AW promotion: Power is a killer tool to have within your locker if you can utilise it correctly and here the European medallist shares her training advice

As Eilish McColgan works towards her 2019 targets, the European 5000m silver medallist will be using the new Polar Vantage V to track her training, with its wrist-based running power and online Polar Flow for Coach set to prove even more beneficial in a long-distance coaching set-up like her own.

The Vantage V has been described as Polar’s most advanced multisport watch, developed for athletes and coaches who demand the highest level of sport performance.

It’s the world’s first watch to offer wrist-based running power metrics and it does so by calculating speed, how fast that speed is changing and altitude gradient (based on barometer), displaying the information as a number representing the power that the user’s muscles are supplying during running – in real time.

Meanwhile, the online ‘Polar Flow for Coach’ allows coaches to view their athletes’ training data, compare actual training sessions to original plans and make adjustments.

“The new Polar Vantage definitely brings a new metric to my athletics that we’ve never used before,” says McColgan, who is coached by her mum – 1991 world 10,000m champion and Olympic medallist Liz – who is based in Doha.

“It’s not something we will be particularly focusing on when I’m on the track because split times take priority but certainly in the winter it will be adding some really useful data to my training.

“When my mum gives me fartlek sessions or hill sprints, it’s very difficult for me to feed back that information because how do I explain the gradient I was running on?

“How do I explain the terrain of my fartlek session if it was a particularly undulating trail?

“Paces become irrelevant because of this. But with the power metric, my mum will be able to know exactly the effort that I was putting into each rep, regardless of whether it was a flat section or a challenging hill.

“On short hill sprints, it can give us a good gauge of what figuring I need to be hitting and maintaining on each rep too,” she adds.

“Essentially, it’s allowing my mum to almost view the session without being there, which is a blessing for a long-distance coaching relationship.”


Power is a killer tool to have within your locker if you can utilise it correctly. All of the fastest athletes in the world are powerful. But how do we create this power? Hills, sprints and some more hills!

Tempo efforts

I love to sandwich my hill sprints with a tempo effort to replicate the fatigue you feel towards the end of a race. I use a flat trail for the tempo efforts to make sure I am hitting the correct pace before finding a very steep incline for the hill sprints.

• 1.5 miles tempo effort
• 2min recovery
• 10 x 30sec hills with jog back recovery
• 2min recovery
• 1.5 miles tempo effort


Make sure the trail is tough and undulating. When you get to a hill, focus on driving up it as quick as you can – no matter what repetition you are on.

• 6 minutes
• 2 x 3min
• 6 x 1min
• 6 minutes

Recovery should be short throughout at 90 seconds continuous jog between the sets. Allow 60 seconds between the three-minute efforts and 30 seconds between the one-minute ones.

Back to back 100s

A session my mum used to give us in the winter after a tempo effort or fartlek session – it’s a real killer!

The session is typically 10 x 100m but you can start with 5 x 100m to try and keep a fast pace before building up towards 10. The recovery is very short at 20sec and so you quite literally sprint 100m, turn around and sprint back!

» Click here to read more from an interview with Eilish McColgan as she reflects on her year. The Polar Vantage V breaks new ground as the first watch to track running power from the wrist. Find out more at