Before I took up running I was an avid tennis player. And although I miss playing tennis I have to admit I’m terrified of spraining an ankle with all the quick changes of direction needed to play well. Recently however I read somewhere that tennis has been recommended as an effective method of cross-training for long distance runners. It’s believed that those same quick changes of direction that I dread enhance a runner’s nimbleness. The running style associated with tennis also strengthens leg muscles often underdeveloped in a long distance runner thus combating common runner injuries. Furthermore the quick acceleration needed to get to tennis balls mimics the gains made in any fartlek training session.
Former tennis pros Amelie Mauresmo, Yannick Noah, and Justin Gimelstob all completed the New York Marathon. Ageless tennis wonder Kimiko Date has run a 3:30 marathon in London. Maybe there’s something to it after all.
I wonder if marathon world record holder Patrick Makau plays tennis…….