Recovery in Sport: mistake playing the night before the match

I had not played football for two weeks and could feel my legs tighter than normal.

The night before the match I went down to 3G field to test my left foot. I had a toe nail removed two days earlier, and I did not know if I could play in my boots.

When I put my boots on, the foot felt no pain. I started playing in a friendly match. I had not played for two weeks and it felt good to run around. I played for 60 minutes at a 80% to 90% level. When I got home I could feel the fatigue set in and I was dehydrated. I was concerned what this would mean for the match the next day.

The next day, I turned up to the match feeling tightness in my right quadricep. A result of pushing too hard the night before and not playing for two weeks. I tried to release it but it was too close to match day.

I warmed up carefully and we were playing on a heavy pitch with cut grass on top. The ball moves slowly and it was heavy to run on. Our opposition were aggressive and fast in the forwards. This meant a lot of running and tackling.

At the 70 minute mark my quadricep and calf muscles started to cramp. I lasted another 10 minutes and then had to substitute myself. It was silly choosing to play football the night before the match. I won’t be doing that again.

I continued my normal nutrition post match (SIS recovery drink and three OTE carbohydrate bars). I put on my compression clothing but no time for cold bath.

I noticed a team mate eat eggs and toast after the match, and then he needed to lie down and have a sleep. I was alert and had no feelings of hunger. I am very happy with my post match nutrition.

If I summarise my plan for the next match;
Drink full bottle of rehydration drink during match, have recovery drink and Carbohydrate bars post match, ice bath and wear compression clothing.

To add to this is a stretching programme 2-3 days post match, foam roll to relax leg muscles, and mid week speed session on legs. I would eventually like to shift towards whole food recovery meals.

When I play football matches I do not get to play tennis. When I have training sessions I can play tennis. Cycling has not started yet.

This weekend we had a training session. It was an easy session and my legs felt good. My toe was pain free and the stiffness in my legs had gone.

I am now away for the next two weekends. I must keep my heart rate and fitness up over this time. Plan is to do midweek speed sessions, get rid of muscle stiffness and stiffness in spine (use Gravity device see http://www.physical-edge.com) and try to simulate football conditions in a 45 minute sessions (jog- sprint- change direction- ball control under pressure and passing. I could do this on a Friday night on 3G pitch).

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Gravity: new product to help with pain throughout the body.

Just came across a new product to help with pain throughout the body. It is called Gravity http://www.buygravity.com and is making big waves in the world of Physical Health around the World.

Read how it works http://www.buygravity.com/how-does-gravity-work/

I am Interested in testing this product, as it offers my clients an opportunity to reduce pain when at home, away from the clinic. It is an inexpensive way to help heal themselves in conjunction with a rehabilitation programme.

I have been playing football, tennis and working as a Physiotherapist. I sustained a whiplash injury in a head on tackle last weekend. My neck has been restricted on the right side with restrictions in right and left rotation, side bend and extension. I get a stiff right Thoracic Spine, from using my right arm, with Physiotherapy work.

Tonight I used Gravity for 30mins. I placed the neck and sacral elements into position. The neck element took a few adjustments to get comfortable. Initially, there was a strong pressure on the mastoid processes. With the adjustments I was able to get a very comfortable fit around my neck. The sacral element was very easy to place and very comfortable. I placed a roll under my knees to maximise relaxation.

I lay on Gravity and closed my eyes. I could feel a light comfortable pressure around the neck and on my sacrum. As I relaxed more I could feel myself drift into a deeper state of relaxation.

After 15 minutes on Gravity the neck element moved slightly as I lay on it. I was consciously relaxed but my muscles were moving my head on the neck element. I am not sure why my muscles either relaxed or contracted, but I continued to relax as much as possible. The movement continued to occur intermittently over the following 15 minutes.

After 25 minutes lying on Gravity I picked up my phone to check the time and check text messages. At this point both elements of Gravity started to feel hard and slightly uncomfortable. I am not sure if it was time on Gravity or not relaxing fully that created the pain.

I got off Gravity and tested my motion. I am normally stiff to right rotation and left side flexion of my Thoracic Spine. As I tested these movements I still felt mild to moderate restriction, but not severe restriction I normally felt. My neck felt stiff at end range, but there was a feeling of unusual comfort with each motion.

I plan to use Gravity 20 minutes in the morning and night. I will report on my findings. I will see what happens over a one week period.main-bluefourth-blue

Recovery in Sport: Better nutrition but forgot compression clothing

This week we had a home football match to play and I had tennis to play immediately afterwards.

During the week I ate well and alkalised my body. I bought three OTE carbohydrate bars ready for Saturday.

In the match I played centre back. There was less running in this position but more tackling and fast sprints. There were two forwards with speed, so the game had pace.

At half time I sipped my electrolyte drink. I felt good during the match and no calf tightness. After the match I drank my recovery drink and ate 1.75 carbohydrate bars. I did not feel as hungry compared to previous week.

I went straight to tennis and played one set. My partner and I won, with the end score being 7-5. It was a hot day and I could feel fatigue in my body. I started to cramp in my toes and calf. I realised I had not drank enough electrolyte.

At change of ends on the court I drank electrolyte. It took a little while to work, but my cramp did recede, and after the tennis I did not suffer further cramping.

I got home and realised I left my compression leggings at work. I was disappointed as I always look forward to wearing them to help my recovery.

I decided to have a hot shower and then have a 10min cold water bath. I like the cold water baths. After the initial shock of the cold, my legs feel good in the cold water. When I get out of the bath I feel like my legs are fresher and a little numb, I like it.

For the rest of day we were at a BBQ and playing with my children. My legs felt good.

I am not able to play football this coming weekend. My plan is to continue alkalising, buy a thermometer to test the temperature of the bath and drink alkalising salts (have not done so on a regular basis yet).

I must remember to prepare my compression clothing for recovery. In fact, I could get into a routine of checking I have everything in place for recovery pre match.

I also want to start ice baths. Once I test the temperature of the water I can adjust it with the ice.

Last week I avoided mid week training, as my legs needed more recovery time. This week I can feel my legs will need training, but towards the end of the week. Getting the balance between rest and flexibility, and training will be important.

I have a weekend of no football. Next game in two weeks.

Recovery in Sport: Food good but forgot the compression clothing

This week we had a home football match to play and I had tennis immediately after.

During the week I ate well and alkalised my body. I bought three OTE carbohydrate bars ready for Saturday.

In the match I played centre back. There was less running in this position but more tackling and fast sprints. There were two forwards with speed, so the game had pace.

At half time I sipped my electrolyte drink. I felt good during the match and no calf tightness. After the match I drank my recovery drink and ate 1.75 carbohydrate bars. I did not feel as hungry compared to previous week.

I went straight to tennis and played one set. My partner and I won, with the end score being 7-5. It was a hot day and I could feel fatigue in my body. I started to cramp in my toes and calf. I realised I had not drank enough electrolyte.

At change of ends on the court I drank electrolyte. It took a little while to work, but my cramp did recede, and after the tennis I did not suffer further cramping.

I got home and realised I left my compression leggings at work. I was disappointed as I always look forward to wearing them to help my recovery.

I decided to have a hot shower and then have a 10min cold water bath. I like the cold water baths. After the initial shock of the cold, my legs feel good in the cold water. When I get out of the bath I feel like my legs are fresher and a little numb, I like it.

For the rest of day we were at a BBQ and playing with my children. My legs felt good.

I am not able to play football this coming weekend. My plan is to continue alkalising, buy a thermometer to test the temperature of the bath and drink alkalising salts (have not done so on a regular basis yet).

I must remember to prepare my compression clothing for recovery. In fact, I could get into a routine of checking I have everything in place for recovery pre match.

I also want to start ice baths. Once I test the temperature of the water I can adjust it with the ice.

Last week I avoided mid week training, as my legs needed more recovery time. This week I can feel my legs will need training, but towards the end of the week. Getting the balance between rest and flexibility, and training will be important.

I have a weekend of no football. Next game in two weeks.

Recovery in Sport: Less than ideal week

This weekend we had our first football match of the season. The lead up to the weekend was not ideal. I had not eaten enough due to work commitments and I bought ready made food to eat on the run.

I did not get to the bike shop to buy my OTE carbohydrate bars and alkalising water was only done the day before the match.

I played a full 90 minutes. The first half was good, but the second half I could feel myself tiring. My legs did not cramp. I made sure I drank my rehydration electrolyte.

After the match, I drank my recovery drink, but, I could feel my body wanting more food to eat. I had no OTE carbohydrate bars and a 25 minute drive home.

When I got home I was starving and the food available to eat included chips, fish fingers, chickpeas (spiced) and eggs. No vegetables or salad were available to eat. The family sat down to eat and I ate as my body felt it needed food.

After such a heavy meal we all felt tired. My body felt heavy, lethargic, and sore from the football match. To compound the load on my body, I did not get a chance to ice bath, alkalise my water or put my recovery leggings on.

I think my body was not recovering well, with the food I was eating or the lack of alkalising, or acute muscle trauma care. I do not want to feel like this again.

In the match my fitness in the second half has to improve. I will plan what I will do during the week to help. I hope I get fitter the more I play. I have not got the speed of the faster players. I will look at working harder on fitness and the speed I can generate.

This week is important to have optimal nutrition and alkalise my water. It was interesting to compare how I felt, after having 2 weeks of good rehydration and nutrition, and then having a down week.

Preparation is important all week, pre match and post match.

Recovery in Sport: First cold bath, increasing carbohydrates

This week was a different intensity of sport. I ran a 30 min fitness session, which was followed by drills and then 6 aside game. I went straight to tennis and had easy set of doubles and played single games for about 30minutes.

I ate two additional OTE carbohydrate bars immediately after football and just before tennis. I did not feel so hungry or tired. The football training was not as taxing this week, so this may have made a difference.

I drank Electrolyte during tennis and wore compression garments throughout all sport.

This week I read more on ice baths. The suggested time in the bath is 10 mins at 10-15 degrees. It has been raised that a cold bath may be just as effective.

This week I had a 10 min cold bath after sport. It was freezing getting in but after 3minutes my body adapted to the temperature and it felt nice. I could imagine putting ice in to keep it a little colder. My feet got slightly tingly towards the end of the bath. I actually over stayed in the bath by another 4-5 minutes. When I got out of the bath my legs felt cold, light and semi refreshed. I put my 2XU recovery leggings on until 11am the following morning. My legs felt slightly tired and tight because I played more tennis than normal. But, they did not feel heavy and cumbersome.

It was a good test doing the cold bath. I will try ice in the bath next time. I need to buy a thermometer to test the water temperature.

Our first game of the season is next weekend. In the team there are two injuries. A player strained his calf during training and another has low back pain after 45 minutes of football. I am treating them both and deciding how best to advise them on recovery. Ice baths maybe a good start after the match.

Recovery in Sport: Brendan Brazer, Alkalising, ice baths coming

A fortnight ago I was looking forward to playing football after alkalising my body during the week.

It maybe placebo, but I felt less tension in my body drinking alkalised water (pH drops and Greens powder) during the week. The tension in my Achilles was less. My thigh muscles felt lighter with less tiredness during the day.

We did fitness training and had a 60 min squad game. I had more desire to run faster with the new feeling in my legs. I could play faster in the game and recover quicker. I did tire after 45minutes, but I put that down to fitness.

I continued my nutrition regime of Nuun electrolyte drink, SIS recovery shake, and OTE carbohydrate bar.

I also wore my 2XU MCS compression leggings during training and 2XU recovery leggings for 24 hours after training.

Post football training I went directly to tennis and played for 1 hour. I did feel slight fatigue during the tennis. I may need to increase my carbohydrates intake between football and tennis, and during tennis. I plan to have a bite of carbohydrate bar every 20 minutes, after 60 mins of training. I also must continue to drink electrolyte drink during tennis.

I realise my fitness levels are not match level yet. This may be the main reason for my fatigue levels during tennis. Listening to my body, I think there was an element of both fitness and nutrition. I will continue to play with my nutrition to optimise my performance.

On element of recovery I have yet to implement is the Ice Bath. I will read into this more and test Ice Baths in the near future.

In my gym training I am not doing leg strengthening. I don’t want to slow my running speed down with heavy big muscles (very different to cycle training). Once I feel my leg speed is better, I will introduce a measured amount of leg strength in my gym training.

I have been reading a book called Thrive by Brendan Brazier. He is an Ironman athlete who alkalises his body and is a Vegan. He talks about Cortisol and what the foods we eat can do to our bodies. His performance vastly improved by alkalising his body. He has great shakes, energy bars and meals in his book. He has also produced recipe books.

I plan to follow the principles of Thrive and assess what I am eating after sport and between sporting events. Eating the best foods most of the time will add to my goal of consistently performing at my best.

This weekend I was away and could not attend normal football training. Instead, I did some fitness training with another player (manager) in the team. We decided to do 15 minutes of interval training.

I wore my 2XU MCS compression leggings and drank alkalised water with a Nuun (electrolyte) tablet in it. I do not recommend mixing a Nuun tablet in with Alkalised water. It tasted terrible. I would separate the two drinks in the future.

This was the first time I had performed 10meter sprints interspersed with jogging. The more I did, the better my legs felt. I could lift my knees and quickly plant them down for quick acceleration. I felt I could go faster and my legs felt light. Sprinting does not replicate how a player moves in football training. I want to assess football drills and fitness, and change my interval training to make them more sport specific. I feel some research on the web is needed.

The Manager has asked me to run the fitness element of training. I look forward to sharing some new football specific fitness drills and some of the information on nutrition. If the whole team benefits from better nutrition, the entire teams performance will improve.