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Laura Muir-Then and Now – runblogrun

Laura Muir-Then and Now - runblogrun

Laura Muir – then and now

I have been watching Laura Muir since 2011—some 120 races in all. Yes, I know I am a nerd to have counted! It has been fascinating to watch her development from a student who ran, pursuing a demanding course in Veterinary Science—remember, there are no sports scholarships in the UK—to becoming a serial medal winner. We discussed the journey in a recent chat.

Now, in one of the first races I saw you run, you ran a 4:18. Did the Laura of 11-12 years ago think that one day she’d be running 3:55 and be disappointed with it?

No, no, no, no, definitely not. I don’t know what I thought I could do back then. I had no concept of anything at that age. I think I just wanted to get a PB and see where I ended up. But no thought of running that fast.

Laura Muir, just after the 800m finish, waiting to hear if she won the bronze! Bobby Gavin/Scottish Athletics

What do you think contributes to what you’re doing now? Maturity, fitness, experience training better, shoes, faster tracks. What do you think?

I think it’s a combination – everything, really. You have got to have the right mental attitude. Physiologically, you have to be able to do it. You must train correctly and be strong enough to withstand the training. Injury prevention, ensuring you recover and get nutrition right, is vital. Having the right support network around you is important, too. Being happy as well. It’s a huge thing – you must have everything come together at once and everything going well. You need everything working together to get that big performance. It feels like juggling a lot of plates at the same time. If you get them all going, it usually ends up pretty well. Knowing the best way to get your body to work – what to do, what not to do. It is a big learning curve to get all these things right, and the more of the little things you get right, the better things tend to go. So, it’s really an extensive combination of everything.

Is it easier being a full-time athlete than not having to fit in your studies?

Yeah, definitely. Being a student-athlete gave me a bit of a routine, but even now, I have a good routine as a full-time athlete. It’s good not to have the other pressure, and I think I made a bit of a shift after I qualified. It was very stressful as a student because you had exams twice a year and were doing placements working as a vet, given the nature of my course. It was physically demanding, long days, on your feet all day – holding…

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