Preparing physically for a rugby match
Got a big rugby match coming up? Here’s how to get into tip top condition:
- Fuel yourself
Around 3 days prior to the match, it’s important to stock up on carbs so your body is well fuelled. Carbs help the body to recover from training sessions and provide essential energy stores needed for the upcoming match. Carb intake can come from fruit, vegetables, brown rice and sweet potato and it’s important to have one big final hit of carbs the night before the match.
Plenty of rest is important for the body to recover after training. After a workout or heavy training session, it’s good to go back to bed or rest with your feet up for an hour to help your body replenish its energy stores. Just before the match is due to start, it’s also a good idea to find a quiet place to relax as you’ll want to save up all your physical and neural energy for the upcoming 80 minutes.
- Kick start your central nervous system
On the morning of a match, it’s crucial that you wake up your central nervous system and a good way to do this is to complete some drills. This is useful because as the game starts, your body is already responding and has recently experienced exactly what you’re now asking of it. For Rugby Training Drills, visit a site like Sportplan
- Eat a good breakfast
A lot of what is in your energy store will have been eaten in the few days leading up to the match, however a good nutritious breakfast on match day is still important. This isn’t the time for new recipes, however, so choose something trusted so your gut is used to digesting it. An ideal breakfast is eggs, wholemeal bread, bacon and avocado, for example. There are healthy fats in the avocado, carbs in the bread and protein from the eggs.
- Don’t overeat
Most players play better when they are not lethargic from a full stomach. A snack or a sugary tea between breakfast and the match is ideal, as after all, an animal doesn’t hunt on a full stomach! As soon as the match is over, a protein shake is ideal as for the first 15 minutes of recovery time, the body is like a sponge, followed by a well-balanced meal a little later.
All through the day, staying hydrated is vital. Rugby takes a lot out of a person, so at half-time, it’s important to replace carbohydrates, water and electrolytes. Starting a game well hydrated is key, but remember that one hour of intense sport can mean a person loses 32 ounces of water from their body. Take on water at every available opportunity, even during the game such as during a stoppage or just after a try, for example.