t you a little bit want to go out and try these now?