Like many rugby players, I enjoy getting into the gym, running around at training, and mixing it up during a game. However, one of the critical aspects I often forgot about is my recovery. I would rather talk or get home to see Brynn and Julie or see the trainer. These are valuable things but they don’t help me recover. So for the next month I’m going to concentrate on my recovery in three ways: stretch, re-fuel and review.

Stretch: It sounds pretty simple, but I just don’t do it. 30-60 seconds for each stretch and I prefer to work my way from the ground up. Starting with calves and achilles, moving to a couple of different hamstring and glute stretches, then onto quads, groins and hip flexors before finishing with chest, back, shoulders and neck. I also want to foam roll before and after training at the gym ( at the pitch it might be a little hard). I figure this is simple and quick enough that I can get it done in 10 minutes and it will help my performance.

Re-fuel: I prefer to re-fuel by eating actual food. My goal is to eat a small meal within 60 minutes of training. I have had the best results by eating within 30 minutes of training, but I feel that this would be an ambitious goal as I live 20 minutes from the gym and 10 minutes from training. This will give me some time to get home, prep something and eat. If I know I am going to work or doing something else, I am going to use protein shakes. I know that this is not really paleo, but I need to give my body the resources it needs to regenerate and this is a sacrifice that I am willing to make.

Review: This is the one that I think will catch most people by surprise. I think that reviewing what you did in training can help you move on to your next job. Reviewing what you have done and the impact that this has on future plans can lead to more time being spent on a weakness or need and can build confidence by seeing what I have done well. This helps my mental edge and helps me to de-stress and plan for the future.

These are my plans. What are your plans to help prepare to recover in the future?

Phil stretching after the captain's run before the Malaysia Test.

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