Emily Sarsfield Interview

Emily Sarsfield Interview

Emily Sarsfield is Britain’s No1 Ski Cross racer, the first British woman to win a Skiing Europa Cup race and one of our best chances for a medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Emily started using Rocktape in 2009 when recovering from a serious knee injury. Now back to full health, she talks us through her current training regime.

Talk us through a typical week’s training?
Pre-season started in September, so I am travelling back and forth between the mountains and the UK every 10 days. The heavy weights sessions have died down a little and we are now focused on power, quick movement and plyometric based training. I’m still training 5 days a week, with 3 weights/power sessions, 4 core sessions (a really important thing in skiing and especially ski cross where we are often off balance) and 4 interval sessions, along with a Pilates and yoga session too to keep everything supple and strong inside to out.

An average day right now would be a 6am start for some mobility exercises, getting on the skis from 7:30am and doing jumps, technical training and riding ski cross tracks until lunch. After a refuel there’ll be a quick nap and lactate recovery to prevent ‘heavy’ legs the next morning (usually a spin session or ice bath, but my favourite method at the moment involves Fire Fly recovery bands that I place on my legs). The afternoon will finish with a core or weights session. Being a skier definitely isn’t all powder skiing and après ski!

What is your favourite training activity?
This will sound odd to anyone who isn’t a power athlete, but I actually enjoy lifting. It goes without saying that training in the mountains (in good weather) and skiing a lot are not the worst ways to spend your time.

What is you least favourite training activity?
I’m not a big fan of cardio training and, despite Dare2b providing us with loads of excellent warm kit, being out on the mountain when it’s -20 and blowing a gale is rarely much fun.

What is the single most important or effective part of your training?
I think everything has to come together to allow a skier to perform well, so no one element of training really stands out. There’s no point being manoeuvrable on the snow and not having the strength to land a 30m jump.

What are your top tips for any aspect of achieving sporting goals?
You just have to get out there and do it. Enjoy the victories, even if they’re just small triumphs over injuries or other setbacks. Break everything down into achievable steps and look only to control the controllables. And don’t forget to enjoy it – laugh every day!

What activities do you enjoy that are not directly linked to skiing?
I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and have recently been dabbling with rally driving. I really enjoy wakeboarding and netball, but, with the Olympics coming up, I can’t afford to risk getting even a niggle through another sport, so they’ll take a back seat for a while.

What’s your guilty pleasure on recovery days?
I can’t sit still, so I don’t slob around when I’m not training or competing. I love a good walk and a bit of shopping. As a power athlete, I don’t have to be too strict on calories (although good nutrition is absolutely vital), so, occasionally, a bar of chocolate may go missing. Out of season, I enjoy the odd glass of red wine.

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