Quite frankly, few people have the love of the sport, the enthusiasm and the geek ness of Jeff Benjamin. Jeff began writing for us in 1990 or so, when American Athletics was launched. He was with us in 1994, when American Track was launched. And, in 2007, Jeff was with us, when my brother Brian and I launched RunBlogRun. Jeff writes about running, the sport he loves. A history teacher, Jeff adds a special feel to his pieces.
The 8 question (or 9 question interview) is one of the special contributions from senior writer, Jeff Benjamin.
This interview is with Eilish McColgan. A fine athlete from 1,500m to 10,000m, Eilish McColgan is the daughter of a World Champion, 1991. Liz McColgan, who had won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth gold. Eilish is coached by her Mom.
Eilish McColgan possesses a huge finish over the last kilometer. McColgan has impressed from the 10,000m down to 1,500m. I recall watching Eilish McColgan race the 10,000m at Stanford. She had dropped back between 8 and 9 kilometers, Eilish came alive, and moved up three places, that huge, ground capturing finish is totally impressive. It also makes her dangerous in any championship race. Eilish McColgan is one of those athletes who will surprise the heck out of you. Do not discount Ms. McColgan.
Eilish McColgan just doubled at The Match in the, 1500 and 3000m. taking bronze in both. How will she do in Doha? Just a few days to see!
Eight Quick Questions With Eilish McColgan
RunBlogRun, 1) How did you get into the Sport?
Eilish McColgan: At Primary School my teacher entered me into the county cross country Championships and I absolutely loved it. I didn’t win a medal that day and maybe finished around 5th or 6th but I begged my parents to take me to the local club so I could start training. Heading into my first year of High School, I joined the Dundee Hawkhill Harriers and have never looked back. Initially I started off in all events – high jump, javelin, sprint hurdles before deciding around age 15 that I wanted to just run. So I started to focus on the 800 and 1500m.
RunBlogRun, 2) Did you consider yourself a slow or fast developer?
Eilish McColgan: I’d say I was a pretty slow developer as it wasn’t until I was 21 years old that I ever made my first GB team. My mum would always hold me back in training as a kid and would never let me train as much as the other youngsters around me. I suppose she knew how difficult it was to transition as a junior to a senior – so she wanted to give me the best opportunity to do so.
RunBlogRun, 3) Most memorable Pre- Teenage/ Youth Race?
Eilish McColgan: I remember winning the National Cross Country Championships down in Nottingham as an U13. I had no idea what I was doing other than just running until I saw the finish line. I started overtaking athletes towards the end of the race and couldn’t believe it when I won. I then didn’t win another title until I was a senior athlete.
RunBlogRun, 4) Most memorable Teenage Race?
Eilish McColgan: Making the Commonwealth Youth Games for Scotland when I was around 18 was pretty cool. The competition was in Pune, India. I had never really traveled abroad before and certainly not for a championship so that was really memorable for me. It made me determined to make the senior version! I didn’t run very well but it was a great experience.
RunBlogRun, 5) Your Most memorable Race as A Pro?
Eilish McColgan: London 2012 was by far the most incredible race I’ve ever been a part of. I ran awful but the crowd and whole buzz of a home Olympics is something I’ll never forget. But if I were to base it on performance – then claiming silver at the European Championships last year in Berlin has to be my greatest moment so far.
RunBlogRun, 6) What Training philosophy are you following?
Eilish McColgan: We’ve made some huge changes in my training program after two serious foot surgeries. I know have 7 screws and a metal plate in my left foot so I have to be careful about how much running I do. I cross train to supplement and only really run about 45-50 miles per week. The focus is on two hard, quality track sessions a week. Everything else is recovery or supplementary to those.
7) Do you incorporate any cross training and/or Weight training?
Eilish McColgan: I cross train four days a week instead of double runs. I haven’t don’t a double run since 2014 after my last ankle surgery. I don’t really do a huge amount of gym work – just some basic core and rehab exercises.
RunBlogRun, 8) What advice can you give to young Runners?
Eilish McColgan: To stick to your own plan. Don’t worry about what others are doing at your age because everyone develops at different rates. Just because you’re not winning medals at 16 – doesn’t mean you can’t go on to have a fantastic senior career. Work hard and focus on yourself.