It’s been a busy summer for Laura Muir, who won 1,500m gold at the European Championships and the Diamond League finals alongside graduating as a vet from Glasgow University.
That kind of success on multiple fronts takes impressive levels of both talent and commitment, and the above is far from a complete list of Muir’s achievements to date, which also include British and European records, World Indoor Championship medals and the 16th-fastest mile of all time.
Hopefully all of that will convince you that if Muir gives you a tip for your running, you’d be wise to heed it. We spoke to Muir, who is also an ambassador for the Simplyhealth Canine Run, about her training and any advice she might have for amateurs looking to improve.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Usually I train six days a week with Friday off. That’ll be three [track] sessions and then I’ll do runs on the other days as well. And circuits.
What do you enjoy the most?
They’re all quite hard to be honest! I do like my 200s. Fast 200s is probably my favourite session.
Is there anything you really hate?
I hate jog recovery runs.
What would be your top tip for amateur runners looking to improve?
I think it’s training consistently. Some people might train really hard for four weeks, then not doing anything for two weeks and then train again. It’s important to keep training week on week, building on it, rather than starting then stopping.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
A few years ago my coach told me to enjoy the moment, because when things go so quickly it can be easy to go “right, box ticked” and move on. You don’t have time to celebrate and appreciate what you’ve done. It’s important to reflect. It keeps the motivation going.
How do you handle the pressure of races?
I try not to get too worked up. I do my running because I really enjoy it – if I perform well it’s a bonus. Obviously you’re a little bit nervous but I try to keep that under wraps. Be focused, but relaxed. I want to enjoy the moments when I’m racing, because that’s what I train really hard for.
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What is your ultimate goal?
I take it year by year and I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved so far, but I guess the boxes I’d like to tick are a world outdoor medal and an Olympic medal. If I could get both of those that would be great and the closer to gold the better!
What’s more important to you, winning medals or setting record times?
You want the medals because everyone trains for the championships and so you want to do well there. At the same time it’d be nice to have some of the fastest times of all time and break great records. Someone will probably come along and break your record but to have had it in the books is nice. Ultimately it’s about the medals though. You’re going to have them forever.
Muir will start the inaugural Simplyhealth Canine Run on 20th October. For details on the event, and how to train and prepare, visit simplyhealth.co.uk/great-run-partnership
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.