In just six-or-so weeks, Eilidh Doyle’s life is going to change beyond all recognition. 

The 32-year-old is expecting her first baby in mid-January and if that wasn’t monumental enough, the hurdler has said that she is targeting making the British relay team for the Tokyo Olympics, the Opening Ceremony of which is on the 24th of July.

It is an ambitious target, to say the least. But Doyle has not been cursing the timing of the Olympics coming so soon after the birth, instead she is delighted to have a target in the forefront of her mind, although she is not putting too much pressure on herself to stick rigidly to her plan.

"We do have a plan in place and that outlines what I want to do – whether I can do that or not, we’ll have to wait and see,” the triple Commonwealth Games medallist said. 

“I don’t think you can know until the baby is here. Hopefully everything goes fine and then it’s a case of seeing what happens.

“It’s nice to have a goal though because if the Olympics weren’t there next summer, it would be easy to say well, I’ll just take another year out. So it’s great to have the motivation to get back.”

When Doyle revealed earlier in the year that she was pregnant, she was bombarded with queries about retirement. 

But that never was the plan and just a few weeks out from the arrival of the baby, Doyle remains adamant that being a mum and a runner do not need to be mutually exclusive, and conversations with other athletes who have had babies and continued their careers have just convinced her further of this.

“It all comes down to the fact that I don’t want to stop running, but I want to have a baby. There was never this big plan,” she said.

“It’s been nice to chat to people who have been through it like Paula Radcliffe and Lee McConnell. It’s good because they can be brutally honest with you. The main thing everyone who has done it already has said is that everyone is different and you just don’t know how you’re going to feel.”

Doyle has been a mainstay of the British team for a decade, and has been at every major championship since 2009. So when she was absent from the World Championships in October due to pregnancy, she admits it felt somewhat unusual to be watching proceedings from her couch at home for a change.

“It was strange watching it but it was also nice because I could watch it from a fan’s point of view for once,” she said. 

“But when I saw the team heading out to the camp, it felt really weird because I’d been at every one since 2009. 

“It was nice to not have that pressure that’s there when you’re competing yourself though. I think my family really enjoyed it too because they were able to watch it without worrying about me.”

And Doyle admits she came away from those championships completely inspired by the number of new mums who were back at the top of their sport including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Allyson Felix, both of whom won gold medals in Doha.

“It was perfect timing because it seemed to be the champs of the mums,” said Doyle, who doesn’t know if she is having a boy or a girl next month.

“There seemed to be so many of them coming back from having babies and just smashing it. So to be sitting there pregnant watching that was brilliant – it was so inspiring.”

Doyle has had a fairly straightforward pregnancy and has been able to continue training throughout, although she admits running has been a struggle recently due to her growing bump. Her general fitness is, she says, pretty decent but it is her hurdles fitness she has no idea about heading into the new year.

But as she looks ahead to Tokyo, she has been reassured by the amount of groundwork that has already been done for athletes who will have babies travelling with them to the Games.

“The Team GB doctor was telling me that there’s already been a lot of work done for athletes with babies,” she said. 

“Laura Kenny will likely be there, with Jason Kenny, and they have a young child so they are putting a lot of things in place to make sure that things are more manageable. So when you hear these things, it’s reassuring because you realise there’s other people in this position and you start to realise that it is possible."

As an auntie to four nieces and nephews, Doyle is under no illusions as to what is going to hit her come January and that is why, if she does manage to claim a spot at the Olympics next summer, she believes it will overshadow everything she has done in her career to date.

“It would be massive to get there,” she said. 

“I think it would be my biggest achievement ever. It would mean so much be because I’ll have somebody else there and imagine telling them that when they were born, their mum carried on running and went to the Olympics.”