Recovery. This is a word that has come into football over the past few years.
We have first day recovery, second day recovery, recovery sessions, recovery drinks and recovery clothing.
These are terms heard by professional footballers throughout the season.
As you move into the more senior days of your playing career they become a bigger part of your weekly routine.
In my younger days, I had no need for recovery and wanted to play and train more, often playing for a few different teams in different sports... but not now.
Now I need the recovery time and sessions.
Last week, when we play three games the recovery is essential.
Straight after the Saturday game, protein shakes are taken, and food is consumed within 30 minutes.
You know you’re hungry and you want to eat but I personally have to force it down.
Ice is brought out in bags to relieve aches, pains and control possible swelling. Swelling is bad.
Recovery clothing is put on, which, from my understanding, compresses the body parts and thus increases blood flow to the muscles aiding recovery.
Water is taken on in litres. Dehydration is the enemy.
First day recovery I peel myself out of bed and shuffle into the day - aches and pains reveal themselves.
Starving now, I have a big breakfast and lots of water.
Today we have our heart rate monitors and head to the gym.
The session today will be off our feet, on the bike, in the water, on the cross trainer, anything which is not a bodyweight bearing exercise.
Around 20 to 30 minutes exercise is followed by about 40 minutes of stretching and foam rolling, which causes an array of facial expressions due to the pain.
Deep tissue massage follows this but there are no candles, aromas and delicate lighting, more like swearing and threats, and the physio or masseur apologising for hurting you but we both know they’re not sorry.
Second day recovery we are out on the training pitch again but the intensity is less and it's very much focussed on match preparation.
With a game the next day, the process is repeated post game and the day after that.
On top of that, 12 hours in a bus over two away games in that particular week and it’s testing.
Personally, I’m enjoying exploring recovery sessions and my training regime is changing. No longer is there a weight being flung around, it’s now about flexibility and core.
Anyone from your professional to your amateur who exercises or plays sport, recovery is essential and should be performed with discipline, it will pay off in the future.