Kevin Phillips: Extend your playing days

Prolong your playing days by working hard and resting harder, says veteran striker Kevin Phillips

“I’m getting on a bit and finding it harder to recover from training. How can I adjust my training to keep up with the youngsters?”
Tony Oval, via email

More after the break

Kevin Phillips says:

“I still work hard in training, but I have more rest days due to my age. Rest is as crucial as training and you can’t push it.

When you’re older it’s easier to put on weight, so I’m fairly strict. I’ve always enjoyed healthy food, but eating a good variety is key. I mix the usual stuff: chicken, fish, rice, pasta, potatoes and veg.

I’m aware of staying hydrated, even on my days off. I have energy drinks before a session and water afterwards. I actually drink a lot more water now than I used to.

You have to use your experience to keep up with younger players when you get to 38! But the one advantage you have is using your head.

You don’t make as many daft runs out of sheer enthusiasm, and you can time runs much better. It saves valuable energy.

Elongating the muscles and keeping supple is also vital, and I stretch on my days off, both morning and evening. Even when I’m watching TV, I’ll be stretching my hamstrings and calf.”

For more football tips see:
Play till you're grey
Prolong your playing days
Jamie Cureton: Stay sharp in your 30s
Javier Zanetti: Play into your 40s

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