Thursday, 26 January 2012

Daily Mail Article 26/1/12

Morning run: Eilise McColgan is following in her mother Liz's footsteps as she prepares to represent Great Britain in this year's London Olympics

Ambition runs in the family as Liz 's girl goes for gold

Most children could only dream of being coached by an Olympic medallist at their first school sports day.

Elish's first sport's day But when Eilish McColgan was cheered on by her world champion mother in the school grounds she knew that one day she wanted to stand on the podium, too.
Now, nearly 15 years after her first race, the daughter of Scots athlete Liz McColgan is readying herself to represent Britain at the 2012 Olympics. 
Eilish, who is now one of the best young runners in Britain, has also set her sights on a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
But despite her parents’ globetrotting careers – her father Peter was also a renowned steeplechaser – Eilish admits that she did not understand their jobs when she was young.
She said: ‘My first race that I remember was when I was in primary 6 or 7.
‘My PE teacher just entered me in a race so I went along with it and came fourth.
‘But I absolutely loved it. Before that I knew that my parents were runners but I never really understood what that meant.’
Soon afterwards, Eilish joined a local athletics club before teaming up with her mother – who has coached her since.
And the runner has gone from strength to strength.
She holds the Scottish record forthe 3000-metre steeplechase, as well as the UK under-23 record for the same distance.
But the 21-year-old suffered a huge setback last year when she fractured her ankle at a crucial stage in the running season – although she managed to record her fastest-ever time during the same race.
    She said: ‘It was ridiculous getting the qualifying time in the same race that I broke my foot. That was an Olympic qualifying time.’
    But despite missing out on appearing for Great Britain at the World Championships – 20 years after her mother won gold in Tokyo – Eilish is back fighting fit.
    Liz McColgan with Elise Champ in the making: Eilish gets a few words of encouragement from her mother as she competes in her first school sport's day                  
    She said: ‘At the start of 2011 I would have laughed at the thought of getting to the Olympics.
    But last season was like a snowball – every week just got better and better.’
    She is taking a year out from her accountancy and maths degree at Dundee University to train.

    Tuesday, 17 January 2012

    The Herald Article 17/1/12..

    McColgan delighted to be back in old routine

    As she has done hundreds, if not thousands, of times before, Eilish McColgan will kneel on the side of the track this morning at Dundee's Caird Park and lace up her spikes in preparation for a session of graft and toil.
    This time, however, she will offer up a silent prayer of thanks, grateful to be allowed once more to perform the simple routines that mark out an athlete's daily regime.
    It is nearly six months since the young Scottish steeplechaser lowered her personal best in a Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace. Any sense of heady accomplishment was drowned out by the searing pain in her foot. Bones were broken. Her spirit, at least temporarily, followed suit. Due to be named, just 24 hours later, in the Great Britain team for the world championships in Daegu, being told that she required surgery followed by a long period of rehabilitation was a harsh blow.
    "I just really struggled for the two weeks after that," says the 21-year-old. "I was so upset. I was meant to go to the World University Games in China as well and I'd had all my inoculations. I was meant to do the New York Fifth Avenue Mile at the end of the September as well. All these plans were sorted out. I was looking forward to those and the world championships as well, but it all got taken away."
    Having spent last week under the watchful supervision of UK Athletics medical staff at Bisham Abbey, McColgan has been cleared, finally, to resume training. There will be elation, she declares, but also relief. The healing process has proven quicker than expected, accelerating her ambitions to return faster and stronger for a season which she hopes will incorporate a trip to the Olympic Games.
    Hitherto forbidden to do what comes naturally, the Dundee University student has instead been confined to the gym, taking out her frustrations on the machines within. Asked to adapt her regime, she admits to a new self-discipline. "My lifestyle's in a better place now than it was 12 months ago," she confesses. "Things are really different. Because of the rehab programme, I've been forced to focus on other aspects of being an athlete. So now the actual running is just the final component."
    It will go firstly step by step, then jump by jump. Her father Peter, once an international athlete himself, has been offering words of advice. "Dad was quite upset when it first happened," she confirms. "Steeplechase was his event and he felt it was partly his fault for some strange reason."
    Parental irrationalities aside, the worst aspect of her confinement, she says, was losing her independence. Trips to the shower required a chaperone. Going to the shop became a major expedition. It was a living, waking nightmare. "And I really struggled with that. So I'm a hell of lot happier now, being able to do what I want when I want and going for runs. I've just got a lot more time because the rehab took so long every day. Now I can fit everything in."
    She has six months to prove herself once more. The prospect of a debut Olympic appearance, at least, provides the greatest possible incentive to push through the aches and strains. Her advisors have no qualms, McColgan states, over her readiness for what lies ahead. "Obviously I won't be doing my normal amount of training to start with," she proclaims. "But it's a big step forward."
    Caird Park, she adds, will witness an athlete renewed. "I've realised how much you do miss it when you can't run for five months. It's so much more enjoyable. I can't wait to get up to the track and get out there beside everyone."

    Daily Record 17/1/12

    Eilish McColgan: I'll make up for lost time in 2012

    eilish mccolgan Image 1
    EILISH McCOLGAN fought back the tears when she watched last year's world athletics championships with her broken foot in plaster.
    But the 21-year-old says she'll be jumping for joy today when she gets back on the track for the first time since sustaining her nightmare injury last August.
    It's been a long road back for the steeplechase prospect who was crocked during the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace - 24 hours before she was due to be named in the GB team for Daegu.
    She said: "I was so upset. I was meant to go to the World University Games in China and do the New York Fifth Avenue Mile too.
    "Even watching the Worlds was hard but now I can't wait to get up to the track and get out there beside everyone."

    Friday, 13 January 2012

    Bisham Abbey - Olympic Rehab Clinic

    This week I have been down at Bisham Abbey under going an intense rehab program to give myself the best opportunity to return to my full training schedule within the next few weeks, and also to monitor my progress so far. I am very grateful for UKA making the decision to send me here as I really feel it has been beneficial, as a marker to see how far I have come since my surgery and how far I still have to go. This is probably going to be a long blog but there is a lot of information to fit in!!

    A Brief History

    The building I am currently staying in has a fascinating story and parts of the Abbey date from 1138AD. The building became home to the Earl of Salisbury but after two centuries the Abbey was residence to the Hoby Family. There is a huge painting of Lady Hoby in 'The Great Hall' where we get all of our meals, and she is said to haunt the building. This was not the best story to hear on my first night of settling into my room alone. She has supposedly been seen washing her hands in a bowl of water which floats in front of her. Brilliant. Lady Hoby is said to have beaten her child then left him forgotten in the tower. Even better. So yeah, its safe to say that on the first night I was absolutely...terrified!
    The Abbey - Accommodation
    First day

    On my first day here, I had a quick chat with the doctor and then was told a few things that I had to monitor daily. At 8.30am every morning I had to go over to the rehab clinic with a urine sample and a little thing that resembled a watch. This watch was a sleep monitor and it displays any movements that you have made during the previous nights sleep to see if you are getting enough hours rest. It is safe to say with the amount I sleep, that was the least of my concerns! However, did find out that I was extremely dehydrated both days I have been here! During race season, I am constantly swigging water and a sports drink but since the injury, it has gone completely by the way-side!

    My first appointment was with the wonderful physio Ash Wallace. It was the first time my foot has been aggressively 'gone in to' and it was amazing how quickly all the muscles loosened up. Up to this week I have managed to run 35miles a week, all steady, but averaging around 7.10 minutes per mile – so not too bad! Although I had not attempted any sort of strides or sessions. Ash decided that she would allow me to do a session the next day and monitor how the foot reacted. Later I had a quick chat with the nutritionist – nothing major to change, just a little bit more protein and more iron-rich foods to increase my iron stores. I already knew most of this due to my previous anaemia. However, I did get my first ever 'fat test'... obviously thats not the technical name, but that's what it felt like! Haha.. I had a skin-fold test done all over my body so that we could record my body fat and weight and then also the girth around both of my calfs and hamstrings to record any differences due to the injury. As I was unable to maintain the strength in them whilst being in a cast for 8 weeks, I lost a large amount of muscle mass – which is completely normal! But it has to be monitored so that I don’t get any abnormalities when I return to full training and to avoid any more injuries. Thankfully the differences were not too major but it is something to keep an eye on.
    The Great Hall - Dining Room

    Day 2

    This day didn’t start off too great but it ended up being a major step forward for me. I did my normal 3mile run in the morning but at 7am it was extremely dark around here. I decided to go a different route from the day before but ended up near a dual-carriageway. There was a small path to cross over to a trail on the other side. The roundabout was extremely busy but I decided to run quickly across when the road was clear. However a car came flying round and I have never been so close to getting hit in my entire life. It must have been inches away from me. I was very lucky to have managed to actually jump over the side of the bonnet of the car, whilst it swerved to the other side of the road. Thankfully... I wasn't dead... or injured.. and the other car was totally fine! But now I realise why I don’t ever get up at 7am – IT IS TO EARLY TO FUNCTION!

    The gym
    The day did get progressively better and I managed my first stride out session since the surgery! I was massively excited about getting to attempt my first 'session'. I did a 1.5mile warm up and found a large bit of flat pavement heading under an underpass to do my 12x 1minute fast with a 30 seconds jog recovery, followed by a further 1.5mile cool down. The foot felt great. There was absolutely no reaction whilst running, however the only problem was that I felt like a WHALE! I know i'm not the biggest of girls, but I felt huge on that run mainly due to the impact of running again. It always takes a few sessions to start flowing and feeling comfortable running at a faster pace. Fingers crossed it does!

    Before all of this, the Strength and Conditioning coach Ben Rosenblatt took me through some barefoot drills. These included walking on my toes in all directions, then the same drill again on my heels, along with some slow,controlled high knees. I will try and video all these little drills and upload them tomorrow or at the weekend! The elite athlete gym we are using is constantly packed full of athletes, from all sports – netball,rowing,hockey. The centre is the national base for hockey and rowing and many of the athletes have actually all relocated to near Bisham so that they can take advantage of these facilities, become full-time athletes and train as a team. A great idea, which I think would benefit a lot of sports if there was more funding towards our sport. A few of the girls were asking Ben was sport I was from – they guessed Synchronised Swimming! Very random... and I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe they thought I didn’t have the build of a middle distance athlete? Or maybe they thought I had great elegance and posture whilst doing my drills? I'm going with the latter... aaahaha..

    Again, after my session outside on the roads I had another physio session with Ash. My muscles are very quick at reacting and thinning out. After any injury – and especially with surgery – the muscles become almost 'sticky' instead of smoothly flowing over each other. This needs to be broken up with massage, afterwards its amazing the difference in the tightness within all the little muscles, it feels like a new foot! It is also interesting that the surgeon has actually re-shaped my foot – to what a normal foot should look like! From a young age, I have always had extremely weird shaped feet, they fall in, in the inside, instead of being upright and it a neutral position. Now after the surgery the foot is shaped normally and so I actually run with a more neutral foot position. Hopefully with my orthotics in place and all the little exercises this will eventually benefit me in the long run!

    Day 3

    This morning getting up at 7am was a bit of a struggle, although I wasn’t as sore as I had expected to be after doing my first faster run. I had a bit of a weird tightness in my toes which quickly eased off on my 3mile run. I have been told this is a good sign! As it shows the small intrinsic muscles within the foot are getting stronger with all the drills and rehab.
    The Navicular Bone

    I then had a quick chat with the Psychologist Dr Tig Calvert. I think they were just checking to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and thankfully – i'm A-OK. Haha no craziness found here... haha

    This was followed by a core session with Ben. After a serious injury many people have a 'weaker side' due to all the weight being shifted onto the one leg when non-weight bearing. Luckily enough I have worked hard with my core – almost every day – due to the fact I hadn’t been able to do much else for a few weeks after surgery. He made me do a few standard 'tests' to analyse what needed improvement and what was already strong. The first test was a standard plank but then to raise my right hand high for a few seconds then my left hand low, to hip length, to see how much my body rotated. This then identifies weakness, which I slightly had. The next test was a standard side plank but then to raise the leg, I had absolutely no problems with this which showed that I was strong in that plane of my core. The last test was to lie on my side on a gym bench, with my upper body hanging off. Ben was then holding onto my legs so that I didn’t fall off! The aim was to hold your body up, using your core for as long as possible. Again I managed quite well, holding each side for 2minutes. Although I was dying towards the end!

    Ben then set up a little 'trunk circuit' for me which included planks on a swiss ball and a few other exercises. I then used the 'cross over weights machine', to try an maintain my stance and activate my core to keep me from rotating. Again I will take a video of these and upload them at some point!

    My next physio appointment was with the English Institute of sport physio Roz. She went into my lower back as it was completely solid. This resulted in me almost crying at one stage, being tall is such a disadvantage! It is also interesting that some of the tightnesses that I feel in my foot are actually caused by tightnesses in my lower bank. This totally confuses me, but its amazing to see how all the muscles are all linked, and that something higher up the chain can affect the small muscles within your foot! I have also been given some stretches to do, whilst standing on one of these weird vibrating machines. Supposedly woman stand on them for like 30minutes and genuinely believe their loosing weight! But yeah, for me its purely for stretching! No weight-loss here!

    Day 4

    This morning I was lucky enough to get a little lie-in till 8.30am and managed to do my second running session of the week! Huge step forward. I completed a 1.5mile jog then 6x2min efforts with a jog 30second recovery then a 1.5mile cool down. People were looking at me as if I was crazy, which is sort of understandable - since I was running back and forth over a little 600m bit of flat road wearing crop top and shorts, even though it was about minus 5 degrees! I however was in a world of sweat and was absolutely roasting! So happy to be back doing sessions again, it's a massive improvement in my schedule. 

    This was then followed by some hip mobility drills and barefoot drills during my hour with the S&C coach. We then filmed from all different angles doing squats and lunges to detect any movements within my hips which could indicate a weakness. I wasn't actually too bad, although I did show to have a slight weakness with my hips and glutes. Afterwards I was filmed running on the treadmill. It was a specially adapted treadmill which showed the exact time that you spend in contact with the ground. You may wonder why  you would need to know this? Well... again it indicates any abnormalities within your running stride which could be caused due to my current injury. Luckily for me, I was completely symmetrical with my running style! SUCCESS! There was only less than 2% of a difference at any point, running from a slow pace to a faster pace. 

    After lunch I was then treated by both the physio and sports masseur followed by a quick stretching session on the vibration plate. It is unbelievable how much that machine eases your muscles off. It doesn't take a lot of effort, however just 10 minutes of stretching makes a huge difference. Definitely something I will be adding into my training regime when I get home!

    My last day at Bisham!

    Today was my last day, leaving this afternoon from London City Airport. Today we went over my full Strength and Conditioning program. I have been given a little circuit to improve my hip strength and mobility. All the exercises are for 30seconds and only use my own body weight - really hoping that over the next few weeks these will strengthen any weaknesses identified.

    It has been intense but the benefit that I have received in the few days I have been here is unbelievable. It is also good to get other peoples opinions on how things are going, rather than always going on my own judgement and to have a little reassurance that I am going about things the right way! I will be returning home for two weeks to put my current program into good use with the outlook of returning to Bisham for another single week at the end of January to re-asses where I am, and if there have been improvements made. It will also give me the change to increase my training load again, hopefully close to my full program, and monitor any changes.

    This week I have managed a total of 41miles with two mini sessions - which is a major step forward. The following week I am increasing to 43miles followed by 45miles the following week before returning to Bisham for a check up! Over the next two weeks, I have been allowed to start back training normally with my training group, up at the track in Caird Park, Dundee! Cannot wait! Although I will be doing just half of what they are doing and will be keeping things paced over the next few weeks to re-build my fitness again.

    Fingers crossed that if all goes well I will have returned to my full training program by February! Thats the plan anyways, and up to now I have been extremely lucky not to have had any set backs!

    I realise I have probably rambled on quite a lot, so if you have made it this far... Fair play to you! I am impressed!!

    HOME TIME! :)

    Thursday, 12 January 2012

    The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund

    I have to say a very large thank you to the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund for supporting me throughout 2012. They are a wonderful charity helping to aspire young GB athletes fulfil their dreams in memory of Ron Pickering, the great athletics coach, BBC sports commentator and TV Presenter.

    It has benefitted many young athletes over the years that have gone on to become World, Commonwealth and European Champions. I unfortunately had never heard of this charity before, until the start of this year, when I had the chance to be on a GB Team with Ron's son Shaun, who is now a UKA Throws Coach. Hopefully with the 2012 Olympics and 2012 Commonwealth Games looming, this small charity will start to gain more sponsors and recognition for the services they provide to young up-and-coming athletes!

    For more information:


     Follow them on twitter at @runforron

    Twell assures McColgan of recovery before games

    Published on Thursday 12 January 2012 01:53 :

    The Scotsman

    STEPH Twell has assured Eilish McColgan that she is in the best possible hands as she bids to recover from a broken foot in time to compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games.
    McColgan is continuing her rehabilitation at Bisham Abbey while her fellow Scot Twell and other distance athletes are taking part in altitude training in Kenya. For Twell, who worked with the staff there as she recovered from a broken ankle last year, there could be no better place to work on a return to competitiveness.
    “I worked at Bisham Abbey with the physio Ashley Wallace and she is brilliant at her job,” the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said. “She uses more than just conventional methods. She goes above and beyond that with a full holistic approach. I am convinced they will help Eilish get back on track.
    “You are in an old abbey right on the River Thames and it just seems to be very therapeutic. Your mind becomes convinced you will get back from injury.
    “There is not a single negative vibe inside that building. They give you a nine-to-five programme every day and the sole focus is the rehabilitation.
    “Everything is spelled out for you and there’s no chance of being side-tracked. I went for two fortnight stints and I fell in love with the place.’
    Twell is in Kenya with support from UK Athletics, alongside Freya Murray, Beth Potter and Derek Hawkins, who have been funded by Scottish Athletics. “Being away for a month like this really helps you focus,” she added. “You are rubbing shoulders with the likes of Paula Radcliffe and Helen Clitheroe who are massive inspirations.
    “For the likes of Derek and Beth who have maybe not been to Africa before then there will be a settling-in period. You have to think about the heat, the altitude, the terrain and so on and so forth.”
    Although the Kenya camp is a Team GB venture, Twell is also welcoming it as a chance to get to know her fellow Scots better. “It is a great opportunity, and brilliant that Scottish Athletics are funding their trips,” she said. “That shows we have more athletes who can compete at a high level.
    “Freya and I were in Delhi together [at the 2010 Commonwealth Games] and have been in major teams together, so now we will get to know each other better. Derek was in Slovenia with GB [at the European Cross-Country Championships] and this is another chance for him to push himself. We had a chat out there.
    “It is great we will be getting to know each other a bit better. The Scotland team doesn’t really gather as such between each Commonwealth Games, but I reckon we will train well together.”

    Wednesday, 11 January 2012

    Foot and Back Scan Analysis from Belgium Orthotics

    Back Scan

    Walking Barefoot

    Running Barefoot

    Tuesday, 10 January 2012

    Killin, Christmas and New Year.

    Matthew and myself (wearing my xmas pants) cooking.

    Just before Christmas, myself and 8 of my training group went to a small house in Killin and had a little faux Christmas! It was really nice to get away from everything and have a few days chilling out! I had just returned to running and so was slowly building up my running. We were all looking forward to going sledging but unfortunately it didn't snow this year! Booooo! However we did manage to find some... After driving about 15mins up a MOUNTAIN, our little cars eventually gave up and we decided to walk the rest. The snow got deeper and deeper the higher we got however after a good 10minutes of the boys throwing snow balls about, we eventually realised it was bloody cold!  

    Christmas Ice-cream
    created by Howell!
    Little sister claiming that
    thing on her neck is a necklace!
    I spent Christmas day with my mum and younger siblings in the morning. They were extremely excited about it all. My little sister was going on and on about these little, annoying toy hamsters that she received! Never seen anyone so excited.. She also went on to explain to me how she 'actually saw Santa' and also that she 'saw a rain-d-e-a out of the window'. Later that night I went over to my boyfriends. After months of him constantly telling me about 'the best headphones, in like the entire world', which I took as a hint, I decided to buy them for his christmas, a pair of Dr Dre Beats. I was also spoiled. Howell bought me a small video recorder/camera so that I can film my races and siblings growing up! :)

    New year was a quite embarrassing for us, as we genuinely were the most boring people in the world. We went an visited my dad and the kids in the morning but then genuinely didn’t move from the sofa for the whole day and ended up asleep by 11pm! Oops!
    We found snoooooow!
    Douglas's little corsa stuck in the snow.

    Our annual Xmas Killin Family photo :)
    2012, year of the Olympics. Its a big year for all athletes and it marks a year that most people have been dreaming of for a long long time. A home games has a larger impact than that any other games due to the home support and attention around the games being heightened massively. I'm excited about the year ahead, small improvements are happening every day and so my initial aim still remains – to be on the start line of the 2012 Olympic games. 2011 has been a really tough year for me, not only with injury but with other problems out-with my control. I believe my share of bad luck, surely, must be finished and hope that 2012 is a better year, not only for myself, but also for my family.

    Where does this bring me to now? Well... Currently I am down in London at the Olympic Rehab Clinic down at Bisham Abbey. I am here for a week to get everything checked out and to try and increase my training load but under close inspection! Will post more on this over the next few days!

    Eilish x

    Saturday, 7 January 2012

    Sunday Express Feature Shoot - Photos by Alan Peebles


    Sunday, 1 January 2012

    Scottish Sunday Express Article 1/1/12

    Some old photos I found..

    Forced to dress as a sailor

    Peter McColgan, Myself with a 5-head instead of a forehead, Liz McColgan