The GB international has set herself the goal of breaking mum Liz McColgan’s 3000m and 5000m personal bests in 2016

Eilish McColgan says she has a personal goal of becoming the best female runner in her family over 3000m and 5000m in 2016, alongside making her second Great Britain Olympic team for Rio.

The 25-year-old distance runner recently returned to the track for the first time in 21 months after an ankle injury to record two personal best times over the 5000m (15:09.94) and the 3000m (8:43.27) in the space of five days – the former being well inside the 15:24 Olympic qualifying standard.

McColgan, the daughter of Britain’s 1991 world champion and 1988 Olympic silver medallist over 10,000m Liz McColgan, is still largely confined to work on a cross trainer and has yet to step up her training to consistent track sessions, leaving her comforted in the knowledge that her mum’s personal bests of 8:38.23 for the 3000m and 14:58.96 for the 5000m are within reach this year.

“I would love to get my mums PBs. I think they’re definitely within my sights this year,” said the former steeplechaser, who competed for Great Britain at London 2012 and the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow over the barriers.

“I definitely think I can get sub 8:40 in the summer when I’m fresher and with more track specific work in my legs.

“I would love to get my mums PBs. I think they’re definitely within my sights this year”

“I would really like to break 15 minutes for 5km, sub-8:40 for 3km and maybe even break my 1500m PB of 4:09 to closer to 4:06. Those would be my checklist goals for the season – after making the Olympic squad, obviously.”

With the pressure steeplechasing puts on McColgan’s ankles, the Manchester-based athlete has more than likely consigned the event to the history books, aided by rapidly developing her confidence over the flat distances with her early-season form.

She added: “I always had in the back of my mind that if I didn’t hit the qualifying time for Rio over the 5km I would throw myself round a steeplechase as a last ditch attempt to make the team as I would hate to be sitting on the sofa, watching the Olympics, thinking what if.

“Hopefully I don’t have to worry about it. I’ve run quick enough to convince myself that perhaps the 5km is a better and safer option for me.”

» Read more of Eilish McColgan’s interview with AW in the May 19 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine