How I Regenerate and Recover after a game of rugby.
‘Recovery is just as important to aid performance as is the actual act of training’, if you don’t remember anything else from this post, then take that message forward into your program. Regeneration is just another cog in the ever changing machine that is the competitive season or macro cycle. For a simple interpretation see figure 1 which, demonstrates the role of recovery in your competitive cycle.
Sometimes I often notice how people really under estimate how taxing the game of rugby can be to the system. I am very fortunate to use a HRV system (a post for another time) so I can see how much de-saturation a match or training can have on my body. After all we are all an organism powered by oxygen needing TLC and strategic management to take ourselves to the next level.
Also I have used a gps tracker in my boots for a very rough estimation of distance covered and in some instance during a game playing on the wing I have come close to covering roughly 8km, of which 5km were high intensity running (above a run). When combined with contact situations, this should hopefully put into context stress accumulation in a match. Recovery is TOO IMPORTANT TO BE MISSED. So, what do I do and how do I do it? So let’s start post game…..NO stretching, just an Ice bath if available. Roughly 3 x 1-2mins of contrast bathing. Slam a protein shake (see Jordans’ article for optimal protein intake post performance) and get on the H2O. I have worked out over time I can roughly loose anywhere from 1-2kgs per game. So I work off the rule that 1-2 litres post match should be drank slowly over. Add electrolytes if you wish. Couple this with a high carbohydrate meal, plenty of protein and veg and your golden. Now I am under no illusions that a lot of you guys reading this love to go out on the beers after a Saturday. That’s no issue, but at least if you get this initial part right your half way there. But this isn’t optimal. When you get in, just make sure you get some good food in you and plenty of water, preferably with electrolytes added. Sunday is the prime opportunity for you to get some serious recovery done. Treat yourself to a high calorie breakfast…you’ve earned it. Again lots of water (there is a theme here), and get some good vitamins into your system. Now, what I want you to do is set aside one hour and follow this simple routine.
1) Foam Roll everything. 10 controlled passes per muscle group and sit on anything that it particularly quite soar. Tip: don’t touch bruised or dead legs just ice these. However if you have had cramp, get stuck in.
2) Complete a full mobility routine. Training By Keir has a great on youtube that I would strongly suggest to follow. Do it twice if you wish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBOfbJigpN0
3) Off-feet CV (bike, row, cross trainer): Complete 30minutes at a steady pace 6/10 difficulty. This is also advantageous in development of your aerobic base as well as shifting metabolic bi-product.
4) This is a personal preference, but I like to have an Epsom salt bath post recovery session. I roughly use 300grams at one time. Whilst bathing I will consume roughly a litre of water to avoid dehydration.
5) FEED!!! Get stuck into some typical Sunday food. Roast dinners etc. Lots of good quality sustenance.
Hopefully, this article should shed some light on what you guys should be doing post match. If you have intentions of lifting on the Monday, this is essential. But, if you get into the gym and still feel like you’ve been hit by a bus; its okay not to train. RECOVERY IS KING!!!
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Keir’s site: http://www.trainingbykeir.co.uk/