“Fixated on Fun and Fit Tennis”
You may have noticed that the tag line here at Tennis Fixation is “Fixated on Fun and Fit Tennis.” That's because I am a big believer in the importance of having fun on court and on being a physically fit tennis player. I myself have played lots of players who are probably better tennis players than I am, who have more skills or weapons that they can use, but frankly, when they're out of shape, my fitness becomes a pretty big weapon. Time and time again, I have seen how just being a more fit player, not necessarily a more skilled player, can produce positive outcomes on the tennis court.
The Importance of Endurance for Tennis
One important aspect of fitness, especially for tennis players, is endurance. Tennis endurance is the ability to keep your energy levels up throughout a match so that you play your best tennis no matter how long the match goes, no matter what the court or weather conditions, and no matter what opponent you face. Because, as I mentioned before, when you walk out on court to play a match, you never know how long it might go. It could be super quick – maybe no more than 30 minutes. Or it could be super long – I've played a few matches that have lasted over three hours. Whichever way it goes, super quick or super long, you need to be have the endurance to last.
So, if you’ve ever been tired towards the end of a match, felt defeated by the hot weather, or dreaded playing an opponent who constantly runs you around the court, then it’s time to build up your tennis endurance.
Build Your Endurance Through Cross Training
How do you do this? Well, I think the best way is to cross train. That means you can't let tennis be the only exercise you ever get. Cross training should be some other way of working out and it should be something you enjoy. Activities like power walking, biking, swimming, group workout classes and running, yes running, all provide great cross training for tennis.
Me personally? I run. I have been a runner for many years now. I've run a lot of races. I know I've talked about that here on the podcast. I've run several half marathons and I even ran a full marathon once, many years ago, although I have absolutely no desire to ever do that again. But I do run although lately, my whole approach to running has changed.
The thing I liked about running was that it was so simple, required very little equipment, and could be done almost anywhere. What I didn't like was that it was starting to bother my knees which was not good for my tennis game. Also, I really wasn't being challenged very much cardio-wise when I ran because I tended to do long distance running at a very slow and comfortable pace. Finally, I just didn't have the time to train for long races AND keep up all of the tennis playing I wanted to do.
So I switched from long-distance running to using a combination of running and walking, an approach advocated by well-known running coach and former Olympian Jeff Galloway.
The Run/Walk Approach
What I like about this run/walk approach is that it builds up my fitness and endurance, it gives me some high intensity interval training, it protects my knees, it keeps my legs from tiring out, and it is perfect for tennis as it more closely mimics what happens in tennis. That is short bursts of activity, like during a point, followed by a quick rest period, like what happens between points.
In fact, I believe in this approach so much that my first tennis mini-course is designed around it. That course is called Simple Endurance Training for Tennis and I know I've mentioned it many times here on the podcast. It's a six week run/walk training program, it's specifically designed for tennis players, it's absolutely great for beginners, and it's what I'm doing right now to train for the latest race I've signed up for.
So yes, I still run races, just not super long distances. I'm currently training for the Turkey Trot 5K race that will happen here in Houston in November. My family has actually run a Turkey Trot somewhere in the world every year since 1995. And I'm once again using my Simple Endurance plan to train for it.
But I'm not telling you to do what I do. You don't have to run. You don't even have to do the run/walk thing. Instead, what I'm telling you is to do something. As I said earlier, you should be cross training to help make you a better all-around athlete. But cross training can truly help build your on court endurance and thus help you play better tennis. Pick a cross training activity that you like and add that to your weekly routine. I know you will see a payoff in how much better you feel, how much longer you can last on court, and how your physical fitness increases.
Let me know what kind of workout you like to do outside of your tennis play. Just leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.
RESOURCES AND LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE
Check out these other Tennis Quick Tips episodes:
- How To Stay Tennis Fit While Traveling – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 142
- Super Quick Bodyweight Workout for Tennis Players – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 116
- Hydration Tips for Tennis Players and Endurance Athletes – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 70
- Top Tips to Stay Tennis Fit for the Holidays – Tennis Quick Tips 25
BUILD YOUR TENNIS FITNESS AND ENDURANCE
If you're really interested in building your endurance and fitness for tennis, I know you'll like my tennis mini-course, Simple Endurance Training for Tennis. For more information or to join the course, just click on the image below or visit: http://tennisfixation.com/endurance.
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Thanks so much for listening and, as always, Happy Tennis!