Sam Mulroy: The intricate pre-match routine of an inter-county footballer
"For me it starts probably on the Friday night."
Sam Mulroy details the intricate pre-match routine of an inter-county footballer, as he would try and prepare as diligently as he can for the game.
The Louth captain is one of the finest athletes in Gaelic football, and it's by no accident that he is often the fittest and sharpest on the field of play,
Mulory runs his own gym so has a good understanding of the human body, conditioning, nutrition and everything that a footballer would need to fuel themselves correctly.
Speaking exclusively on the GAA Hour, the sharp shooter details his pre-match routine, starting from two nights before.
"For us we usually play on a Sunday, so we have a really good window on the Saturday to really go after it. For me it starts probably on the Friday night.
"Obviously the week leading up to it is important, but I think the two nights before is important to have a good sleep, because you always find the night before that you never actually sleep that well because the game is on your mind.
"So two nights before is really important to sleep well, and then it's a case of carb loading, that's massively important as well. Getting some good carbs in, healthy proteins and fats to be fuelled enough.
"Then it's just like micro stuff, like don't drink too much caffeine late in the day so that you do sleep, so it is little things, inter-county players again are trying to take things to the next level in terms of what they do every day to stay ahead of club level.
"The clubs are catching up and it's so impressive in what lads are doing now as well, so I suppose - eat well, recover, chill out.
"I like to actually be distracted and not talk about the game too much, I like to go to work on a Saturday morning - everyone is trying to do something different and get ahead of the curve, but I suppose it's down to what suits you, like I could try to do what Conor Meyler does, but it probably wouldn't suit me as well."
The carb loading aspect of preparation is actually more difficult than you might imagine. Obviously the idea of eating as much as possible sounds fantastic in most cases.
However, when you know that you have a big game the next day that's going to take a lot of energy, then it's important that your body is completely filled with enough grub to provide energy.
This often means eating until you are so full that you almost feel sick, and the last thing you can think about, is doing strenuous exercise.
"It's funny, we had our first match in Clare this year, away, and I felt that I just hadn't stopped eating that whole day. I felt bloated, and even felt a little overweight, I was like Jesus, I don't know how I'm going to run around tomorrow.
"I said that to our nutritionist and she was like 'no that's how you're supposed to feel, you should feel like that, and that's what you should be eating all the time.'
"I could never eat that much, but it is a case of get the food in, and for me, on the day, it's case of nearly eating as little as possible, nearly just enough, so you're not hungry, just to feel fresh and light, and you know that you've done the work the day before."
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