It’s hard to imagine a better summer than the one Laura Muir just had. Having finished seventh in the Women’s 1500m final at the Olympic Games in Rio, before topping this all off by winning the IAAF Diamond League 1500m title in Zurich, she has certainly reached new grounds in her career.
Despite admitting that she is “very pleased” with her year so far, this hasn’t stopped her settling back into the hard grind just weeks after her monumental win in Zurich, where she beat her own British record in the 1500m. “I retained my British title, broke the British record set by Kelly Holmes, ran the fastest time in the world this year and reached the final of the Olympics. So very happy indeed.”
Having broken the record once before, when she set a time of 3.57.49, before breaking her own record at this year’s Diamond League in Paris by two seconds, having already won a 1500m in London. “Breaking the British record was a special moment for me, especially as it was in front of a home crowd at the London Olympic Stadium.” She is set to return to the capital in for next year’s World Championships, having finished fifth in China in 2015, but will compete at the European Indoor Championships in Serbia in March.
The Scottish athlete, who still trains with the University of Glasgow’s Track and Field Club twice a week, had previously competed at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and made her first ever Olympic appearance in Rio, at the pinnacle of her career. “The Olympics was an amazing experience, one which I will never forget.” In a hotly contested final, she looked in contention for a medal right up until the conclusion of the race. “I am disappointed with my result, but I am happy to have qualified for the final. It’s just a shame the race turned out the way it did, as the 1500m can be so tactical and unpredictable.”
Rio was only one of a number of exotic locales visited by the fourth year Veterinary Medicine student this year, who has found herself having to deal with the difficult balancing act of her studies and her passion. Having travelled from Europe to South America this summer, she was “happy to stay in Britain and get back to normality.”
“It’s difficult to train when I’m on placement.” Her hectic schedule found itself busier than ever as she performed her placement at Dog’s Trust. “So I took the opportunity to get some experience elsewhere.”
Now back to training now on a more regular basis, even as much as six times per week and occasionally twice a day, it seems Laura remains focussed on going even further than she has before. A huge part of this has been her focus on improving the mental aspect of her performance. “To prepare mentally for races I have learnt that I run my best when I am relaxed, so I try to be chilled in the build up to races so as not to tire myself out.”
One of Glasgow’s outstanding athletes, her determination to continually improve upon what for many would be an unbeatable year speaks volumes. She is back on track, and there is nothing to stop her from achieving more amazing results next season.