Freeman Cebu Sports

Kick for Life

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alln Coachuy - The Freeman

Last Monday,  I became an impromptu and accidental conditioning coach for the FM (Football Marathon) 101 players.  Actually, I attended an event of Coach Jim Saret who was in town to grace the opening salvo of the ‘Kick for Life:Football Marathon 101, a rigorous endeavor wherein players will play non-stop football for 101 hours in an attempt to break a Guinness world record. The event also aims to raise awareness on CHD (Congenital Heart Defects) among kids.

Children all over the world are suffering from CHD. Statistics show that in every 100 babies, there is at least one with CHD and out of the 5,000 cases each year, only 500 get help surgically. In Cebu alone, CHD cases are growing,  says Let It Echo, a non-profit organization led by Kristofer Dominic and Hannah Almira Amora.

Coach Jim was invited to help the players get ready for the record-breaking bid. The current record for the longest football match is at 72 hours set by United Kingdom. Coach Jim painted a realistic objective for the players, telling them eight eeks is not enough. Coach Jim just came back from the Asian Games in Incheon,  South Korea being a consultant of Philippine Olympic Committee. He also heads the Milo running clinic in Manila, which trains runners for 5km, 10km, 21km and 42km full marathon distances.

It usually takes a 6-months program for an individual to be prepared for a full marathon that will completed between 5-6 hours But for you to play 101 hours you need to prepare at least for one year.  Although these players have been playing football for almost their entire life, this endeavor is completely different as your body will most likely collapse from fatigue, muscle cramps and sleep deprivation.  You need to undergo a massive strength and conditioning training because developing muscular endurance is very important.  A well-planned strategy in terms of players substitution, nutrition and hydration will be key factors of finishing 101 hours of football.  Then you have to battle the heat in our tropical climate. Coach Jim is giving his all all-out support and is waiving his professional fee to make this event a success. I was now tasked by Coach Jim to be on board and see to it that these group players get maximum preparation.

The biggest challenge for the players is time as most of them are in the working class. Some are working full-time in a BPO here in Cebu, while some work on graveyard shifts. That means we just have a few hours  per day to be spent on training and we have only weekends for long training.  Weekdays will be reserved for strength conditioning and muscle endurance. Discipline, motivation, sacrifice and hard work will be key factor. Coach Jim has to pull a rabbit out the hat to make most of the 8 weeks left on the training. All workout will be high intense and it will be short pocket. There will be a series of exercises that involves the whole body.

This week, I will gave them their first fitness assessment and although they have a great cardio vascular endurance, most of them lacks muscular strength, endurance. Their core, balance and stability are weak. But in as little as two weeks, they can improve on these weaknesses. The challenge here is to make them peak at the 6th week and start tapering off  in quantity from the 7th week to 8th week.

As of today, most of the players are suffering  from  DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This is a good sign because it means that we have hit or awakened the muscles that have been sleeping. Tonight, the players will  be undergoing a battery of lung-busting and adrenaline-pumping training before they start their football marathon simulation.

The Cebu Football Association is also supporting this undertaking especially on the technical side, while several other BPOs and football clubs are also pitching in support.

For those who want to help, support, donate and raise funds for children with CHD, one may contact Hannah Almira Amora at 0922-8232782 or (032)-3810188. One may also log on to [email protected] or visit the event’s Facebook page, kickforlifefm101.

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