Sorry for the lack of workouts over the last week, the regular season for rugby is over, I was competing in the Nor-Cal Sectionals of the Crossfit Games and life got busy in general. Speaking of the regular season being over, that brings us to everyone's favorite time of the year, playoffs. Playoffs, particularly for collegiate rugby require a different approach than the regular season. With playoffs you are in a tournament format, this means you will get much less recovery time. With less time to recover, you need to focus more on nutrition, sleep and active recovery techniques.
Nutrition: Eat clean, nothing processed. This is a good time to be strict with your paleo diet and for those of you drinking milk, it's time to stop. You're not going to be making any more strength gains but you will increase inflammation and bloating so cut the dairy. Additionally, make sure you're eating enough. Playing multiple games this weekend takes a lot of energy, make sure you eat enough to compensate for that. On game days you will want to wake up early and eat immediately. About 3-31/2 hours before your first game eat again. As soon as your first game is done, eat again, preferably something high in protein and carbohydrates. An hour or so after that eat a regular meal.
Sleep: Sleep is often overlooked by athletes as a recovery tool. It can be particularly hard to sleep if you're excited about something. Alcohol is a bad ways to get sleep, good ways are sleeping masks, anti-histamines, herbal stuff like Valerian root and not eating right before bed. The more sleep the better, if you can get 10+ hours of sleep, go for it.
Active recovery: ICE, ICE, ICE I can't stress enough how critical icing is. In your hotel room, you should fill your bathtub with ice and water and sit in it for at least 5 mins after your game. Once you've warmed back up, do it again. Beyond icing, after your game, do a proper cool down, light jogging and plenty of stretching. Post game stretching is much more valuable than pre-game stretching.
Myofacial massage is the other key, it will hurt if you do it right but will get any knots/stiffness out before it becomes a factor in your performance. If you have to, you can just bring a tennis ball with you. Put the ball on the floor, put your body weight on top of it wherever it's sore and roll around until you tear up.
That's pretty much it, good luck guys.
Regarding programming for the off season; Everyone should take a couple weeks off after the season and recover. Two weeks after the playoffs end I will begin posting off season work outs.