RUNNING for fun hasn’t been quite as gratifying as Eilidh Doyle had hoped it might be.

"The other day was the first time I had done anything really and it was like a slow death on the way back," she laughs. "I thought it would be fun just running with no targets or times but I ended up going too fast on the way out with the wind behind me. The last 2km on the way back I was struggling! My quads and hamstrings were really feeling it the next day."

Running aside, Doyle is still enjoying that contented lull between the end of her professional athletics career and the start of the next chapter in her working life. Having announced her retirement in June, the Olympic bronze medallist has been spending time with young son, Campbell, moving house and lending her face and expertise to assorted ad-hoc projects.

On the day that we speak in the playground of a Glasgow primary school, the 34-year-old is helping to promote a partnership between Scottish Athletics and the Daily Mile to get more young people running, walking, wheeling or jogging for at least 15 minutes a day.

She is undoubtedly still hugely passionate about athletics and would like to formalise that connection in some form or other as she ponders the next stage of her life away from the track.

“I walk the dog every day and Campbell is normally strapped to my back in the sling. But he’s at that age where he wants to walk and it can take forever as he’ll stop to pick up a stone or a stick and stare at it for 20 minutes. I think the dog gets a bit frustrated! But it’s been really nice to be able to do all these family things. Now that I’m retired I’m not trying to fit it in around training or taking Campbell to the track with me. I can do things around him which is great although that will change soon as I’ll need to get a job.

“I don’t know what that’s going to be yet. I’ve had chats with Scottish Athletics and sportscotland and really want to be involved in the sport somehow. It’s just trying to work out where I would be useful. I don’t want to go into a job just for the sake of it.

“I don’t think it will be in coaching just yet. I think you need to be a certain type of person to be a coach with that patience and commitment as it’s not a 9 to 5 job.

“I’d like to share my experiences, maybe more in a mentoring way, passing on the things I’ve learned on the circuit and at various championships to younger athletes. So I’m having various conversations with different groups and we’ll see where I end up.”

Doyle could have gone to Tokyo this summer to compete at her third Olympics but was no less engaged watching from home as a fan.

She admits she was surprised with how emotional she became when good friend Laura Muir took a silver medal in the 1500m, barely able to get the words out when Scottish Athletics called her to record her reaction.

“I didn’t miss not being at the Olympics as I really enjoyed just watching it,” admits Doyle. “The only thing I maybe missed was not being in the loop as when you’re there you’re behind the scenes and know everything that’s going on with the team.

“So I was finding myself wondering what was happening, especially with the relays, and speculating on who was going to be in the team and all that stuff.

“But it was great just watching as a fan the same as everyone else, especially when Laura got her medal. I didn’t realise how happy I would be for her until it happened. When she crossed the line it was almost like a relief for her and anyone else who knew her.

“Peter from Scottish Athletics texted me to ask if I would come on to do an interview and I had to tell him I was a bit emotional! I needed a couple of hours to settle down. But I know Laura’s journey having been there since the start and you see how close she’s been in the past. So if anyone deserves a medal it was her. I was just so happy for her. She’s never changed as a person since those early days. You want to see someone like that win medals as you know how much it would mean to them.”

Muir’s recent announcement that she plans on competing at next summer’s Commonwealth Games pleases Doyle. Birmingham 2022 will be bookended by the world and European championships and UK Athletics had suggested that may be the one that their elite athletes miss out if they find their schedule too demanding.

Muir, though, has “unfinished business” with the Commonwealths after missing 2018 and finishing 11th in Glasgow in 2014. And three-times silver medal winner Doyle can understand why.

“I caught up with Laura a few weeks ago and asked her about Birmingham and her thinking was along the same lines as mine would have been if I were still competing. She’s won European gold, she’s now got an Olympic medal so what’s missing are world and Commonwealth Games medals.

“If she can do that in 2022 then she’ll have the full set. So why wouldn’t she target the Commonwealth Games? And I think for Scottish athletes there’s something special about it as it’s the only time where we get to represent Scotland and it’s always such a close-knit team. The fact that it’s in Birmingham it’s going to feel almost like a home Games so I wasn’t surprised that Laura is going for it.

“I always enjoyed competing in the Commonwealth Games. In 2010 I got my first ever medal, 2014 was obviously Glasgow which was huge, and then in 2018 I got to carry the flag.

“It was hard for Laura to miss that one but she had to prioritise her exams. So this time it’s all fitting in nicely and it would be great to see her win gold in Birmingham.”