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.

“Nice”

Marley’s vocabulary continues to expand at a relentless rate, and he often surprises us with little words or phrases that I not only didn’t realise he knew, but that sound like they’re coming from the mouth of a 60 year old man.

For instance, after we’d had a friend visiting last weekend and it was time for him to leave, instead of saying goodbye to him Marley inquired: “where you off to?”

He also seems to possess expert comic timing.

After I had got out of the shower the other day, I could hear my wife on FaceTime to her grandmother. I tiptoed in to the room to get dressed, making a ‘sshhh’ gesture with my finger.

As soon as Marley saw me?

“DADDY’S NAKED!!!”

I think he shouted it five times before I got the chance to escape the room,  towel flailing behind me.

 

The real version may not be so nice…

Speaking of which, one of his favourite new words is actually “nice“.

It’s a fairly basic one, I admit, and he has known it for quite a while. But the interesting thing about Marley’s “nice” is that it has a whole new meaning.

“Nice” has in fact become a temperature in our household.

“I want my milk nice.”

“Make my water nice.”

“Daddy, is the bath hot, or is it nice?”

No-one knows how warm or cold nice actually is, but this has inevitably led to some confusion.

He was sitting with some pizza on a plate in front of him the other day, and when I encouraged him to eat it, I accidentally said it looked “nice.”

“IT’S NOT NICE!!! IT’S HOT!!” was the screamed response.

Silly Daddy!

Footnote: Marley is now over his bout of chicken pox, and was feeling much better until influenza hit this week (despite having the nasal spray vaccine about a month ago).

Let’s hope he is just getting all these illnesses out of the way in time for Christmas!