Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

THis is a portion of one of my blog posts which I can't mention on here but wanted some opinions from this forum. What do you think?

I have always said that tennis does not get the respect it deserves for being one of the most physically demanding professional sports one can play. Thankfully our sport has finals like the one we had last week at the Australian Open that went 6 hours and 5 sets. This final definitely changed a few minds about the demands of men's pro tennis and hopefully gained a few new fans at the same time.

But lets analyze this, what other sport puts 2 men through such agony that they can't stand through the trophy presentation? Boxing or MMA? OK I'll give you that one, although Nadal's forehand might feel like a punch in the face.

But seriously, running a marathon? The pro's run those in their sleep... barefoot! Marathons have a starting point and finish line. The runners are not reacting to the actions of another, their fate is in their hands, or feet if you will.

But lets take a marathon as an example. 26.2 miles run by a pro in about 2 hours.

Nadal and Djokovic had run 29 miles combined at 2-2 in the 5th set. This means by the end of the match each player would have run approx. 16 miles. Yes that's 16 miles of side to side sprints while at the same time stopping to hit a ball traveling at 70MPH and kicking off the court like and angry donkey.

Keep in mind each player had run approximitly 13 miles just 2 nights before in their prior matches. Hard to determine the exact distance but using some basic math I estimate in the 7 matches needed to win a major, the finalist will run over 60 miles in the 2 week event. Impressive at every level. I'm not trying to get people to like tennis just respect it.
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post #2 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 04:52 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Marathon obviously.

I would be absolutely dead or cramping if I played 6 hour match, but at least I could attempt it. Marathon? I wouldn't even reach 1/10 of the length. In a marathon, you have no time to recover like in a tennis match.
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post #3 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 05:37 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Running a marathon. You don't get breaks between points, games and sets.

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post #4 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 06:48 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Marathon, you're basically running in one direction the whole time. Tennis requires agility and running back and forth would put more strain on the body.

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post #5 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:13 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

5 sets for 6 hours, without doubt.

Plenty of people run marathons, even very old ones. Top fit and top ten athletes in tennis most of the time are dead even after a regular 5 setter, never mind one like the AO final. When running a marathon you can settle in a nice rhythm that feels good for you, with tennis, you need to fully sprint and you never know what's coming next or what your opponent comes up with.

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post #6 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:16 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Playing 5 sets over 6 hours is harder because with running a marathon, you don't hold a tennis racquet .

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post #7 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:21 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Just imagine Djokovic and Nadal running a marathon. Would they finish it? Sure. After a few days. Why? Because of toweling off after every few meters, taking injury time-outs and resting every now and again.


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post #8 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 08:21 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Both.
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post #9 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:18 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Certainly it`s tougher to recover after a marathon.How many marathons does a top runner do in a year?Maybe 3-4.But a top player can play plenty of long matches.Even in the same week a player might have 2 or 3 5 hour matches.
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post #10 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:28 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

I don't know because 1) I'm not female and 2) I'm not a horse.

On a serious note, you should put a tighter definition on 'harder.' Harder on the body? Both equally. Harder on the mind? Tennis by a mile. Harder on the upper body? Tennis. Harder on the legs? Marathon.

Interesting discussion, though.

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post #11 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 09:56 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

Both are very different types of physical activity. In terms of endurance/stamina, then Marathon. However, tennis is far more mentally fatiguing and it also puts alot more stress on the body with all the sharp changes and quick movements. That's why older men/women can run marathons but not play tennis.
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post #12 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:10 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

this thread shows how many so called fans are just obese fucks sitting behind their pcs all day and have never even touched a racket
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post #13 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:21 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

This is a nonsensical question : it all depends on the level of intensity.

Let's take cycling : in the beginning of the 20th century, cyclists of the Tour de France who were badly prepared rode for 400 kms on awful roads with awful bicycles, tires on their back, and a bag.

Around 1980, they rode 250 kms with 4 high mountains to climb.

Now they ride 150 kms with only two high mountains to climb.

It looks awfully less difficult.

BUT they do it far far far quicker ... hence their need for a greatly better physical preparation ... and the need for doping.

As an cyclist says, it's les tiring when there are 4 mountains to climb, because in the first mountains, cyclists ride slowly to prepare for the next ones. When there are only two of them, there are attacks from the first one.

As for track and field, it's well-known that it's very very hard to run 400 m and 800 m, esp 400 m, because it takes everything from your legs.

Well prepared athlets can run a marathon every 2 days, I guess ... but at a slow speed, not the maximum speed they will use during a real race. At a maximum speed yes they can only run several ones in a year.

What was special about the AO final was that it was very intense physically, and that Djokovic had already played a very long and intense match 2 days before. Hence my suspicions because as Vajda said, I never expected he would finish the match like that.

And I didn't have the impression that they were so bad during the trophy ceremony.

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post #14 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:22 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

playing 6 hours of top tennis is harder, no doubt. What we saw was an extraordinary display of endurance, mental and physical strength. When you run, at least you can relax mentally. If we talk only about strain on the body, again 6 hours of top tennis > marathon. My assessment is that it equals 1.5 marathons. It takes just above 2 hours for a top runner to finish marathon.
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post #15 of 84 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:48 AM
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Re: Whats harder running a marethon or playing 5 sets over 6 hours?

dumb question. Depends how fast you run the marathon and how good is your opponent during the tennis match.
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