How to recovery during competition: European Touch Rugby Championship
Recover well to win big
The European Touch Rugby Championships (sponsored by the RFU) are being held in Nottingham at the moment with lots of international teams competing. I am super excited to be sponsoring the Irish senior mixed touch rugby squad and will be on deck taking warm up and warm downs for the team.
If you are around Nottingham this weekend, go check it out. If not, hit the BBC red button and take a look.
For all the competitors out there slogging it out, here are my thoughts on recovering well in between games, at the end of each day and at the end of the tournament. This can apply to any competition and sport too!
First of all...
Things to avoid
Before and during the comp, avoid things that will cause inflammation like alcohol and caffeine which could hinder your recovery and make each day harder.... I know... famous last words.
In between matches:
You don't have much time, and you need your body to get in the zone quickly. It's all about reducing your heart rate, keeping your blood flowing and replenishing lost liquids, minerals and carbs.
First of all, it's crucial to cool down immediately after each match.
Go for a very light jog and do some static stretching. You want to keep the blood flowing but not at an intense level like you would in the game.
If anything is niggling you, go straight to the physio or massage, if this is an option.
In terms of fluids - Replenish! Replenish! Replenish!
You don't lose just water. You're also out of minerals and energy from carbs too. Ideally, you want to go for a natural electrolyte powder rather than a sugary processed drink like Powerade. Add a nice carb mix in too and you have a super powerful beverage on your hands.
As it's hard to snack with high nerves, no time and a body that's working hard, add in some food that is high glycemic and easily digestible - fruits are perfect.
End of day:
Have a light massage and hit the hot and cold baths to increase blood flow . This will help your body flush out inflammation and heal any compromised areas.
Prioritise sleep - quality sleep. Even if you’re out of your normal routine, make a routine for the days of comp and stick to it. This is a major point. Sleep is the big healer. Check out this article for more info.
Your evening meal is also important, especially if eating throughout the day is difficult as you're nerves are up and you're in and out of game play. Get a good balance macros and make sure everything is of highly nutritious value.
Keep replacing those fluids.
End of comp:
On the last day, before you head out for the celebrations, try to have a proper warm down stretch and even a massage.. again, try being the operative word. It's far more likely you'll be out celebrating (hopefully not commiserating). But before you get on the lash, give your body a little R&R.
Rehydrate, eat something nutritious and hit the baths or do a light stretch. Anything that will encourage reducing inflammation before you pour some alcohol over everything.
In the following days, sleep, sleep, sleep! Get massages. Taper down your training. Wait around 3 or 4 days post to start to get back to your regular training programme.
Wishing everyone the best of luck and a special shout out to Claire McAteer from Simply You mag!