Run. Study. Train. Sleep. And repeat. Laura Muir may be speeding by her rivals on the track but the Scot believes life in the slow lane is her secret to juggling her twin ambitions as an athlete and a trainee vet.
“There’s not much really in my life other than veterinary and running,” she says. “But I enjoy both. I don’t really see one as stressful mentally. Maybe when it comes to championships, you are a bit more up in the air.
“When it comes to exams as well, it’s not the best of times. I see both my sport and my studies as enjoyable things, things I love. I don’t feel I need anything else to distract me from them.”
The 23-year-old will have precious little downtime this weekend as she bids for a golden double at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade with the 3,000 metres heats this morning before returning for duty in the 1,500m tonight.
Surviving both would give her a final tomorrow and on Sunday. “It’s probably quite a lot,” she admits. “But it’s something quite a lot of young athletes are used to – you might be running an 800, 1,500 and maybe a 4x400 as well on one day. It seems a little bit soft compared to that. In terms of the schedule, I’ve not done that many races in that amount of time. But I train very hard day in and day out so I don’t see that I won’t be able to cope with it.”
With two European records already during this indoor campaign, the Milnathort runner has gone from hunter to hunted by those in the chasing pack. I will run my own race and force everyone else to follow my lead, she self-confidently insists. On current form, they will do well to catch a glimpse of the lucky green spikes that have propelled her to new heights over the past 12 months. “They were packed in the hand luggage in case the bags get lost,” Muir reveals.
Medal success is long overdue, she acknowledges. For three years now, Muir has been among the elite on times but has yet to land the major championship medal to confirm her status.
“I want to be one of the big athletes out there with medals against their name so I’d love to get a couple of medals on the table and that will give me a lot of confidence to head on,” says Muir.
She will be joined in the 3,000m by fellow Scots Eilish McColgan and Steph Twell. All three could end up on the podium but Muir wants the top step. “That’s my main goal for the event, to get two golds.”
McColgan decided not to run the 1,500m after a bout of illness last week.
Today, Andy Pozzi will start as favourite for the 60m hurdles, Eilidh Doyle has the opening two rounds of the 400m and Guy Learmonth kicks off his 800m bid.