Want to know the best ways to get match fit during pre-season? Here are some great ways to make the most of the pre-season time, work hard and reap the benefits when the new season kicks off:
Have a break
Before any pre-season training starts, it’s important to let your body recover by taking a break. For optimum health and fitness when the season begins, it’s essential that the body is allowed to recuperate from injury and fatigue. The amount you played in the previous season will dictate how long the rest period should be, but a minimum of two weeks is recommended, with more for those who played every weekend.
Ease back into activity
Don’t go from rest to full-on training but start with some light strengthening, particularly if you’ve been recovering from an injury. Ideally, there would be two rest of complete rest followed by a week of what is known as ‘active rest’. This could include activities such as swimming, cycling or tennis for example.
Weights and conditioning
For a few weeks before pre-season training begins, follow a programme of weights and conditioning as a warm up to prevent deconditioning of the body. So the body is used to doing something again and having a little structure, this transition programme doesn’t need to be complex or anything special – just some generic weights and basic conditioning will suffice.
Stepping up a gear
Running is a good idea, if introduced slowly so as to prevent the risk of injury. Other activities should include cycling, boxing, weights and full-body strength workouts, as well as slowly increasing the amount of running. The peak of the running should occur at around 3 weeks before the first match of the season.
Pre-season is also a crucial time for honing skills and techniques. Skills sessions that include set moves are important to get up to scratch, including handling, supporting and running lines. For information on Rugby Drills, visit a site like https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/Passing/practiceIndex.jsp
When you start back training, you’ll need to up your calorie intake to account for how hard you’re training. This is because you’ll be burning more calories and need to replenish your energy store. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is key to maintaining health and wellbeing and the body will be in more need of nutrients after a tough training session.
As well as food, keep hydrating your body whether you’re in training or not. At least 2.5 litres every day is recommended.
It doesn’t have to be all dour and tough, aspects of training can also be a lot of fun. Rugby sevens is a great game to enjoy with team mates, whilst conditioning your body at the same time. It is played at a faster pace, so excellent for testing and boosting fitness levels. Friendlies are another pre-season tradition, enabling rotation of the squad so players are introduced gradually back into the full contact game.