“The offseason gives me time to recover mentally”
Exclusive to Andy Murray: “The offseason gives me time to recover mentally”
There is light at the end of the tunnel for Britain’s greatest tennis player, Andy Murray, with a brutal period of injury apparently behind him, now allowing him to enjoy a series of tournaments and encouraging results. But in typical Murray style, he’s only looking forward to what he can achieve in 2022.
Tennishead spoke with Andy to coincide with the HALO hydration announcing that their powders will be delivered to Tennishead CLUB members as part of the welcome package for new members and renewers. HALO powders provide electrolytes, vitamins and minerals that help tennis players stay hydrated throughout the day and especially during or after a tennis match or training.
We wanted to know about Andy’s plans for his off-season and what avid amateur tennis players and Tennishead readers alike could learn from his off-court routines.
Tennishead (TH): Andy, what are you trying to accomplish when you train in the offseason? What is your objective ? Is it about building tennis specific muscles or is it cardio fitness or a bit of everything?
Andy Murray (AM): It’s a bit of a mix and this year it will be a little different because I played a really long series of tournaments without too much pause. I know the team want us to focus on my strength work because that’s one of the things I couldn’t do because I played games.
In a winter training block there will always be quite a bit of endurance training and cardio work – it helps me prepare for tournaments in the heat. I’m going to play Abu Dhabi in December, then Battle of the British, then Australia after that. Temperatures this time of year can be very hot in Australia, so knowing that I have endurance work under my belt really helps.
The off season also gives me some time to mentally recover. It gives me time to think about what I want to accomplish next year and how I plan to get there. We usually try to set technical and tactical goals that I can work towards.
TH: Where do you do physical training – is it in the gym, at home, or on the field?
AM: In the past, I used to do my off-season training in Miami – I had an apartment there, so we would spend a few weeks doing a training block in the heat in December. It was always a great preparation for Australia. This year I will be training in the UK. We usually do a mix of gym and field fitness and I’m going to mix different locations depending on what we’re trying to do. My fitness on the field this year will likely be fully indoors due to the weather at this time of year. I also need to be able to find suitable practice partners, which will also determine my training schedule and location.
TH: Do you set a fitness program for each week or do you watch it “day to day” or perhaps over a longer period of time?
AM: My training regimen starts out pretty general in the early days of a block and then becomes more and more tennis specific as we move towards the end. Things like speed work and tennis specific movement work are becoming more of the focus of attention over the past week or so. I will also be doing more field training and fitness (rather than gym work) towards the end of a block as well.
TH: How long do you actually practice on the tennis court during the winter off season?
AM: Again, it’s a bit of a mix, depending on how much tennis I’ve played. In the last couple of years with my injuries I haven’t played much tennis so off-season training has been about spending time on the court and scoring points. This year, I was obviously able to play a lot more matches, so we will play less tennis in the first few weeks. I would expect to play about three hours of tennis per day during my training block.
TH: What are you trying to accomplish with your tennis training on the court during this time – are you developing your technique or working on the tactical game by simulating situations on the court?
AM: Both. Making technical adjustments away from the competition is much easier to do, so a block training is a great time to do it. It is almost impossible to make adjustments in season as it can really affect your game and mentally you don’t want to make any changes while playing tournaments. But I’m also definitely going to spend some time tactically thinking about how my game matches up with other players so that I can focus on whatever needs to be adjusted there as well.
TH: Do you change your diet during the off season to help you lose weight or gain muscle?
AM: In previous off seasons my team wanted me to focus on increasing muscle mass so my nutritionist would give me specific advice on what to eat to do this during block training.
Because a block of training is really intense and pushes my body to its limits, I am considering changing my nutrition for this period. I tend to eat more protein and also look for supplements that help with my recovery. It is also very important to support my immune system and my hydration. I am currently using HALO Hydration, which not only contains electrolytes to hydrate me, but also vitamins and minerals to supplement my diet and improve my overall health. Being able to get all of this from just one supplement is great because it’s one less thing for me to take!
TH: How important is HALO to your off-season training plan? When and why do you drink it?
AM: When I was younger I had a lot of trouble with the cramps so I started drinking electrolyte drinks to help me and now it’s something I do all the time, that I be in a training block, whether I play tournaments or just play. to feel better all day long. If you’re in a long-lasting match, you really need to replace the electrolytes you lose through sweating, otherwise you won’t be able to hydrate yourself properly no matter how much water you drink.
My nutrition team and I have found a brand that I like – HALO Hydration. The main reason for switching to HALO was that it has virtually no sugar, which is good for me as an athlete, and has a lot of vitamin C for immunity, which is more of a goal. following the pandemic.
Andy drinks HALO hydration powders to help his overall hydration and to replace minerals, electrolytes and vitamins lost during and after training and games.
You can now enjoy HALO hydration packs when you join the Tennishead CLUB. Learn more about the world’s only virtual tennis club
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