Emily Ashford

International Rower

In five years’ time, I will be:

Hopefully cleaning a medal which I won at the Tokyo Olympics.

Career highlights:

  • Successfully returning to rowing in Sept 2017 to then go on and get invited into the GB Rowing Team in April 2018.

  • Qualifying the pair for the A final at World Cup I with my season’s pairs parter Emily Ford in June 2018.

  • Winning Henley Royal Regatta in 2018.

  • Racing at the World Championships in Bulgaria in Sept 2018.

What does your standard training week involve?

Up to 220 km a week of combination of rowing or erging, mainly base cardio training but some higher intensity training too. 4 weights sessions a week. This amounts to around 17 to 18 training sessions a week.

Where is your favourite place to train?

When we’re in the UK I really enjoy weights sessions at Bisham Abbey. When we’re training abroad I like the cycle camp in Mallorca which we do every winter, just to be able to do something a bit different to rowing.

What is your favourite race?

This changes depending on how well they’ve gone in the past, but I always really enjoy Henley Royal Regatta as it’s home to Leander Club where I come from, and more of my family and friends are able to come and watch. Internationally, I particularly enjoyed racing at the European Games this season because it was a multi-sport event and had an incredible atmosphere.

What are your top 3 Kymira Sport garments?
When do you use them and why?

IR50 Recovery Leggings

My favourite are the leggings, which I use during weights sessions and in between all training and racing. They rescue my legs and allow me to complete my next session to a higher standard.

Pro Calf Sleeve

I use the sleeve during every training session and racing. It increases the blood circulation and reduces inflammation around my elbow in which I suffer from Golfers Elbow, and significantly reduces the pain.

Infrared Compression Socks

I used the compression socks on every ride on cycling camp in Mallorca, and also during racing. They prevented any achilles problems when cycling and increases blood flow to muscles.


What is your favourite training accessory?

Any snack which I take for during my session to keep fuelled.

What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?

The 2.5 years of rehab that I had to undertake off the back of back/hip injuries. I learnt a lot about my body and how it needs to be managed in order to remain robust and adhere to a full GB Rowing training programme.

What is the most common training mistake you see? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?

Not recovering properly, whether it be with nutrition, sleep, or maintaining muscle health, or a combination of these.

What motivates you to train and race harder?

My goal to go to the Olympics. To put into practice all the hard work i’ve put in. My desire to inspire others.

Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:

I have to keep my pre-race diet very plain in order for my stomach to be in the best place possible before racing. It took me a while to learn exactly what works best for me, but now this always includes plain bagels with eggs, and a couple of bananas. The night before i’ll make sure I have a high carb, high protein, and high fibre meal, with ideally white meat as opposed to red.

How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?

I’m quite a sociable person so having a life outside of rowing is really important for me to ensure that I get that balance right. Many of the rowers will spend much of their ‘down time’ completely relaxing, i.e watching tv, reading etc. I use some of my time doing this but I find it’s just as important for me to be able to completely switch off from being an international athlete and take myself away from that environment. So I often tend to go and meet friends for coffee or a walk, spend time with my partner, and see my family whenever possible.

What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful?

We have to be careful with taking supplements due to regular drug testing in the sport. However I take omega 3, vitamin D, a probiotic, glucosamine and chondroitin on a daily basis from a ‘UKAD’ approved provider of health supplements.

What is the best thing about being an athlete?

That I get to train, eat and sleep for a living – all things that I love. I also really enjoy discovering the limits of what my body can do every single day at training.

What is the worst thing about being an athlete?

It often means missing out on many social events that your family and friends might be doing. For example, birthdays, weddings, skiing trips, holidays etc.