It has, concedes Eilish McColgan, taken personal best performances in every distance from 1500m right up to 10,000m within the space of just a few months for her to develop a sense of self-confidence. Until the 2017 season, during which McColgan was one of the standout performers in remarkable year for Scottish athletes, she was, she reveals, consumed by self-doubt.

This lack of self-belief has existed in McColgan since childhood and as a primary school pupil, she remembers her reluctance in putting herself forward for anything. “As a kid, I was very, very unconfident – I was really quiet and I was always at the back of the class,” the 26 year-old reveals.

“I was like that the whole was through school – really low on confidence. My mum has a lot of self-belief but my sister and especially my brother are very like me. My mum and I are very similar in terms of being stubborn but we’re different in that my mum believed she was one of the very best athletes in the world whereas it’s taken me a while to get anywhere close to that.”

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While McColgan’s lack of confidence may not quite have been crippling, it certainly affected her running. There were times, she admits, she would hit the front of a race but almost immediately feel that she didn’t belong there and so would drop back into the pack.

In 2017 though, this all changed. A first major championships medal, at the European Indoor Championships in January, set the ball rolling and from there, McColgan slowly but surely chipped away at the inferiority complex that had previously tormented her running.

Her change in mindset was validated by a string of impressive results, including a tenth place finish in the World Championships final to add to the raft of personal best times that she racked up throughout the season.

“This year is the first time that I’ve truly believed in what I can do,” McColgan admits. “Watching people like Laura Muir and Konstanze Klosterhalfen (from Germany), they just don’t care if you’re world record holder or world champion, if they feel they can beat you, they’ll go for it and I really like that. So this year, I tried to be more like that myself.

"I didn’t want to go through my career and end up looking back thinking I should have done this or I could have done that. And I remember my dad saying to me that everyone else leaves everything on the track, so I needed to find the confidence to do that too.”

It is no coincidence that McColgan’s improved form has coincided with her ridding herself of the injuries that have plagued her in recent years. Such were her physical woes there were times, admits McColgan, that she contemplated that despite being the daughter of a former world champion, she may not have been cut out for elite-level distance running herself. However, she kept plugging away and over the past year, an intriguing rivalry with compatriot Laura Muir has developed.

Muir has established herself as one of the world’s very best 1500m runners but has shown signs that she has the capability to move up the distances in the future. It could potentially mean that the two women, both Dundee Hawkhill Harriers athletes, could be battling for honours on the international stage.

However, McColgan reveals that it is only in the past few weeks that it has dawned on her that she could be classed as a challenger to Muir.

“I’ve really never thought about me and Laura having a rivalry because I’ve always thought that Laura was so much better than me,” she said. “I have no doubt that if Laura had not come on the scene and started running these quick times, there’s no way I would have run the times I have. She’s really bulldozed a trail for us and she’s opened all our eyes to see that just because you’re Scottish, there’s no reason why you can’t do well. So it’s exciting for me to be classed as a rival to her but actually, I’ve never looked at it as me against her –I look at it more that it’s me and Laura against everyone else.”

After a well-earned holiday in the Bahamas following the end of the 2017 season, McColgan - who is supported by legal firm Lindsays -  is back into her winter training and with the Scot currently sitting in fourth place in the British all-time 5000m list, her immediate goal is to leapfrog Jo Pavey into second place.

And 2018 will also present McColgan with the opportunity to add to her medal haul, at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April. Returning from Australia with silverware will be no easy task though, with the 5000m field likely to include world champion, Hellen Obiri from Kenya. The strength of competition does not deter McColgan, though.

“People view the Commonwealth Games as being third behind the Olympics and Worlds but actually, for the 5k and 10k, the Commonwealth Games is one of the strongest fields you can get,” she said. “So it will be difficult but at the same time, it’s a very good opportunity. Other than the top one or maybe two Kenyans, the third runner is someone I think I’m capable of beating. Hellen Obiri is a class apart but I definitely think the minor medals are up for grabs in Gold Coast.”