Kirsten McAslan knows more than most how challenging it can be if your body is not able to do what your mind is telling it to. The 24 year-old was struck down by glandular fever a couple of years ago and it is only in the past 12 months that she has begun to rediscover the form that saw her make her Commonwealth Games debut in 2014 as well as become British Indoor 400m champion the following year.

Following a long, hard struggle to regain her fitness, McAslan is back in the mix in terms of international athletics and has been selected for Team Scotland’s 4x400m relay team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which kick-off in Australia’s Gold Coast in less than five weeks time.

It was not an easy journey and she admits that the unpredictability of the illness made things even more challenging. “The glandular fever really set me back but I’m confident that I can get back to where I was and hopefully even better than I was in 2015,” said McAslan, who is currently studying for a Masters at Loughborough University.

“It was a really tough period because sometimes I’d feel ok but sometimes I’d feel really tired so I didn’t know want to expect each day. But hopefully I’m over the worst of it now.”

However, McAslan’s return to the national set-up, and the potential of picking up some relay silverware in Gold Coast, makes the prospect of her second Commonwealth Games even more exciting.

“I’m a better athlete than I was four years ago in Glasgow - I’m a lot stronger and I have a lot more experience now, especially at running relays at this level so I definitely won’t be fazed by the competition in Gold Coast. At the last Commonwealth Games, I was a bit daunted by it all but now, I’m a lot more confident in myself.

“I’m really excited about the relay - hopefully we’ll be right in the mix and can be fighting for a medal. Eilidh (Doyle) and Zoey (Clark) are so strong so if I can get myself into good shape and then we add in Lyndsey (Sharp) who has the strength from the 800m we can have a cracking team. So I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can do.”

That McAslan has become a top-class athlete should not come as too much of a surprise considering her family background. Both her parents have an athletic pedigree, with her mum having competed for Scotland in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in 1986 in Edinburgh.

So when McAslan was selected for Glasgow 2014, she completed the unique set of both mother and daughter competing in a home Commonwealth Games. “It is pretty special that both me and my mum have done home Games - there’s not many people who can say that,” she said. “What was so great in Glasgow was that my whole family got tickets and so after the relay, I was going round the stadium spotting them. To have my whole family there was brilliant because they’ve been with me the whole way.”

McAslan has never, she says, felt any pressure to emulate her mum’s achievements but she did have a real motivation to go faster than her mum ever did, something she has already achieved. “I don’t remember my mum competing - she got inured a lot and she was also training to be a doctor so she retired before I came along,” she said. “I always knew that she was good a good athlete and then when I got a bit older and I found out what her PB was, that was a real incentive for me to try and beat it.”

Her mum may have been a serious athlete but her dad has also had a real hand in her development, acting as both her sometime training partner and her occasional coach and it is an arrangement that has worked out well for all parties. “My dad did athletics in the summer and then played football the rest of the time so he used to be a good training partner for me in the summer,” she said. “He’s done a bit of hurdles too so at the end of last season, he was helping me out which was good - although I’m not sure I’d want him to be my full-time coach. But it was really nice having him involved.

“Both my parents have been great at giving me advice. I like people to be honest with me - I don’t like someone saying that something was good when I know it wasn’t and they’re good at doing that.”