From Moscow to New York via Brussels… I’m learning so much on my travels ahead of Commonwealth Games – Daily Mail

Published 23rd August 2013

From Moscow to Manhattan, I’m most definitely on my travels this summer and I’m learning so much along the way.

The World Championships were just an amazing experience, my first time in Russia, and Moscow is a terrific city. I was excited to make the final and had to be pleased finishing 10th in the world.

The stadium was really, really empty for my heat on the first day. But, on the night of the final, Yelena Isinbayeva was jumping, so the stadium was absolutely packed.

Strong finish: Eilish McColgan finished 10th in the 3000 metres steeplechase final at the World Championships

Strong finish: Eilish McColgan finished 10th in the 3000 metres steeplechase final at the World Championships

I think what I learned most from the experience is not to respect rankings. I had been worried going in there because of injury and the fact that I hadn’t run a PB in the steeplechase.

But I broke my own Scottish record in the heats and think I ran pretty well in the final. It’s all a learning curve for me. The best thing, I think, was managing to do two steeplechases in three days – that’s something I’ve never had to do before and it’s great to know that, even with a bit of an injury, I’m capable of that.

It was great being part of Team GB again, a lot of familiar faces from the Olympics last year, and Christina Ohuruogu’s speech to us all was brilliant – a real captain’s performance. Without just standing there telling us how good she was, she brought her own experiences and achievements, made it clear to us that there was only one way to approach competing. And then she backed it up on the track.

Flying the flag: World champion Christine Ohuruogu was an inspiration to her British team-mates

Flying the flag: World champion Christine Ohuruogu was an inspiration to her British team-mates

I loved the whole experience of another major championships, although one thing I did miss was a room-mate, because I was rooming on my own – not something I like, actually.

But I was sleeping in an altitude tent, the same kind that Mo Farah uses, and it’s very large and noisy, with the generator going all night, so it wouldn’t be fair to put someone through that.

Fortunately, UK Athletics provided the tent for me and I didn’t have to take it in my excess baggage to Moscow. I’m not entirely sure how it’s working at the moment, I’m still trying it out, but a lot of people swear by it.

Once my race was over, I actually had a couple of days to see Moscow and I just loved the place. Visiting Red Square was a real experience; everything is so vibrant and colourful there.

Taking a leap: Eilish McColgan in Moscow

Taking a leap: Eilish McColgan in Moscow

Next up for me is the Brussels Diamond League and then one of my favourite events, the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York. It’s a road event and, obviously, I never train on the roads. But it’s so much fun, there’s such a great feel to it.

And they look after you so well. You’re picked up at the airport, taken to your hotel, you can relax and do training runs through Central Park – then you get a couple of days afterwards to explore the city and act like a tourist.

After all that I’ll start to look after my injury. Earlier this year I got the start of a stress fracture on my left shin and it’s causing all sorts of problems with my calf. I was told to take six to eight weeks off about two months ago, but obviously I wanted to make the World Championships, so I decided to try to manage it.

I’m just going to continue to do that until the end of the season. I might as well end the season, then by September, because I’m only actually running twice a week, the bone will have started to heal – that would leave me with maybe four weeks of doing absolutely nothing.

I would have a complete break before building up training again ahead of going out to Kenya for altitude training. Back on my travels …

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