This week my challenge for you is to go for a run! Sounds simple, right?!
As tennis players, we often get stuck in the mind frame of being the type of athlete who doesn’t need to work on endurance because we have time to recover between each point. While that is very true and we tennis players often do better with short sprints and bursts of energy with time to recover, I’ve found that a little endurance work here and there can make a world of difference on the court!
So, your challenge, shall you choose to accept it, is to get some cardio in for 30+ minutes, specifically a run if you can.
I’m going to suggest running since you can do it without any equipment and don’t need anything but a pair of shoes…and for me, nothing is quite the same as 30 minutes of hitting the pavement. However, I know there are some players out there who can’t run because of bad knees, etc., so try to sub the running with a speed walk or elliptical session, but if you can, get your run on!
Why run? Running will help your endurance on the court but also your speed. I’ve slowly incorporated some running into my weekly routine and have found I am covering the court better and more confidently, and I feel like I can hit for hours on end. Speed work is another essential, but we will leave that for another week! If you are looking for some more running tips, be sure to check out our Running Warehouse’s blog for all kinds of info!
Do What You Can
If you don’t think you can run or jog for 30 minutes straight, don’t feel like a failure, just make it work for you. Keep moving, never stop, whether you have to slow down to a walk for a few minutes or slow down to a jog, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You will be amazed how you can keep going when you just focus on putting one foot in front of the other!
I’ve found that when I’m smiling and running, it makes it so much easier. Enjoy the scenery, throw on an awesome playlist, bask in the sunshine, take in the scenery. Don’t think of this as a chore but more as something to help improve your tennis stamina and keep you healthy.
Listen to your body
Make sure you are aware of what your body is telling you. Pain is very different than being sore or uncomfortable. If you are in pain, stop. If you are uncomfortable, break through it. Trust me, running hasn’t always been my favorite activity, but when I embrace it and push through the obstacles, I feel so accomplished after a few miles.
Fuel + Stretch
Make sure you are fueled up, hydrated and have the energy to hit the road for a solid 30 minutes of cardio. We love GU Energy Gels to fuel us up before our runs. As well, be sure to take it easy and get a stretch in before and after, as well as a slower start to get your body warmed up and ready to go at full speed. Be sure to do the same post run — lots of water and even some protein to keep your body recovering and some stretches.
Enjoy those endorphins! Sure, sometimes getting through 30 minutes of running isn’t the most fun activity, but I bet you won’t regret it when you’re done! And I can guarantee if you start making this a regular part of your fitness routine, you will see some speedy results on the court!
Accept this weeks challenge and upload your photos of you getting your run on to Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter! Make sure you tag @tenniswarehouse and hashtag #TWweeklychallenge
Play with heart,