Sean Chalmers hopes a summer of fast track work will set him up for a possible marathon debut later in the year.
The Aberdeen-based PE teacher, who competes for Inverness Harriers, is concentrating on 5,000m and 10,000m races over the next few months, but wants to test himself over 26.2 miles at some stage.
Scottishathletics bosses see him as having the potential to make his mark in the marathon in the future.
He has been included in the Scottish Marathon Project – a scheme designed to assist the country’s best distance runners to maximise their potential.
Chalmers said: “I’ve been considering jumping into a marathon at the end of the year or maybe early next year. I’ve been looking into the possibility of doing the Valencia marathon in December, but think it might be difficult to get a place.
“The Frankfurt marathon in October is another possibility, but it’s maybe a bit too early.”
For now, however, Chalmers is focused on developing his speed and has set himself a busy racing schedule aimed at improving his best times.
He made an impressive start to the summer season by winning the 3,000m at last weekend’s Aberdeen Sports Village open meeting.
Despite the cold and windy conditions, Chalmers recorded a personal best time of 8:20.37.
It was a fine performance considering his preparations had been hampered by a sciatic problem which caused him to miss 10 days of training.
He said: “I was pleased with my run. I’d missed about 10 days of training and, although I was quite fresh for the race, I’d lost a bit of sharpness.
“It was very windy, so I was glad to have Michael Ferguson for company on the opening five laps, but when he stepped aside I was on my own.
“I’m back into my training, although my mileage is still a bit lower than I’d been doing. I’m still tightening up more than I should in the lower back and glute area, but I’m getting regular treatment and it’s working. Hopefully another few sessions will get rid of it.”
Chalmers returns to action this evening when he competes in a 5,000m race at Manchester’s Sportcity.
He has previously recorded 14min 40.04secs on the track and 14:21.00 on the road, but will be aiming for faster.
Chalmers will then head for Birmingham next weekend to take part in the British 10,000m track championships held in conjunction with the European 10,000m Cup.
The target will be to improve on his best time of 29:55.00 set in a road race at Forres last December.
He said: “I’ve got a place in one of the domestic races at Birmingham. The main event has the top international runners, but the one I’m doing will be for athletes aiming for around 29:30.00, so we’ll see how that goes.
“I’m also keen to get into the British 5,000m championships at the end of June, but the qualifying standard is 13:55.00, which might be tough.
“I’ve signed up for quite a few other races to keep my options open, including the Mid-summer night 10,000m at Leeds and the Fast Friday 5000m near London.”
As the year progresses, Chalmers will gradually move up in distance with an outing in August’s Antrim half marathon pencilled in for August.
He said: “That’s going to be a really fast race as there are already six guys entered who have run under 60 mins. I’ve also entered the Oxford and Bath half marathons just in case I’ve to move things around.
“Then I’ll decide what to do about running a marathon.”
Athletics league stays in cold storage for another year
Aberdeen AAC’s aim of extending a five-year unbeaten run in the Scottish men’s athletics league has been put on hold for at least another year.
Last season’s campaign never got out of the starting blocks because of the pandemic, and this season’s competition has been reformatted to conform with guidelines for holding sporting events.
A series of stand-alone meetings open to members of the men’s, women’s and national junior leagues will be held, starting tomorrow at Grangemouth.
Aberdeen team manager Eoghan MacNamara explained: “There will be a limited number of events at each meeting, but there will be no points awarded, no promotions and no demotions. They are going to be more like open graded meetings.”
Some of the city club’s best young athletes will be in action, with Adam Brown and Sam Griffin competing in the 1500m, while Kai Crawford and Lewis Watt go head-to-head in the 800m.
Brown set a personal best time of 4min 05.19secs when winning at the north east open graded meeting last weekend.
Crawford has twice already this season dipped under two mins for 800m.
Elgin long jumper Kyle Wilkinson will also be hoping for a good performance as he aims to improve on his best of 6.76m.