How far do you run playing tennis

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by movdqa, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I wanted to measure how far I run playing tennis so I strapped on a Garmin 610 and hit for 52 minutes today. The measured distance was 1.49 miles which doesn't seem like a lot. I'm going to get speed graphs when I upload the watch data to Garmin's servers tonight to replay my movements on the court.

    Anyone else try this?
     
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  2. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Sounds about right..2 hours of tennis is usually 2-3 miles if it is singles and you are playing at a decently high level.

    Think about it, you are running hard in intervals, not jogging so it is actually a fair amount of distance
     
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  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Does your watch also track heart rate? If so, it would be interesting to add that to your graphs.

    Of course, different people will hit different heart rates doing the exact same thing, but if it is detailed enough, it should tell you if most of those 1.49 miles are like aerobic intervals (50-80% of max heart rate) or anaerobic intervals (80-95% of max heart rate).

    I suspect tennis is mainly an aerobic interval activity, with a few anaerobic intervals tossed in.

    When I wore a heart rate monitor a while back, I rarely exceeded 150 bpm, so I rarely if ever got into the anaerobic interval zone (which I think is 170+ bpm for me). Most rallies were played around 110-140 bpm. Between points, I was often around 80-90 bpm.

    Anyway, that told me that I should concentrate on improving my aerobic endurance and do anaerobic intervals about once per week.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/90928-heart-rate-interval-training/
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
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  4. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    It came with an HRM strap but I haven't tried it out yet. I only used it for the first time yesterday for a run so I'm getting used to the controls. In general I was moving quite a bit (working on my footwork, getting at a sharp angle on one-handed backhands, and really moving in on short balls) so I got moderately tired.

    I will have to try it in a match sometime - I'm not sure if there's more or less distance in a match over the same period of time. You certainly move a lot more in a point but you have a lot of starts and stops in-between points and on the changeovers.

    It would be fun to see how far the pros move in comparison to recreational players.

    BTW, the Garmin actually measure how far your left arm (in my case) moves, not the distance running as that's where the device is located.

    I'm playing an indoor match tomorrow so I won't be able to try it out. Next match is doubles on Friday - I think I'll give it a try - maybe to see the contrast between singles and doubles.
     
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  5. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Don't try the following without doctor's clearance and I am just stating a fantasy example. The following is by no means my recommendation. I am just stating that this might be the way tennis players could improve their conditioning.

    How about doing 1.5 to 2 miles of sprinting for 20 seconds followed by walking for 20 seconds? Just a thought? :evil:

    Don't curse at me when you are done!
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    No, try running 1/2 mile, sprinting for 7 FEET, stopping, then sprinting another direction 5", stopping, then sprinting a different direction 7'.
    Now you pushers might cruise 15' before stopping.
     
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  7. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    I like that, but I am curious as to why you chose 1/2 mile? Also, how do you know you are doing a 1/2 mile if you are sprinting in all kinds of directions? I think that style would just have to be done for 10 seconds on and 10 seconds off or 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off or 20 seconds on and 20 seconds off. all the best..


     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I doubt anyone in the world can sprint 7', stop, then go again for more than 1/2 mile. I think closer to 1000 feet is reality for endurance sprint training.
    Hard to measure, if you change directions.
    I have watched some older pros get on court, sprint tennis style around their court from service line to baseline to sideline, to center of baseline to other side to center to service line, for about 20 minutes non stop. I'd die if I tried it.
     
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  9. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Anyone who does this for 20 minutes in a row is simply not working on the explosive/white fast twitch muscle fibers. Instead of training for endurance they are unknowingly training themselves to become slower. 20 seconds all out and 20 seconds of rest would be much more beneficial to their tennis specific endurance.
     
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  10. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Expand on this please......
     
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  11. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Why certainly.... The following link was a short paper written by Dr. Mark Kovacs (former director of sport science for the USTA high performance program)
    http://coachesresource.uspta.com/(S...newsletterid=14&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    I mostly agree with the Dr. Kovacs recommendations here. As someone who has actually worked with extremely high level players and going from not just a theoretical but an applied/practical viewpoint, I tend to begin training programs on the cautious side. Therefore, I have players run longer 600 and 400 meter distances in the beginning.(not tennis specific as Kovacs says) My philosophy is that I don't want the player ripping their muscles and tendons by trying to do all out sprinting without having a base of conditioning. They need to ease into it with the longer runs. After 3-4 weeks of training and building a base, we will certainly work on agility and repeated runs of 200 meters and less.

    (some principles)
    Longer rest periods=speed development
    Shorter rest periods=endurance development
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I'd just ask a few questions on the article above specifically and also how it relates to your statement that individuals that run for longer distances "are unknowingly training themselves to become slower".

    1) The article says at the very beginning that a match lasts 2 hours. So is that how long someone has to do these "work/rest" intervals that simulate tennis? If not, how long are they done for? Does this type of training result in a tennis player that is "tennis fit" in the 3rd (5th?) set, or only in the first set? Is this the the way a guy like David Ferrer has achieved his amazing ability to last hour after hour (3, 4, 5 hours straight) of grinding tennis? Does he avoid all forms of long distance running?

    2) How often do these workouts need to be performed to build up "tennis endurance" or "tennis fitness"?

    3) If these are done (mainly?) in the off-season, does the base built from this training carryover and last throughout the season?

    4) Has the author ever put this training head to head against the type of training he says is inefficient? For example, a different thread reports that Andy Murray does 800-meter track repeats. Andy looks to be pretty fit. Is he just "lucky"? Is he benefitting from his other training and just "lucky" that these 800-meter repeats aren't "making him slower"?

    5) Let's take a world class distance runner like (olympic silver medalist in the 10,000-meters) Galen Rupp. This is a man that runs ~100 miles a week or more. Do we want to say that he is slow in tennis terms? Not fit in tennis terms? I just don't buy it. And if this "distance running makes you slow" was true, we'd expect someone as extreme as Galen Rupp to be very, very, very slow.

    6) But let's take your claim that "they are unknowingly training themselves to become slower". Have you tested this claim yourself "in the real world" or is this just something you've read? I ask this because, I used to run distance and train for 5K's (running upwards of 50-60 miles a week for years). When I started playing tennis fresh off this training, I was anything but slow. Anything but not fit. I could play all day (literally). Point after point, I had no trouble putting out good effort and I was ready for the next point (can't always say the same for my opponent). Even now, not training as much or as hard, I'm still fitter and faster than many most everyone I play. Has "distance running" made me slower? No, exactly the opposite.

    So if you could, please take a moment to answer some of the questions I've posed. Tell us a bit about your students and your experiences as a trainer that leads you to conclude that distance running actually makes you slower.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    From years of personal experience, I know that most studies are flawed or need qualifications.
    You guys are talking the theory of getting in shape.
    I'm talking about training to get faster and recover within a tennis court.
    Two very different things.
    This is a tennis forum. We don't need to train for marathons, decaths, or 100 yard sprints. We need to train to move our bodies around the tennis court, and get into hitting position when we arrive.
     
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  14. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    easily 2-3 miles for a 1.5-2 hour match.
     
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  15. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I have decent experience myself. I'm not talking theory.

    10 years ago, I would have put my "tennis fitness" up against most anyone. First set, second set, fifth set. I was ready. I used to play 3-4 matches straight back to back on Saturdays. Then I'd play again Sunday.

    So tell me, does your "experience" tell you that longer runs make you slower or less adept at tennis? What type of experience do you have in that area?
     
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  16. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    I'd just ask a few questions on the article above specifically and also how it relates to your statement that individuals that run for longer distances "are unknowingly training themselves to become slower".

    1) The article says at the very beginning that a match lasts 2 hours. So is that how long someone has to do these "work/rest" intervals that simulate tennis? If not, how long are they done for? Does this type of training result in a tennis player that is "tennis fit" in the 3rd (5th?) set, or only in the first set? Is this the the way a guy like David Ferrer has achieved his amazing ability to last hour after hour (3, 4, 5 hours straight) of grinding tennis? Does he avoid all forms of long distance running?

    A match does perhaps last 2 hours. Sure you will have some very intense points, but remember that you are not sprinting and doing agility during the entire 2 hours. One can get an incredible and extremely intense workout in about 45 minutes. Yes, this training results in players who are more anaerobically fit throughout long matches and tournaments. Tennis is made up of many 10-20 second multidirectional sprints. You must explode to the ball during points. One’s heartrate goes above 90% and drops to below 60% during many points. Appropriate interval training builds players up for this. If you are running straight for many miles, you are incorrectly training your heartrate at a steady state (for tennis).

    As far as David Ferrer is concerned……I just must say that there are significant individual differences between players(even if they do the same training). Can many people move like him on the court? His agility and stamina are what I would call an anomaly and I do not have a good answer for him. People have different muscle fiber makeups. I have heard weird stories about Ferrer (from pretty reliable sources). I heard that he runs 5 miles as a cool down after 5 set matches. ???


    2) How often do these workouts need to be performed to build up "tennis endurance" or "tennis fitness"?

    Depends on tennis match and practice workload during the week. I would suggest 2 and surely no more than 3x a week. Again, depends on one’s overall workload.

    3) If these are done (mainly?) in the off-season, does the base built from this training carryover and last throughout the season?

    Tennis has no specific off season. Yes? Albeit, we can create our own. We do slightly longer runs prior to the major tournaments that we want to peak for. 800’s and 400’s at lower intensity and greater volume to start with and then move into the 300’s 200’s and 100’s. When closer to the event we focus more speed and agility and lower the volume of training.


    4) Has the author ever put this training head to head against the type of training he says is inefficient? For example, a different thread reports that Andy Murray does 800-meter track repeats. Andy looks to be pretty fit. Is he just "lucky"? Is he benefitting from his other training and just "lucky" that these 800-meter repeats aren't "making him slower"? Andy is a great mover. If Andy is doing the 800-meter repeats, then that would be done at the beginning of his off season training. I am aware that he does do 200 meter repeats and takes part in a more specific footwork training regimen as well. These following videos will give you a good idea of what type of tennis specific movement training is done at the highest levels of the sport. All show clips of Andy Murray.

    http://youtu.be/9Q2U2s9zv1Q

    http://youtu.be/QnlltJkkgO4 (notice andy multidirectional exploding for 30 seconds)

    http://youtu.be/zaRBVUdEpnY


    5) Let's take a world class distance runner like (olympic silver medalist in the 10,000-meters) Galen Rupp. This is a man that runs ~100 miles a week or more. Do we want to say that he is slow in tennis terms? Not fit in tennis terms? I just don't buy it. And if this "distance running makes you slow" was true, we'd expect someone as extreme as Galen Rupp to be very, very, very slow.
    Galen Rupp would absolutely not be fit in tennis terms and would be a horrible mover on the court. I would be willing to bet anything that he would tire out quickly and not be able to do the drills shown above at the same pace as Murray, Nadal, Ferrer and many of the other players on tour.

    Let me give you another example(not even discussing multidirectional movement or severe fluctuations in heartrate here): How would Usain Bolt do against Galen Rupp in a 10,000 meter race? How would Galen Rupp do against Usain Bolt in a 100 meter race? Why did you answer as you did? Both races are done in a straight line and with no heart rate fluctuation?

    I would go one step further and say that Usain Bolt would also absolutely not be able to do agility drills with the top tennis pros. He would fade out quickly and would not be able to keep up.

    6) But let's take your claim that "they are unknowingly training themselves to become slower". Have you tested this claim yourself "in the real world" or is this just something you've read? I ask this because, I used to run distance and train for 5K's (running upwards of 50-60 miles a week for years). When I started playing tennis fresh off this training, I was anything but slow. Anything but not fit. I could play all day (literally). Point after point, I had no trouble putting out good effort and I was ready for the next point (can't always say the same for my opponent). Even now, not training as much or as hard, I'm still fitter and faster than many most everyone I play. Has "distance running" made me slower? No, exactly the opposite.

    Again, your muscle fiber type makeup and individual differences could be the reason for your being very fast and fit. I would be willing to say that although you are fast and fit, you certainly could be in even better tennis condition with proper tennis specific training. Perhaps you could get to even more balls?
    Yes, I have tested my claims in the real world and have trained, developed, and significantly improved several national junior champions and other world ranked junior players.

    Prior to training with me, several players had done a great amount of long distance running 3-5 miles 3 or more times a week. When starting out with me, these player’s scored very poorly on numerous footwork and anaerobic tests.

    Please understand that if you take a kid who is out of shape(in my terms) and they are top 20 in the nation, that (out of shape) simply means that they are just far away from their potential of speed and endurance. They of course would still be much faster and have greater endurance than a Joe Average tennis player.


    So if you could, please take a moment to answer some of the questions I've posed. Tell us a bit about your students and your experiences as a trainer that leads you to conclude that distance running actually makes you slower.

    Many have stated how much less out of breath they feel and their heart rate recovery is much quicker.
     
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  17. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Perhaps my utilization of the phrase "make you slower" could easily be misinterpreted. An example might be the following: If Usain Bolt started training incorrectly and ran for miles over a lengthy training period instead of partaking in explosive type training then he may become the 4th or 5th fastest man in the world. Would he become slow? Is the 5th fastest person in the world slow? No! One must simply optimize their own training.

    I will be glad to personally provide you with some on court footwork drills (no cost at all) that you can try yourself. Then you may come to your own conclusions about this. All I would ask is that you give this training a chance.
     
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  18. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that you avoid or ignore the short interval "tennis specific" type training that you advocate. But I'm also suggesting that it is a mistake to ONLY train in that manner and to avoid "long distance running" (something yet to be defined) as it will "make you slower".

    You may be surprised to learn that, even "distance runners" that are competitive do hard interval track workouts.

    I guess overall I'm questioning the idea that you must "only train this way 100% and avoid training this other way 100%". Makes no sense to me.

    Afterall, MOST tennis points will only raise your heart rate to the 110-150 bpm level in my experience (wearing a heart rate monitor for play on a few occasions). Most rallies don't get too intense. BUT, you do play this sport for an extended period (2+ hours), mostly at a slightly elevated heart rate (say in the 90-120 bpm range). IMO, training for this is best done by "aerobic endurance training". To me, this most closely resembles what actually is happening on the court. And sure, you get some "aerobic endurance training" while doing these short "start and stop" intervals you advocate, so your students doing them would see better fitness throughout a match, but I don't think doing these exclusively is the best or most efficient way to train for this (much like doing only "distance running" will give you better tennis fitness in some areas, but is not the best or most efficient way to train for other pieces of tennis fitness).

    Obviously you also need to train for the explosive movement. The quick changes in direction. And all these other types of "tennis specific moves". But that isn't ALL there is to tennis. At least not any tennis I've seen played.

    As for Ferrer, it's possible that he has a higher concentraton of slow-twitch vs. fast twitch muscle fibers. But I think he trains the way he does (runnning for 5 miles after a match) to train for exactly what I'm talking about. He wants to "over-train" his "cardio base", or in other words, he wants to be "cardio strong" long into a tennis match. And it seems to me that this is done by doing what Ferrer is doing.

    Look, when you do "distance running", I'm not advocating an easy jog. You need to keep your heart rate elevated for the entire run. It should be tough. Thats how you increase your aerobic base. Personally, I do my "distance running" in the 155-165 bpm range (unless I'm doing a really long "stamina" run).

    Well, at least that's how I see it. Again, I'm not saying that you avoid either type of training. They are both important.

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  19. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Thank you for clarifying this. I thought that I was just going crazy. I think that I misunderstood some questioning and details. Now I shall explain further. Although you say that points will only raise your heartrate to 110 to 150 bpm and while playing most of the time you are in the 90 bpm-120bpm range, my experiences with nationally and world ranked junior players shows an entirely different picture. The high level players I work with play commonly play several intense points during a match and it is quite normal for their heart rates to get into the 190-200 bpm range. Our anaerobic endurance improvement focus is to make sure that players are able to recover better between points and throughout long matches. (improved heart rate recovery) During the later stages of matches and tournaments, heart rate levels can get to higher levels when the same amount of work is done. With 25 seconds between points, one is in big trouble with their mental focus and technical capabilities if they are starting points at too high of a heartrate level. (ie. If a player is recuperating to 170 bpm after intense points, they would see their level of play rise significantly if after that same type of intense point their heart rate recuperated to between 140 and 150.) Tennis at the highest levels consists of a bunch of intense, short, and multidirectional sprints that may be repeated hundreds of times during the course of a two hour match. (big variances in heartrate). Soccer would be an example of a sport that has a greater aerobic component to it. Players sprint and are moving nonstop throughout an entire game. Their heartrate does not recuperate to the same degree of a tennis players does because they do not get to rest completely between points or changeovers.
     
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  20. Wolffje

    Wolffje New User

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    Here some data from 2 matches i played, data collected by Adidas speedcell:

    Match 1:

    Duration: 3h13m (total time including breaks in between points)
    Distance total: 10.264km
    Rally distance: 5.829km

    This was a 3-6, 7-6, 6-7 match where i had to cover a lot of ground.

    Match 2:

    Duration: 1h16m (total time including breaks in between points)
    Distance total: 3.608km
    Rally distance: 2.335km

    This was a 1-6, 3-6 match, mostly baseline.
     
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  21. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    OK, I see now that these intervals are all that is needed.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
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  22. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    No, you certainly clarified things for me too and I surely appreciate that. I enjoyed our discussions. I have become more aware of the differences that are perhaps across several playing levels, ages, playing styles, etc.

    Based on the heart rate zones that you get into while playing, the approximately 155 bpm that you train at is definitely sufficient and if you continue with that running you certainly would not get tired during matches. The intervals do become a necessity for those who are playing at heartrates that could not be sustained for long periods of time. In those cases we would absolutely have to incorporate some of the 90%-95% of hrm into their training. If one is playing several points at 85% hrm during a match, they would see improvement in heart rate recovery with at least some interval training at 90%. At 90%+ there is no tennis specific need to do intervals lasting more than 30-45 seconds.
     
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  23. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Sorry about that!!!


    My sincere apology, I think that I contributed to completely hijacking your post and then we went on a complete tangent about intervals and heartrate training.
     
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  24. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I won't debate if your students are playing tennis in the 190-200 bpm range and only recovering to the 150-170 bpm range. It sounds unbelievable to me, but that's no matter.

    I just think it makes intuitive sense to first build a solid base of "cardio fitness" and then to build all of the tennis specific stuff on that base. As tennis matches are 2-3 hours in duration, I don't see how the base could hurt anyone.

    But as you say, you are dealing with players on a level that I can't even really comprehend, so I suppose the training you provide to your high level athletes needs to be exactly what you prescribe.

    It's always nice to hear how other people are doing it and what is working for them.
     
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  25. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Most athletes will find some value in a fitness base, a strength base and a speed base. Once these are in place, work can be done to periodize improvement throughout the season while peaking for competition. Heart rate training is a good measure for fitness tracking, percieved fatigue is a second equally important measure. Percieved fatigue will be lower in an athlete with a superior fitness base for a loner period of time.
     
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  26. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Must Have a Base

    Yes, everyone must have an initial cardio base. Players are different and I personally will only allow this type of training to proceed when a person has doctors clearance and can run at 80%+ of their maximum heartrate for 3 miles. (that is my personal necessity) Sometimes players can do this immediately. Sometimes they need 3-6 weeks of basebuilding. Yes, sometimes they need a bit more time. This training is more intense than doing seady state work. They absolutely must have a decent cardio base before proceeding!

    Once they have a baseline........it is intervals!!!

    Sure, once in a while a 3-5 mile run can be thrown in, but I certainly would not advise doing that more then 1x a week for very high level players.
     
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  27. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Ah, that makes sense.

    It probably seems obvious that a person would first get the "base level" fitness you describe before starting on the intervals, but I don't think many people actually do that.

    I'd probably challenge your general assumption that "This training is more intense than doing seady state work", but that would pull us far afield yet again. Let's just say that it would depend on the particulars of the workout and leave it there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
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  28. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Gah, I would argue that a well balanced fitness routine would contain all of the levels of fitness work( Lactic acid, max power, Steady state) while only focusing on the improvement of one at a time. After a 6 week microcycle of intesnse intervals, the joints and connective tissues should be given a rest from the pounding. During the next microcycle you can focus on base building or strength and then return to max power( Interval work).
     
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  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It's nice to know how the players at the top train, such as the ones you coach superfit.

    But how would you train the "avid recreational players" that comprise most of the members of this tennis forum?

    I realize you are a professional and sell this type of advise for a living, but I mean just in general how would you train this type of player. I'm not asking you to disclose specific training plans.
     
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  30. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    No, we are really not far afield. The beauty about interval training is that it can be manipulated to be much easier than steady state work or much more difficult than steady state work. This can be manipulated by several factors including work time, rest time, and heart rate.

    Prior to doing any more intensive interval training, people must build a base. I dont know your age or resting heartrate, but the 155-165 hr that you do during your 3 mile runs is probably around 80% of your max heart rate. (if I recall your training hr correctly?) It would take people a while to build up to that and they would probably have to place in rest intervals to make completing the 3 miles possible. People can jog until their heartrate goes higher than 80% or their maximum and walk until their heartrate goes lower than 65% of their maximum. Train this way until they can run at approximately 80% for the entire 3 miles. I would also suggest that those not running the 3 miles faster than a 10-12 minute mile pace not consider attempting the high intensity interval training.

    When someone is capable of doing the above, a nice starting interval might be 6-8 repetitions of 400 meters at 85%-90% max hr with a 90 second recovery walk between each rep.
     
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  31. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Steady state can be manipulated in the same way. Steady state doesn't have to be take quite that literally. There is plenty of room for fartleks, and runs of longer and shorter duration at varying intensities. For example on Saturday I did a 10-mile "stamina" run at an easy pace and today I did a 4 mile run at a quicker pace.

    Thats not really the best way to do it IMO. If your training goal for the day is 3 miles, you should be running this at a pace such that you can complete the workout without having to walk or stop. In my experience, the first part of a run is just to "set yourself up" for the later part of the run. You are only increasing your training base if you push yourself beyond what you could do before. If you stop when starts getting hard (and let your heartrate reset), you are defeating the purpose of the training. This also goes for intervals IMO. I don't like to see guys start out doing 100's in 15 seconds, only to have to finish up doing 20 second+ 100's (or increasing the rest period).

    It's also important to remember that no single training session does much for you. The "magic" happens when you are training on many consecutive days. Obviously everyday can't be "max effort". You would not be able to sufficiently recover in-between workouts and burn out. So each workout has to be planned with the previous day(s) and future day(s) in mind. That's why I use proven training plans for a few books I have. I can vary from the plan some, but I don't have the experience to plan my own training plan from scratch (and I certainly can't do one for anyone else).

    Finally I'd say that, if you watch USTA league matches and tournaments, the vast, vast majority of players suffer from lacking the type of fitness that allows them to play well in the 2nd and 3rd sets, do to general fatigue. They just get tired quickly. To me, that is simply a lack of a "fitness base". In other words, most people are just out of shape. With this in mind, most "avid rec" players don't even complete the prerequisites that would allow them to even think about the type of interval sessions you have your students doing. It would literally be learning to run before they could walk.

    There are other fairly active threads in the section with posters talking about how hard it was to sustain 9-10 minute miles for 2 or 3 miles. And not even many consecutive days in a row. Just for one workout. Some of these posters concluded that because of this, they need to go back to intervals. Its amazing logic on one level. This type of person clearly sees where they have a weakness, and chooses to return to their strength. But in another way, this is what most of us do. We like to do what we are good at and comfortable with (even though we might tell ourselves something else).
     
    #31
  32. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting thread and exchanges between 'superfittennis" and "r2473" in here.

    To answer the OP, one mile per set of singles was what I was getting on average when I wore a GPS counter last year. I was trying to answer the same question. Of course, this might vary depending on your style of play and level. I'm a 4.5 baseliner.

    In regards to training for tennis, I have a couple anecdotal experiences:

    First, when I was in high school, I ran cross country in the fall, played basketball in the winter, and then did tennis in the spring. I always felt fit and fast on the court. I attributed this to the base of distance running earlier in the year, followed up by lots of windsprints and start/stop action for basketball. Tennis was easy after that, and I never lost a match because of fitness.

    Second, when I was in college, our coach had us follow a training schedule similar to what Chuck Kriese (the former Clemson coach) documents in his books. Basically, runs of 2-3 miles a couple times per week, alternating with multiple intervals of 800 meters early in the season. Then, as the seaon progresses, less mileage and more interval sprints in the 200 to 100 range with less time for rest inbetween. This is coupled with agility drills and plyometrics (shuttle runs, 5 dot drills, kangaroos, box jumps, etc). We also did a short regiment of light weight training, mostly for the upper body with some squats mixed in. And, of course, this is in addition to daily tennis practices of about 2 hours. For me, all this took place in the heat and humidity of Texas, and I think I was in the best shape of my life when I graduated.

    Nowdays, I'm nowhere close to that level of fitness. However, one of the things that I think helps my current tennis is cycling. Long rides with short bursts of speed or intense hill climbs seems to translate well for tennis, and I don't get the pounding that running can give. Also, if it's raining, I have an exercise bike that I can program to give me intervals of 30 seconds of higher intensity, followed by 60 seconds of level, lower intensity pedaling. During the 30 second intervals, I try to pedal as fast as possible, and then "rest" by pedaling slow during the 60 second recovery time. I've noticed that I can get my heart rate into the 160 to 170 range doing this, and then recover to about 120 beats before the next interval starts. This activity also translates very well to tennis, and I don't find myself struggling too often in matches.
     
    #32
  33. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    Thats not really the best way to do it IMO. If your training goal for the day is 3 miles, you should be running this at a pace such that you can complete the workout without having to walk or stop. In my experience, the first part of a run is just to "set yourself up" for the later part of the run. You are only increasing your training base if you push yourself beyond what you could do before. If you stop when starts getting hard (and let your heartrate reset), you are defeating the purpose of the training. This also goes for intervals IMO. I don't like to see guys start out doing 100's in 15 seconds, only to have to finish up doing 20 second+ 100's (or increasing the rest period).

    Finally I'd say that, if you watch USTA league matches and tournaments, the vast, vast majority of players suffer from lacking the type of fitness that allows them to play well in the 2nd and 3rd sets, do to general fatigue. They just get tired quickly. To me, that is simply a lack of a "fitness base". In other words, most people are just out of shape. With this in mind, most "avid rec" players don't even complete the prerequisites that would allow them to even think about the type of interval sessions you have your students doing. It would literally be learning to run before they could walk.

    There are other fairly active threads in the section with posters talking about how hard it was to sustain 9-10 minute miles for 2 or 3 miles. And not even many consecutive days in a row. Just for one workout. Some of these posters concluded that because of this, they need to go back to intervals. Its amazing logic on one level. This type of person clearly sees where they have a weakness, and chooses to return to their strength. But in another way, this is what most of us do. We like to do what we are good at and comfortable with (even though we might tell ourselves something else).[/QUOTE]

    I may not have explained that interval training correctly. What I am saying is that some people may not be able to complete the 2 or 3 mile workout at any jogging pace. In that case, it is best to jog slow and take breaks to get the heartrate down. For example, a person may be jogging very slow for 2 or 3 minutes and then need a one minute break. When their training threshold increases they may be able to do 5 minutes very slow with a minute rest. Eventually they can work their way up to a very slow 3 mile joggin pace without resting. From their they can begin increasing their speed in the stead state runs. Once they are running at about a 10 or 11 minute mile pace for 3 miles, they can begin higher intensity interval training.
     
    #33
  34. superfittennis

    superfittennis New User

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    I have always loved this approach by Chuck Kreise and although most college coaches and professional coaches used this method in the early 90's. I also agree with your bike interval training. Yes, that does suit high level tennis well.
    The Kreise method was way ahead of its time and is still one of the best methods of training for college teams today. With today's faster paced game, I would simply suggest a bit higher intensity and heavier strength training. For professional and junior players their is no real off season or preseason. Therefore things oftentimes have to be manipulated differently.
     
    #34
  35. TennisMD

    TennisMD Semi-Pro

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    Years ago, just hitting for about 21/2 hrs Really minimal breaks so more strenuous than a regular match no change overs no serves with old fashioned pedometer we covered 6.5 miles. Being an ex track guy this work out was up there re intensity
     
    #35
  36. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I think this makes lots of sense for most rec players that don't have all day to devote to tennis fitness training. "Long-ish" runs (rides) with intervals thrown in to those, all done at a "challenging" pace. Fartleks.
     
    #36
  37. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    This is possible I guess, but I think we all know that his coach is sub 3-hour marathon runner (for real, not like our VP candidate).

    So I wonder if his conditioning was made or born? I suspect both, but he is "lucky" to have a coach that understands the value of a solid cardio base, above and beyond intervals.

    Could any player be as fit as Ferrer? I think yes. I say for the most part his fitness level is the result of hard work, not genetics. We can disagree on this. But I think people use genetics as an excuse too often. They never come within a million miles of realizing their potential and chalk it up to "bad genetics". I call BS. Perhaps we can't all be elite, but I bet everyone of us can be better than we are. Much better.

    I'm fine with tennis players being anti-"long distance running". But I bet you'd never convince Coach Piles that it makes tennis players slower or is a waste of time. He'd think people are simple lazy (and lock you in the equipment closet until you wised up a bit).
     
    #37

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