Kick back and relax
“On average we cover 12-13 kilometres in a game so come the end of the season you’re feeling different knocks and niggles. It’s important to rest, recuperate and re-energise. Your muscles and body need time to fully recover so we completely shut down for two weeks. It does you the world of good to go on holiday and switch off, both physically and mentally. But I get bored after a couple of weeks so I start trying to build up my base fitness in preparation for pre-season, otherwise it can be quite a shock to the system.”
More after the break
Stay sharp over the summer
“We start pre-season on July 1 so that’s my target date – I have to be in shape then or face embarrassment when the sports science department run a load of tests on my body fat and so on. We get given a programme for the summer so I go to my local gym or the training ground and make sure I follow it. For endurance I’ll do interval training and to develop power I’ll do things like pull-ups, squats and lunges. I do lots of pilates to work on my core. The TRX suspension trainer is also great for a full body workout.”
Slim down your portions
“I’ve learned how to cook over the past few years and I know what’s good for me and what’s not. I’m always careful with what I eat during the off-season because I don’t want to come back overweight. There’s no hiding when you return to training, so I cut down on carbohydrates and eat more salad and meat off the barbecue. If you do all of the things I’ve mentioned you’ll hit the ground running in pre-season. If you don’t and you come back unfit, it could take you three weeks to reach the fitness levels of your team-mates.”
Eat well, stay lean in the off-season
Feast on your favourite foods without piling on pounds, courtesy of Mike Naylor, Southampton’s consultant performance nutritionist
Rise like a salmon
Salmon salad, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, beetroot and boiled egg
This oily offering from the ocean is a titan when it comes to aiding the recovery process. Bursting with omega-3, a fatty acid that reduces inflammation, salmon will soothe your battered legs. It’s packed with vitamin B6 and B12, which team up to help your body extract energy from the food you’re scoffing. The beetroot is also a great source of nitrates, assisting the delivery of oxygen to your muscles, boosting endurance levels.
Raise the steaks
Sweet potato wedges in coconut oil, with steak, spinach and broccoli
You have to find the right balance during the off-season. It’s an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy your food, but it’s important you eat to maintain your body shape and aid the recovery process. This dish ticks all the boxes. Protein from the meat will help build and repair your battle-worn muscles. It’s also full of iron, which is used by the body to deliver oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the cell, adding a spring to your step. The sweet potato wedges provide you with a dose of low GI carbohydrates, keeping you energised throughout the day. Popeye’s secret weapon – spinach – is jacked with vitamins to boost muscle.
Lean, green fighting machine
Thai green curry, chicken breast, red chilli pepper, red pepper, pak choi, aubergine, Thai paste, coconut milk, coriander and basmati rice
If you’re looking to prepare your body for the hard graft of pre-season, this dish is a match-winner. Ever-reliable chicken breast provides protein and basmati rice takes care of your carb intake, leaving your muscles restored and energised for training camp. This curry is high in a range of vitamins and minerals, boosting your immune system and supporting recovery.
Adam Lallana wears the ultra light PUMA evoSPEED 1.2. It’s in his nature to be Supersonic – blink and he’s gone. Lallana has filmed exclusive Nature of Performance training videos helping you to create a yard of space to score more goals. Head to facebook.com/pumafootball from July 17 to watch and share.
For more football tips see:
The pre-season survival guide
Gareth Bale: Boost your performance
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Maximise your training
Jordan Henderson: Start the new season with an edge
James Milner’s guide to the off-season