Scotland’s greatest ever female runner Liz McColgan-Nuttall believes the best could yet be to come from her family, but she has acknowledged that her children’s biggest obstacle is overcoming the expectations associated with their family name.

In an inspirationally candid in-depth interview with ‘Let’s Get Running’ podcast the now Doha-based 1991 world champion has spoken warmly about the impact of her oldest daughter Eilish’s birth on her career, the coach/athlete relationship they now have, but also the prospects of sons Martin and Kieran who are just beginning to get into the sport.

McColgan, who still runs regularly and, along with fellow Olympian Zola Budd made a guest appearance at the Stirling Marathon last month, is clearly profoundly grateful to athletics for giving her an alternative to bleak life prospects, noting that she had worked in a Dundee jute mill, while one of the girls she was friendly with as a youngster died as a result of drug abuse when she was 23.

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Her own children have consequently led a relatively privileged life, but growing up with a world champion mum brought its own complications.

“When they were younger they all wanted to run because they see you running and then, as they get older, especially with myself being as associated with running, it’s very, very hard for them because everybody just assumes they’re going to be really, really good at it, so they kind of shied away from it,” she observed.

Eilish has clearly coped with to become an Olympian in her own right, however and McColgan-Nuttall revealed that two of her sons are also now beginning to show promise.

“Last year my eldest son Martin, who’s just turned 17, he’s diabetic and has started running to regulate his blood sugars better and he decided he’d like to give it a bash, so in the last year he’s got into training properly,” she said.

“He’s doing track sessions, but he’s actually more an 800 metre runner, he’s not as long distance as myself and Eilish, but he’s got loads of natural speed, so he’s more a track runner than he is a road runner. Whether that develops as he gets older because he’s not done the miles we’ll wait and see, but he’s only been running a year properly.

“Then my middle son Kieran starting running three miles just on his own and he’s just won the Angus Schools 1500m, 800m and cross country so he’s now getting into it, but he doesn’t like the association and it’s still early days with him. He kind of shies away from wanting to race because everybody sees the name. He feels the pressure of it more so than the others, but he’s gone up and joined the local Hawkhill Harriers and he goes there one day a week.

“Out of all of the children he was the one who showed most promise, even better than Eilish, but whether he develops into it we’ll wait and see, but he’s a good little runner.”

It is the daughter who became something of a celebrity baby when her mother won the World Championships just a few months after giving birth to her, with whom she currently works most closely, though.

"I’ve coached Eilish since she was 12 and I’m still very heavily involved in her coaching,” said McColgan-Nuttall.

“Obviously I don’t see her quite as much as I’d like, but she comes out at Christmas time and because of the experience we’ve got we work very well together. I probably know more about her day to day existence now than I would if she was living with me. We’re very close and our communication in very, very good, so it works really well. It might not work for others but it definitely works with us. I’m not like the normal mum and dad that coaches.

“I’ve got a wealth of great experience behind me as a runner and Eilish totally respects that and because she’s running similar distances now she understands just what I went through.

"There are two relationships, there is the coach and then there’s the mother. The mother comes into play when things aren’t going well for her and you worry about her, but as a coach we’ve got a great relationship and she respects and understands everything that’s asked of her and if she doesn’t (understand) then she’s the first person to come and ask and I’m a firm believer that a coach should be able to explain exactly what you’re doing.

“We’re both very up front and honest in the way we need to approach it which is what you need to be when there’s distance between coach and athlete and you need to know your body really well which Eilish has learned over the years.”

She even hinted that in seeking to help Eilish fulfil her potential to the maximum she is repaying something of a debt such was her disillusionment after she failed to win the 10,000m at the Olympics in Seoul in 1988. Returning with ‘only’ a silver after being beaten by Olga Bondarenko at a time when there were grave suspicions that have since proven to be largely justified about Eastern bloc methods, she had even temporarily retired from running because she felt she had let people down.

“Eilish came along at the right time,” said McColgan-Nuttall.

“Before she came along it was just eat, sleep run. I didn’t answer telephone calls, I didn’t have any sort of social interaction with people I just ate, slept and ran. That was my existence, so when Eilish came along it gave me a completely different outlook on life.

“I was a bit more relaxed about my running, it wasn’t my main concern. I was just going out, training hard and then my day was spent with my child which worked really well. So that was the catalyst to putting a bit of love back into my life and my running. I just took off then and for about four years I was pretty dominant, pretty much the best 5K, 10K runner in the world.”

Self-coached in her heyday McColgan-Nuttall added that, as she would for any other athlete under her charge, she has had to adjust her methods to suit her daughter’s different physical requirements, but sounded confident about Eilish’s prospects ahead of next week’s British Championships that will double as trials for the World Championships later in the summer.

“She had a bit of sickness last week, but hopefully by the trials she will be bouncing back again,” she said.

“She’s back training well. Sometimes you just have those little things that off-set you, but you have about a week to recover and then you’re fine, so hopefully she’ll be on song for it.”