Athletics really is in the family for Emily, her nan was the English School’s long jump champion and competed for Great Britain at the 1960 European Games.
“She had to sew her own badges on to her official kit,” says Emily who has run an eye-opening 51.23 for 400m and won an Olympic bronze medal for GB in the 4x400m. “So I naturally started out as a long jumper before I got into sprints.” As for sewing badges on, well Emily has some pretty nifty Nike kit, so that’s something for the history books!
As a youngster, Emily mixed and matched plenty of sports and recommends any young athletes does exactly that. She loved nothing more than to play football, cricket or swim. “I didn’t focus on athletics until I was 16.” From there, it’s all been about hard work, making sure all the small things are right - like food and sleep and having fun. “I always find time to hang out with my friends,” she says. “I just like going shopping or to the cinema.”
As you can imagine, for someone who has a silver medal from the World Champs, a bronze from the Olympics and a bronze from the Commonwealth Games, getting the most from your training is hugely important for Emily. And she has some great words of advice for all of us when it comes to that training: “Don’t give up,” she says. “It’s funny, but sometimes training can be harder than competition so don’t ever set limits for yourself. You never know when you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”
For us at Fitness First, it’s also fascinating to hear how gym work and core strength play such a huge role in her overall conditioning. “It’s a massive part of my training,” she explains. “It’s all about strengthening our weaknesses and keeping the best possible running posture. I really work on my core to stay strong - perhaps two or three times a week in the gym.” Proof if you ever needed, that gym work is the key to sporting success whatever your event, from golf to Olympic 400 metre running.
Emily is finding her form perfectly for 2019 already clocking 51.62 for 400 metres at the Anniversary Games in London despite it being early in the season. “With the World Champs in Doha being in September it’s all about taking your time and hitting form at the right moment so I’m really pleased with how it’s all started,” she confirms.
Good luck Emily, we’re behind you here at Fitness First.