I’ve played football (aka soccer for the Yanks) every season since 11th grade. It has only been in the last year or so that I’ve gotten into individual sports such as Triathlon. But today has been a sad day for me. I have decided to give up playing football for this year.
The biggest factor in this is self preservation. In June last year I had lung surgery. Since then my right lung has not went down, but it has not felt normal since then. It isn’t painful or hindering breathing too much, but just becomes uncomfortable at times. After a very easy pre-season training this evening, I felt lethargic and seemed to take longer than usual to catch my breath after an exertion (sprinting, tackling etc).
It could just be it has been only two weeks since the Ironman and my muscles have yet to recover. It could also be that my body has got used to long, constant speed workouts, as opposed to the sharp and irregular running involved with football. Perhaps my slow twitch endurance muscle fibres have grown while the fast twitch ones used in sprinting have diminished?
Either way, I’ve made up my mind and will take the sensible route of avoiding contact based sports for the next year. Also something I have become accustomed to with the Ironman training is being able to exercise when and where I want. You also get the exercise the moment you head out. Conversely, there is quite a lot of mucking about and squandered time before training and games. This has become more important when you’re working full time and struggling to fit everything else in. I still enjoy playing footy but looking after myself comes first and foremost.