Laura Muir is feeling her age. Perhaps even a little older. Not for the many miles put on the clock over several years in a relentless training regime. But for the very adult activity of procuring a home of her own in Glasgow, a haven to lock herself away from the mania of Olympic dreams and the breathless bouncing from one airport to another on athletics’ global circuit.
“I was a student for seven years and was renting and sharing with other students for that whole time,” said the 26-year-old.
“It’s definitely nicer to have my own place now. It makes me feel a bit more grown-up.” An investment for the future for the returns gained as a consequence of European titles and ample A-List victories in the Diamond League and elsewhere, in addition to an endorsement deal with Nike that will likely set her fair for life.
Not for the Scot a fleet of Ferraris or frivolous furnishings. “I’m sensible in planning ahead,” she added.
“With sport, you just never know what’s around the corner. It’s very unpredictable. But I have my veterinary career still there to fall back on if my running career was cut short. No doubt I’ll come to that at some point.”
Not for a while, she trusts. Though, if Muir did seek a rare splurge, the fashion houses of Rome would surely kit her out should she wander by ahead of tonight’s Golden Gala meeting where she will begin the defence of her Diamond League 1,500 metres title.
Winner, however, is the label she craves most. Following a lower-key triumph in Stockholm seven days ago, a field which includes Olympic medallists Genzebe Dibaba and Jenny Simpson will provide a much better barometer of where she stands, five months out from a world championships in Doha that promises so much.
Liberated from the distractions of vet school, she hints at the potential to make even speedier strides forward. “I’ve been able to go away on a lot more camps without being tied to university,” she said.
“I’ve found myself busy and without a huge amount of time which I guess is good. I’ve probably been paying more attention to those little details with extra time for rest and recovery. I’ve not found myself twiddling my thumbs.”
Rome’s Stadio Olimpico has traditionally seen performances to remember, with Andy Butchart chasing a lasting impression in the 5,000m this evening and Eilish McColgan seeking to block out a week sullied by the theft of medals from her home. Joining Muir in the 1,500m, she hopes the Italian capital will be the site of her first sub- four minute run. “There are only a few women in Britain who have done that and I’ve run 4:01 twice,” said the Dundonian. “So I feel I’m nudging towards that.”
Her Dundee Hawkhill club-mate will be happy to up the ante. “It’s a good field,” said Muir. “So I want a solid fast time, test myself against them, and then look to improve on that.”