How far should tennis players run in training?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Raidy, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Raidy

    Raidy New User

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Tennis is a mix between anaerobic bursts of speed and aerobic movements that last a long time. At the current moment, I'm building a fitness routine for becoming a better tennis player, and want to include 3 days a week of cardio in it. I also do plyometric and weight training two days a week.

    Between a 3,200 meter run, 5,000 meter run, 10,000 meter run, and upwards, what do you think should be the best one to improve times on? My current 5k record is 24:06, which isn't great but isn't horrible (I still have 20~ pounds to lose for being a better player). Should I focus on improving this time or move on to longer runs?
     
    #1
  2. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,280
    You could also consider a mix of distances and speeds. Some people swear by sprint-work to supplement their aerobic base.
     
    #2
  3. Raidy

    Raidy New User

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Oh, absolutely! I do a lot of drills on court involving sprints as well. Before every practice I try to get in 10-15 minutes of movement drills.

    I'm just wondering about aerobic training and what kind of distance a player should train for. I can jog a 5k right now, at a mediocre speed, but I'm curious if I should try to improve my 5k time to sub 21:00 or if I should start working on being able to run a 10k. I'm not yet at the point in my tennis experience to be playing full three set matches so I'm not sure how much aerobic capacity one requires.
     
    #3
  4. unorthodox stringing

    unorthodox stringing Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    Singapore
    Which aspect of your tennis lacks fitness?

    Does your current playing partner work you left and right at the baseline? Or front and back with drops and lobs? You can work on both together with rapid change of direction.

    If you find yourself wrong-footed frequently, then it maybe a technique issue. Make sure you wear a decent pair of tennis shoes too!
     
    #4
  5. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,280
    I am not sure what benefit 10ks gives above doing 5ks and sprints. and you have to look after your joints -- ankles and knees in particular. if you are playing a lot, running longer distances really increases the wear and tear.
     
    #5
  6. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,205
    Location:
    Brisvegas
    Most of the strength and distance work is normally done in pre-season and a lot of the top players incorporate sand dune runs to increase the lactic acid tolerance. Distance work is not quite so important as recovery and tolerance type training.
     
    #6
  7. tennisfu

    tennisfu New User

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    91
    400 meter intervals. 10k is not necessary unless you are an absolute grinder at a high level. Even then, I'd still say you are better off with 5k being your longest runs to focus on. Try to train in the same way you would play points. 5-10 seconds of full intensity with 20 seconds rest is what you can expect during points so I think your training should focus on similar guidelines. 400 meter runs 2 a weeks to build the endurance for those occasional longer grueling points and games.
     
    #7
  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,015
    This makes sense IF you plan on training for 2-3 hours (as that is how long you can expect a real tennis match to last).

    I think anyone can do 5 second sprints / 20 second rest for 10 or 20 intervals (which explains why nobody gets winded in the first 2-3 games of a tennis match).

    Of course, if you are going to do intervals for 3 hours, why wouldn't you just play a tennis match?

    And if you are going to do intervals (5 second sprint intervals that is) for 20 minutes, why would you even bother?

    As a side note, how many points do you think you (or your average club player) plays at "full intensity" during a match? Most points are won after exchanging a few routine rally shots and someone making a routine error. If you find yourself sprinting (full intensity) for 20 seconds during a point, odds are you are losing that point (and I bet if you record and count the times you had to run full out during a point in a match for 20 seconds, it will total fewer than 5 times).

    Test your heartrate sometime during a match. I bet you'll be pressed to get it over 140 bpm and that you will spend most of the match around 80-120 bpm (which is not that strenuous). Contrast that with keeping a pace of 150-165 bpm during a 5K or 10K run, and you will soon see the power of "training". Couple that with a few track days a week, perhaps doing 12X400 meters or 8X800 meters or 6X1 mile with 200-400 meter recovery jogs and you will see some serious improvement in your cardio fitness (if you can really hack it and stay consistent.....most people will skip a day because "they didn't have time" (ie, "were way too tired from the previous days workout"), and will miss most of the benefit that "real training" provides, as consistency turns out to be just as (if not more) important than effort).

    .....but all that aside, I'd suggest doing 5 yard sprints with 20 second recovery for 20 minutes 2 days a week.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
    #8
  9. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    Here's what one USTA coach says about "running":

    "When training the players the USTA works with, we usually do some sort of "running" four to five times a week. The running session usually lasts between 20 – 40 minutes, but there is a lot of variety in the types of running we do.

    You’ll note that we put running in quotation marks, because much of what we do is different from the long, slow distance running many tennis players are familiar with – there is some long distance running, but the “running” sessions also involve footwork/tennis agility work, or interval runs. The type of running depends upon the periodized strength and conditioning schedule of the player.

    Generally, the long distance running and longer interval repeats (400s and 800s) are done during the preparation phase when you are getting ready for the season. Shorter, higher intensity intervals (20s, 40s, 60s, 100s, 200s, and 400s) and on-court footwork/tennis agility are the main focus during the pre-competition phase in the weeks leading up to main competition or competitions. During the competition phase of the season, on-court footwork/tennis agility is the “running” focus.

    Recognizing that each player is an individual, we adjust the plan depending upon the player’s cardiovascular endurance, agility and their physical and physiological strengths and weaknesses."
    - http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Health-Fitness/Training-and-Exercise/Conditioning/




    I am puzzled by your statement, "I'm not yet at the point in my tennis experience to be playing full three set matches so I'm not sure how much aerobic capacity one requires."

    That is, do you still need lots of practice to maintain an extended rally, or do you need a lot more practice to hit forehands and backhands on the run?

    If so, even though having better fitness is a goal, you may want to concentrate on playing more tennis to improve your tennis skills and work on your conditioning at the same time.

    Extended hitting sessions using 6 balls and keeping the ball in as continuous play as possible may be your best bet for both improving your tennis and working on conditioning at the same time.

    This is a good time of year with long evenings to get in extra tennis.

    And if you have trouble finding a hitting partner some night, you can get in a pretty good workout against the wall:
    Practise Wall Training http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNiXrgAtjxc
     
    #9

Share This Page