Five tips for a fading five-a-side player

No matter how often I hit the gym, or go for a bike ride, or brave the elements to go for a run…..

….nothing – ever – prepares me for the aftermath of a grueling game of 5-a-side football.

Why does it hurt so much?

I could do a triathlon every week (no I couldn’t) but I’d still ache like hell if I played just one hour of football; twisting and turning and trying to sprint on a little fives pitch.

And these days, it’s not only the next day that it hurts. I played a game last week – my first in about six months – and I was still groaning a full 48hrs later. I had a bath, stretched (well, tried to…) and rested, but it still took me three full days to feel normal again.

“Normal”

My legs get the worst of it. I wake up the next morning barely able to lift them out of bed. They do get better as the day goes on….but then I go to sleep again and when I wake up the next morning, they’re even worse.

My back aches too. My hips hurt. The squidgy bit just above the hips (that isn’t even supposed to be there in the first place!) is achey too.

Is this age? Or is this just what being a dad is?

Or……is my body finally telling me to stop trying to be what I will never, ever be and just restrict myself to the odd brisk walk?

Well, maybe not….

Joanne Groves, an educator, author and exercise trainer based in Wimbledon and with 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry, tells me there may be life in the old dog yet!

Joanne Groves is an exercise trainer, educator, mentor, presenter, stand-up comedian and actress!!

“The reason for the soreness is due to a couple of factors”, Joanne told me.

(Booze and dirty food…?)

“It’s a lack of specific preparation, and therefore a lack of conditioning” she said. “The soreness is often described as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and can leave you feeling tight and not wanting to move”.

So how do I prepare for a game so that I don’t feel like a 90 yr old man the next day?

Five tips for five-a-side recovery

1) Keep moving! You may not feel like you want to move but this will keep blood flowing.

2) Take a relaxing bath or cold shower, giving you the opportunity to rest.

3) Massage. Who doesn’t love a little skin touch? This does not have to be painful as a gentle message will stimulate blood flow.

4) Compressed clothing – again, this will increase blood flow, adding recovery.

5) Make sure your training better matches your movement goal, and you will soon find your conditioning improves reducing the symptoms.

So there we go; it’s really not that complicated! And I fully intend to give it a try, if it means prolonging what has always been an eventful, if perhaps modest, career in football.

And you should too!

For more specific details on how to improve your conditioning, you can contact
jo@joannegroves.com for one to one or online programming.

It’s Chriiiiiisttmaaaaasssss!

I’ve shut the work laptop for the last time this year!

The tree is up, the presents are bought (I hope….oh God, I really hope they’re all bought….) and we’re finally ready for our family Christmas up in Edinburgh.

We’ve actually already had our first ‘Christmas Day’ for just the three of us (plus the cat) here in London, but now we head north to spend it with the rest of the clan(s).

Family Christmas!
Sprouts and all

It will be especially nice for Marley this year, since it’s the first time he has really understood what it’s all about (well, not Jesus and stuff – I mean seeing family, eating lots, having a visit from Santa and getting his hand on some “PRESENTS!!”)

And if he’s anything like me, he will absolutely LOVE Christmas.

I enjoy it so much that I’ve organised a Christmas Pub Crawl every year since we moved to London, which has got bigger and bigger each year. This time out, more than 20 of us kicked off the silly season at six different pubs in Camden and, as you can see, we enjoyed ourselves.

Camden pub crawl

As some of you may know, I’ve been doing a running challenge (5k every day in December) and I have to admit the one after the Pub Crawl was the toughest so far…..including the one the morning after a vomiting bug.

Today is Day 20, so I’ve now passed the 100k mark, and as much as I hate running, at least i’m working off some of the Christmas calories…..which are mounting up, day on day; today’s Beef Wellington and Rum Baba lunch with the Lady Wimbledon team being a prime example!

So work’s finished, all we need now is to pack our bags and jump on a ‘choo-choo train’ to Edinburgh.

Well, I need to empty my suitcase from our last trip first. As you can see, that was in SEPTEMBER.

I really hope my Mum isn’t reading this…..

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Lackadaisical

Pretty sure it’s lack-a-daisical

My mum was right…. I can be lackadaisical sometimes.

When I was younger I distinctly remember this word being levelled at me (I think my mum would like it to be known that she pronounced it correctly, for the record) and at the time I always felt it was unjustified.

I did just want to watch five more minutes, Mum. 

I was going to tidy my room later.

I wasn’t just being a lazy swine and laying on the couch watching Back to the Future 2 for the 30th time. 

Looking back, my Mum’s accusation was – of course – completely justified.

But I like to think my laziness has subsided over the years, especially since becoming a father.

Not only is there too much to do now to be lazy, but the fact that there’s a little version of me relying on my lazy ass to go out to work and keep him fed, clothed and generally looked after, means laziness just isn’t an option.

However….when it comes to exercise, I still feel that lackadaisical-ness return; that urge to sit on the couch for five more minutes, or to look out of the window at the rain coming down and say “I’ll go out when it stops”, hoping it never, ever stops.

Worst of all, I’ve even used Marley as an excuse:

“I would love to do more exercise, but now we’ve got Marley I just don’t have any time”

Sorry Marley!

At the end of last month, a good friend of mine challenged me to run 5k every day in December. For no reason at all, he just challenged me.

And I accepted.

Freezing cold run in Edinburgh, Monday 10th December

He must have caught me at a good time, because usually that is precisely the kind of thing I would use anything (Marley included) as an excuse not to do.

And tough as it has been at times, we’re almost two weeks into December and I’m still managing to get a 5k done every day, come rain or shine.

(Well, I haven’t actually been out in the rain, I’ve done most of the 5k’s on a treadmill. So, just come shine, really.)

But the point is, i’m getting it done. And I’ve been sharing my progress on Instagram to help motivate me, as it would be all the more disappointing (humiliating is the word) if I don’t manage to get it finished and everyone knows all about it. 

The reason I’m writing this post and sharing this progress is absolutely not to brag, by the way – I mean let’s face it, I’m hardly going to give Mo Farah a scare with my only-just-under-30 minute 5k times.

And nor is there a particular lesson or message I’m trying to get across by writing this.

I really just wanted to admit to the world that I can be a lazy swine at times, and that my Mum was right. But that I really appreciate that a friend challenged me not to be, and I accepted.  If that happens to encourage anyone else who, like me, is used to making excuses not to do something then that would be excellent too.

In the meantime, wish me luck…..and don’t forget to subscribe up on the top right so you get updates whenever I post this stuff!