Here's an anecdote about summer exercise. In the late 1970s the Army briefly decided to introduce a 4-mile run requirement. In full uniform, with boots and steel helmet (we didn't have the current Kevlar yet).
I was a Captain Company Commander, and had to announce this to about 200 soldiers. You can imagine how well that was received. But I had my marching orders, no option.
So when I told my troops this, in formation, I said I would "MAX" the run myself, to motivate them. Meaning I would get the minumum time to earn a max 100 points, I think around 28 minutes. You had to get 60 points to pass, whatever that time was, scaled by age.
And if I didn't succeed I pledged to buy "Every man, woman and child in this Company a drink at the NCO Club." (NCO = sergeants & enlisted club) A stupid boast, but I wanted to movivate them. Because I knew they were not happy about this unexpected requirement.
I kept urging my soldiers to do practice runs on their own. But I never did that myself. My inbox was always overflowing, I was drowning in paperwork. I barely got outside my office door.
The big day came. My First Sergeant had told me the rumor going around was that I was a champion runner or something, and my boastful challenge was hollow. OK, I can respond to that.
The morning of the run we had our Campany formation. And I came out of the Orderly Room, to address my soldiers, and held up a brand new, unlaced pair of unworn quartermaster combat boots.
And I said I had heard some rumors. In response, this is what I will wear for the run. New, unbroken issue boots. The Sergeants especially cringed at it. You simply cannot do that. Hell, you can barely walk in them.
I sat down on the steps to my office, took off my spit-shined Corcoran jump boots in front of everyone, and laced up these new boots for the first time. It was a stupid stunt, but I could see it was getting the effect I wanted.
When the run started I had arranged for 3 jeeps (no HUMVEES back then) to depart at the same time, with stopwatches started at the same moment as the runners departed. To station themselves and announce the time at the 1, 2, and 3-mile intervals.
I had calculated how fast I had to do each mile. When I reached a jeep I always had time to spare (I was wearing any early digital watch with timer). So I collapsed over the hood, for a breather & rest, panting like crazy. And then took off when my time was up.
By pacing myself I succeeded. I finished a little over 27 minutes. Avoided having to pay off on my challenge. Naturally my feet were a disaster, sore for weeks.
It was remarked I finished 8th, and was the oldest, the first Officer by about 40 runners. With the first 7 guys all being younger, tall, long-legged Black guys. Others brought this to my attention. I was merely proud I had such capable soldiers in my command, and commended them all. Yah know, I don 't think a single soldier failed the test. That's what pleases you, not your own results (well, I did manage to avoid paying out several hundred dollars at the club, a great incentive for ME).
I'm just this little short-shit when it comes to running. But I am goddam determined, and I think I made my point with my troops. I never asked them to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. Lead by example.