Laura Muir thrives on pressure as she learns how to execute big races

Laura Muir believes the pressure to deliver on the world stage will drive her on this season. Muir made history last month by becoming the first athlete to claim the ‘double-double’ at the European Indoor Championships, winning the 1500 metres and 3,000 metres in Glasgow two years after claiming both in Belgrade.

Laura Muir: Did the 'double-double' at European Indoors. Picture: SNS
Laura Muir: Did the 'double-double' at European Indoors. Picture: SNS

Now the Scot is being tipped for World Championship gold this autumn and Olympic glory next year. But rather than feeling weighed down by the levels of expectation, the 25-year-old is thriving as one of the world’s big guns in middle-distance running.

Muir, who will kick off her season at the Vitality Westminster Mile in London on 26 May, said: “I don’t really see it as pressure. Three years ago I’d have struggled with the tension and expectation to be near the front, but the better I do and the more pressure that comes, the better I perform.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I want to go out there and deliver. I run because I love the sport, and if the pressure was going to stop me enjoying it then what’s the point?”

Muir’s success in Glasgow came on the back of gold in the 1500m at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin and two 1500m titles in the Diamond League.

“Glasgow was a great confidence booster,” Muir added. “It was challenging, it was a tough competition and it’s great to know I can come away from a championships performing like I did. I know I’ve always had the ability for the last three or four years, but now I am able to execute it and know how to judge races. It’s definitely a mental process and I’m in a very good state of mind now and very confident in my ability. I think for the past few years people have known I’ve been around, one of the people to look out for, but I’ve never been one of the ones with a target on their back.

“I’ve worked my way from top six, seven or eight to top one, two and three. Now I’m someone who people expect to be near the front but it shows how far I’ve come, and that’s what you want in a World Championships year and a year before an Olympic Games.”

Muir will be running the Vitality Westminster Mile, which starts on The Mall and finishes in front of Buckingham Palace, for the first time since the inaugural race in 2013.